Self-paced learning is a trend in online education that allows learners to work through training at their own pace. This approach has gained popularity because it gives trainers, learners, and organizations more flexibility than traditional methods.

Traditional training methods require learners to start and finish as a group, typically in the same location for several hours, or even days. This often requires travel for both trainers and learners. Meeting places must be booked, and the use of equipment such as projectors and white boards must also be arranged. Trainers may end up spending as much time coordinating and planning the training programs as they do on actually creating the training.

Self-paced learning frees up trainers from having to be in the room with learners. Most trainers who teach in a self-paced environment can work virtually. This eliminates the need for employee travel, building space, and other ancillary equipment needs.

Self-paced learning also gives trainers more planning time because training is delivered via a learning management system (LMS). The LMS will keep track of learner progress, grading, and assessment results. Trainers can easily use the LMS to pull reports that will help them identify learners that need additional help. This frees up trainers to focus on coaching those learners.

Learners gain the biggest benefits. Not only can they work virtually, they can also go through the material in a way that fits their learning style. Traditional methods force learners to all learn in the same way and at the same pace. Learners who prefer visual aids to lectures may be disengaged. Self-paced learning that is designed with multiple references for the same material gives learners the opportunity to choose their experience.

Some learners may come in with prior knowledge of a subject or skill. In traditional methods, learners will not be able to skip or quickly go through the material they already know. Self-paced learning does give learners this option. This reduces learner frustration and increases learner engagement. Conversely, learners who feel less confident about a topic can spend more time reviewing that material.

Organizations benefit because it allows learners to ramp up quicker. With self-paced learning, learners are ready to work as soon as they have finished training. This means learners who have prior knowledge can ramp up quicker and support the business sooner than learners who may need more training. This is extremely beneficial for initiatives that may require a tight turnaround time from training to launch.

The use of a LMS is what really makes self-paced learning possible. Versal is course authoring software with LMS functions, which makes it easy for trainers to create and implement self-paced learning. Trainers can manage courses, follow learner progress, and pull reports to give individualized attention to learners who need it most. To see how Versal works, sign up for a free trial today.