e-Learning can be delivered on demand to participants regardless of time or location, at a pace driven by the participants themselves. It is often utilized when self-paced learning is appropriate, when there is a need to train large numbers of people or people who are geographically dispersed, or when the expertise to deliver instructor-led training is not available everywhere it is needed.
e-Learning can be delivered at a much quicker rate; if 100 people need to take a course online, they can all do it at the same time. There is no need to create an elaborate schedule.
e-Learning can be more efficient. If the training is properly structured, only those modules that are needed are taken; all others are skipped. Likewise, if a particular participant already understands a section of the material, that participant can skip the section. This is not as easy to do in instructor-led training, where everyone in the class typically listens to everything that is taught.
e-Learning can improve knowledge retention. If a participant has to take a class when it is given, as opposed to when it is needed, the chances of forgetting the material increase. e-Learning, which is on demand, has the great advantage of being right there when it is needed. Also, because it is on demand, e-learning can take place at the convenience of the participant.
Two further benefits of e-learning are consistency and ease of maintenance. Since the course content is online and not affected by the instructor, it is automatically delivered in a consistent fashion. And if you expect that course material will need to be frequently updated, e-learning is handy because the course material is all in one place. Once it is updated, everyone taking the class gets the new version, complete with any downloadable support material (e.g., PDFs, podcasts).
Finally, e-learning is often more cost-effective for larger audiences, and the larger the audience, the more cost-effective it is. e-Learning can reach greater numbers of people more easily, and the costs associated with each individual session of instructor-led training can be avoided (e.g., instructor time, printing and shipping of materials, travel and site costs).