Are you looking to train your employees effectively while keeping costs low? Look no further than online course platforms! These solutions have revolutionized how organizations approach employee training, with many benefits and drawbacks to consider.

As per a study by Brandon Hall Group, on average, online courses take 40-60% less time to complete than traditional classroom-based courses. Additionally, employees who participate in online training courses retain up to 60% more information than those who attend traditional courses.

But before you dive into digital L&D, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of these platforms to ensure you choose the right option for your organization’s unique needs. In this article, we’ll explore online education platforms‘ various benefits and challenges and provide tips to help you make the best choice for your team.

Making the Right Choice: Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Course Platforms

Online Course Platforms

Advantages of Online Course Platforms

Online learning offers several benefits to corporate organizations for training their employees. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of these platforms:

Flexibility and convenience

Studies estimate that employees can only dedicate approximately 1% of their weekly time, equivalent to 24 minutes per week, to professional development. While it may not seem like a lot of time, it can still be used effectively for encouraging professional development.

Fortunately, eLearning programs offer a solution by being easily accessible and flexible, allowing employees to engage with them whenever they have time. Moreover, since eLearning courses take less time than classroom sessions, employees can learn quickly without spending more time away from work.


Online solutions can be a cost-effective option for corporate training. Traditional training methods, such as classroom training, can be expensive, requiring resources like physical space, training materials, and instructors. Online courses, on the other hand, can be completed remotely, saving on these resources.


IBM’s venture into eLearning revealed that their investment in online training products resulted in a $30 productivity boost for every dollar spent. This was because employees could return to their duties promptly, while HR managers and employees had to spend less time managing employee education. Furthermore, the skills learned in eLearning programs could be immediately applied in the workplace.

Access to a wide range of courses

Online course platforms offer a wide range of courses covering various topics and industries. This means employees can access training in areas beyond their job role, enhancing their knowledge and skill sets. With eLearning, employers can also offer training in multiple languages, making them accessible to a global workforce.

Interactive and engaging learning experiences

Online course platforms provide interactive and engaging learning experiences. With multimedia content, gamification techniques, and opportunities for active learning, employees are more likely to be engaged and retain the information they learn.

In fact, traditional classroom-based learning is being overshadowed by game-based learning, as 80% of workers find it more captivating and stimulating. Source

Plus, implementing eLearning courses can boost employee engagement by up to 18%, which results in lower employee turnover rates and better workplace morale. Professional development courses that help employees to be promoted from within your company make them feel valued. Source

Tracking and reporting capabilities

Online course platforms offer tracking and reporting capabilities, allowing managers to monitor employee progress and ensure they complete their training. These platforms can also generate reports on the performance of individual employees or teams, providing valuable insights that can be used to make data-driven decisions.

Boost in revenue

According to recent studies, implementing eLearning in a company leads to 26% higher revenue per employee. eLearning enables employees to find more development opportunities and increases job satisfaction, reducing turnover rates.

Increased knowledge acquisition

A study by IBM found that employees could learn between 3-5 times more using eLearning than physical manuals, books, and classroom education. Teaching more material in less time streamlines workplace education, focuses on day-to-day tasks, reduces costs, and improves profitability.

In 1995, only about 4% of American companies used electronic learning systems. However, today, 77% of corporations use eLearning programs, making them inexpensive and accessible training and development methods — both for small and large companies. In addition, fortune 500 companies use eLearning and webinars for over 70% of their training. Source

Disadvantages of Online Course Platforms

Online Course Platforms

While online course platforms have many advantages, they also have downsides that should be considered before deciding. Here are some of the most common disadvantages of e-learning:

Lack of face-to-face interaction

One of the main disadvantages of online learning is the lack of face-to-face interaction with instructors and classmates. While many online courses offer discussion forums and other ways to interact with others, it’s not quite the same as meeting in person. This can be incredibly challenging for learners who thrive on social interaction and feedback.

Limited opportunities for hands-on learning

Online courses are often less hands-on than traditional classroom courses, which can disadvantage learners who need to practice new skills or techniques. This is particularly true for technical or vocational courses that require hands-on experience to master.

Technical issues and accessibility challenges

Another potential drawback of online course platforms is the potential for technical issues and accessibility challenges. Learners may have trouble accessing the course materials due to technical issues or struggle to use the platform if they are not tech-savvy. Additionally, learners with disabilities may find it challenging to access online course materials.

Limited social and networking opportunities

Finally, online course platforms may offer limited opportunities for socializing and networking with other learners and professionals in the field. This can restrict learners seeking to expand their professional networks or make connections in their industry.

Types of Online Course Platforms

Online Course Platforms

When considering which online course platform to use, it’s essential to understand the different types available. Here are four types of online education platforms that you should know about:

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)

MOOCs are designed to provide open access to higher education for anyone interested in learning, regardless of location or financial situation. They are usually free and open to anyone who wants to enroll. While they provide an excellent opportunity for individuals to learn new skills, MOOCs often lack the personalized attention found in smaller and micro courses.

Corporate online training platforms

Corporate online training platforms are designed to provide specific training to employees. These platforms are often customized to meet a particular company’s or industry’s unique needs and can include compliance, safety, and customer service training. While these platforms provide targeted training, they can also be limited in scope and may not provide a wide range of course options.

Learning management systems (LMS)

LMS platforms are designed to manage and deliver e-learning content. They provide a centralized location for course materials, assignments, and grading, as well as tracking and reporting on student progress. LMS platforms are commonly used in higher education institutions and corporate training programs. While they offer great control and organization, they can also be expensive and difficult to set up.

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Self-paced e-learning platforms

Self-paced e-learning platforms allow students to progress through the course material at their own pace. They often include multimedia components such as videos, interactive quizzes, and virtual simulations. These platforms are popular for those who want to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule. However, such online education platforms can lack the structure and guidance provided by more traditional courses and may not be ideal for those who require more support and interaction.

Choosing the Right Online Course Platform

Online Course Platforms

To find the right online course platform that suits your needs, you need to consider a number of factors. Here are some key things to think about:

Identifying your learning goals and needs

Before exploring different platforms, clearly understanding what you want to achieve through online learning is essential. Consider what skills you want to develop, what kind of courses you are interested in, and how much time and effort you are willing to invest. This will help you narrow your options and focus on platforms offering the required courses and features.

Assessing the features and capabilities of different platforms

Once you have identified your learning goals, it’s time to start evaluating different platforms. Look for features that will help you achieve your goals, such as interactive learning tools, personalized assessments, and flexible scheduling. Consider the platform’s user interface, mobile accessibility, support resources, and the types of courses and certifications available.

Comparing the pricing and subscription models

Online course platforms vary widely in their pricing and subscription models. Some charge a flat fee for each course, while others offer subscription plans that give you access to a library of courses for a monthly or yearly fee. Compare the pricing of different platforms and consider how much you are willing to spend on online learning.

Considering the reputation and user reviews of the platform

Finally, it’s essential to consider the reputation and user reviews of the platform you are considering. Look for reviews from other learners who have used the platform, and consider factors such as customer service, course quality, and technical support. Look for reputable and well-established platforms with a track record of delivering high-quality courses and excellent customer service.

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Considering these factors, you can decide which online course platform is right for you. Whether you are looking for a MOOC, corporate training platform, LMS, or self-paced e-learning platform, there are many options to choose from – and finding the right one can help you achieve your learning goals and advance your career.

Tips for Maximizing the Benefits of Online Course Platforms

Online Course Platforms

Online course platforms offer many benefits for learning and professional development. To maximize these benefits, you must approach your learning with the right mindset and adopt strategies that work for you. Here are some tips for making the most of your online learning experience:

Setting realistic learning goals

Setting realistic learning goals is essential to make the most of your online course experience. These goals should align with your career aspirations and the skills you want to develop. Setting achievable goals will keep you motivated and help you stay on track throughout the course.

Establishing a dedicated study space and schedule

Creating a dedicated study space where you can focus without distractions is essential when taking online courses. Setting a schedule that allows you to work on your coursework regularly can help you stay on track and make steady progress toward your learning goals.

Actively participating in discussions and group activities

Online courses often offer opportunities for group activities and discussions. Active participation in these activities can help you better understand the material, get to know your classmates, and build a network of professional contacts. Participating in discussions and group activities can also provide valuable opportunities for collaboration and feedback.

Seeking out additional resources and support when needed

Even with the best online course platform, you may encounter challenges or need additional support to achieve your learning goals. Fortunately, many platforms offer additional resources and support, such as online tutoring or access to course instructors. Don’t be afraid to seek additional support when needed; this can help you stay motivated and make the most of your online learning experience.


Online course platforms offer a range of benefits for learners and businesses alike, from cost-effectiveness to flexible scheduling and engaging learning experiences. However, it’s essential also to consider these platforms’ potential limitations and drawbacks, such as the lack of face-to-face interaction and limited opportunities for hands-on learning. By carefully identifying your learning goals and needs, assessing different platforms, and actively engaging with the course material, you can maximize the benefits of online learning and achieve your professional development goals.

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