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Effective Online E-Learning Can Boost Professional Development

Whether you are looking for online e-learning for yourself or your staff, ZERO TO THREE's professional development may be just the boost your team needs need to improve children’s well-being.

by Nikki Darling-Kuria, MA, Program Manager, Professional Development, ZERO TO THREE

It can be challenging to find professionals with the core knowledge required to work effectively with parents of very young children, and to collaborate effectively in order to meet their complex needs. As organizations struggle to retain qualified staff, many look for ways to provide high-quality professional development to increase knowledge needed for their work, keep professionals engaged in learning, and working effectively together. Because it can be costly, and often inconvenient, to bring high-quality training in-house, online learning can be the perfect solution to meet the demands of convenience and budget.

Technology is such a part of daily life that you may be reading this article on a smartphone right now. However, despite the rampant use of technology for everything from communicating to shopping, it seems that some professionals are still hesitant to consider online learning to meet their professional development needs. I understand the need to be cautious; not all e-learning is created equally. In fact, it’s the quality that makes all the difference.

ZERO TO THREE understands the need to access high-quality learning, and we believe the same principles that are applied in face-to-face training can be translated into online e-learning. Plus, accessing learning in an online environment has some advantages in this modern age. Let’s take a look at how effective online e-learning can boost professional development.

High-quality online e-learning should be challenging enough that it requires some mental flexibility to help you think outside of the box. If you are new to online e-learning, the content will be delivered in a new way that you haven’t experienced before, stimulating new neural connections. And even if the content you are viewing is more review than new information, the brain craves novelty so engaging with the ideas in a new environment will still make new meaningful connections. This process allows users to increase their content knowledge and gain skills they can integrate into their workplace.

Many people often wonder how online e-learning can engage a variety of different types of learners and provide feedback to support their learning. Through high-quality e-learning experiences, learners get feedback in real time and in specific ways. Through use of quizzes, writing prompts, and discussion boards, learners can build communication and collaboration skills.

Online e-learning can take place in the comfort of your home or a quiet space which allows for much more accessibility and flexibility than an onsite learning experience. Another benefit is that you can access online lessons and move at your own pace. Many online e-learning opportunities also include discussion boards, communities of practice, and learning circles to keep learners focused on the content and provide real-life case-based scenarios to extend learning that allow for a relationship-based professional development experiences.

Whether you are looking for online e-learning for yourself or your staff, this form of professional development may be just the boost your team needs need to improve children’s well-being.

If you’re curious about what online e-learning ZERO TO THREE offers states and organizations, check out the series called Knowledge and Know-How: Nurturing Child Well-Being to meet the needs of professionals who work with very young children and their families.

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