From Classroom to Computer – the Rise of E-learning in a Pandemic World

by Graham Cohen

2020 sure has presented us with some challenges.  The Coronavirus has affected our lives in so many different ways.  Businesses have been forced to close their doors, and many are finding it hard to return.  No industry has been more hard-hit than the hospitality industry.  We have been forced to change the way we do business, specifically in how we train our staff.  Training staff on new procedures, products or policy is becoming more challenging as we work with reduced staff and practice social distancing guidelines.  Many companies are turning to distance learning or e-learning as a way to keep the staffed trained and up-to-date with the latest information.

Research has shown that on average, students retain 25-30% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom.  And the training material is always available through mobile devices.  Now more than ever, I am being contacted to convert instructor-lead classroom training into engaging online e-learning courses.  There are many good training partners with great online training to offer such as; the Food Handler and Alcohol Awareness classes on FRLA’s website, and others.

In the past, e-learning was cost prohibitive and mostly used by large corporations due to the high cost of development, housing and tracking.  However, learning management systems (LMS’s) are becoming more cost-effective and affordable for small business owners. Systems such as Cornerstone and Schoox offer LMS solutions for every budget.

There are many advantages of e-learning including; cost effectiveness, flexibility, better participation and individual retention and having constant training throughout your organization.

E-learning is available in many different forms: from a simple PDF document to an elaborate and dynamic HTML5 SCORM program and everything in between.  If you are looking at getting into the world of e-learning, there are a number of criteria you’ll want to meet.

First, the role of the instructor is key as the instructor is necessary in providing feedback to students. Second, you will need a well-organized LMS that should be easily navigable to both students and instructors.  And finally, your content must be formatted in a way that is easily accessible to students.

As we find ourselves operating in a fast-paced, technology-oriented world, we must adopt new technology and new ways to integrate it in support of education. E-learning is leading the way and redefining how we learn on the job.

For more information, or if you have any questions regarding e-learning, feel free to drop me a line at

Graham Cohen has built several of FRLA’s online training programs including the food handler and the human trafficking programs.