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  • Mark Hearon

5 Great Perks of Online Learning

A water professional smiles while looking at her laptop screen

Texas water and wastewater professionals increasingly use e-learning options to meet their TCEQ continuing education goals, stay up to date with their profession, and expand their knowledge. This corresponds with a broader trend in the US where 98% of businesses (Source: SH!FT) used e-learning courses in 2020. While the e-learning industry is expected to value at 13 billion by 2024 (Source: Market Research), Texas water and wastewater professionals seem to continue their reliance on instructor-led courses and conferences rather than reaping the full benefits of e-learning.

It's never been easier for water and wastewater professionals to access high-quality e-learning content. TCEQ-approved online CEU courses have become more prevalent, making them a quick and reasonably priced approach to TCEQ license renewal. The good news is the benefits of online learning don't stop there!

Here are 5 great perks of online learning.

1. Time Flexibility

A colorful calendar display on a computer monitor
Who needs sleep, anyway?

TCEQ online continuing education units (CEUs) make it easier to manage your (or your team's) schedule. Knowing you can be available for emergencies, perform process control, and complete work orders offers peace of mind in an ever-changing work environment. This puts you back in control of scheduling and increases your productivity, especially when short-staffed.

2. Self-Paced Learning

A clock suspended over a doorway
Time, the thing by which so many others are measured

Daily demands rarely fall into neatly organized blocks of time. This means there's precious little left for training, save perhaps those 15-45 minute gaps in between more pressing matters. The beauty of e-learning is that it's self-paced, which means every one of those little gaps becomes a moment where a section, quiz, or even module can be completed.

3. Decreased Cost Over Time

E-learning costs are typically lower than instructor-led options. The most obvious reason is an instructor isn't required for content delivery. However, that doesn't cover other potential costs of instructor-led courses, such as:

  • paid time while traveling

  • gas

  • vehicular liability

  • personal injury liability

  • hotels

  • food

  • possible overtime

Where value is concerned, the benefit of e-learning is rather clear. When spread over time the savings can really add up.

4. Increased Engagement and Retention

The word "Focus" spelled in lights
In-person instructors start to look like this after a while

Instructor-led courses require water and wastewater professionals to sit for lengthy amounts of time (and then, often for days in a row) with little mobility while remaining intensely focused on just one individual. This results in low levels of engagement and retention—8%-10% (Source: SH!FT). By contrast, e-learning programs allow water and wastewater professionals to proceed through dynamic materials that have been shown to boost engagement and retention by 25%-60%.

Greater engagement and retention means you get more out of your e-learning experience. Not only will you likely be happier, but you'll also be better able to apply what you learned. And that's the whole point of training.

5. Improved Digital Communication

A group of workers sit at a table with their laptops and personal devices
Like it or not, this is probably our future

TCEQ-approved online CEU courses help water and wastewater professionals develop their digital communication skills by utilizing technology that's already in use at work. This can increase your productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction. Water and wastewater professionals who keep up with today's digital tools and standards of interaction are more likely to see themselves fitting in as the world rapidly changes.

The Wrap

E-learning is now less of an oddity and more of a fixture in the training landscape. While the private sector is leaning into e-learning solutions, the water and wastewater industry appears to be lagging behind in adoption. This creates problems that e-learning solutions are poised to remedy.


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