Get connected to e-learning - for social care providers

The weaknesses of e-learning

Flexibility is key for us; that staff can do it at their own pace, at a time that suits them. They can get instant feedback on any assessed work they do because it's built into the e-Learning.

Joanne at The Crown Rest Home

Not hands on

e-Learning is less suited for teaching hands-on practical care skills. For example, seeing diagrams and descriptions of the recovery position in a first aid course are good starting points, but you can’t really know it until you have done it for real.

Not so good for subtle judgement

e-Learning is good for clear-cut situations and for facts, but can be less good for learning about subtle communication and judgements.

Hard to review

It can be hard to judge the quality of e-learning unless you do it all yourself first. Before you buy e-learning for your staff, you should get at least a demo of the content and ideally be able to review the entire course.


e-Learning is generally done on your own, which can be lonely and isolating. It can also raise lots of questions that go unanswered.

Demotivated learners

Demotivated learners can fall behind and only engage at the minimum level. They need to be supported and managed in e-learning as in every other type of learning, but they can be harder to spot than in a class-based situation. A learning management system can help you monitor people’s progress – encouragement needs to come in person from the manager or trainer just as in traditional training.

Limited IT skills

e-Learning can be daunting if you struggle with computers. This can be solved through managing the introduction to the e-learning. A good introduction to e-learning will open up new IT skills for the user, both in work and at home.

Most e-learning relies on good reading skills for learners to understand the material

  • e-learning can be vulnerable to unsupervised learners cheating
  • where face-to-face support is impractical, online mentoring can also help learners overcome isolation and improve their confidence in using IT.

The BBC’s Webwise service offer a number of short introductions to getting started with computers, including the First Click campaign. You can contact them to find out about free computer training in your area.

Towards Maturity, a community interest company that supports learning technologies at work, has a short guide about helping staff get online. There are useful tips for smaller businesses and organisations.