eLearning Software, Self Paced Learning

6 Examples Of Self-Paced Learning In Business

5 min read | updated Jun 4, 2024
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With traditional in-person college courses, students are required to show up and learn in physical classrooms at a specific time, usually multiple times per week. Self-paced learning on the other hand focuses on the curriculum and teaching rather than when users “show up to class” and learn. You’re probably starting to understand why this is so powerful now – since everybody’s schedule and learning style is different.

Most self-paced programs, whether they are designed for training employees or teaching students in school, will still have deadlines and dates when a course expires. On the contrary, self-paced learning allows students and employees to maintain knowledge, gain new skills and earn certifications without putting excess pressure on them. If you have ever taken a course online that wasn’t led by an instructor and consisted of you reading materials, watching videos, taking quizzes, and performing other learning activities in your own time – this is self-paced learning.

Who can benefit from Self-Paced learning?

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Self-paced learning, otherwise known as on-demand training (in business), is equally beneficial to businesses training employees, customers, and partners as it is for schools teaching students.

Training programs that are structured in a self-paced way are efficient because they don’t rely on instructors to lead training (a scalable solution). On-demand training materials are also re-usable and can be updated at any point in time. Of course, in order to deliver self-paced learning materials in a course online, your company needs the right software like a learning management system (LMS).

An LMS allows you to take your independent training materials like PDFs, Powerpoint presentations, training videos, and other assets and turn them into a formal course that employees can go through in their own time.

We are NOT saying you have to completely replace in-person meetings, training sessions, and other processes in business, but if the training can be just as effective in a self-paced course – it’s worth considering to save your company time and money.

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Using Self-Paced Learning to Maximize Training Efficiency (examples)

SMBs and enterprises training internally

Is your company trying to train employees more efficiently?

You can determine if self-paced learning would help, by asking these questions:

  1. For sections of training where employees are working directly with training managers/instructors, could these sessions be recorded and attached to a self-paced training course?
  2. Would training quality stay relatively the same or improve from dialing back the need to do everything in person?
  3. Could parts of your training program be just as effective in an online course?
  4. Would allowing employees to train partially online in their own time save money and time?
  5. Do you have loose training materials like worksheets, PDFs, videos, and other activities that aren’t being utilized to their full potential?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then self-paced courses would be perfect for your company.

You can apply self-paced training to both new and established employees, but it’s particularly effective for established employees since they don’t require as much personal touch. Self-paced courses also don’t have to be the total solution for your training programs. Self-paced learning can be implemented partially into your employee training programs and both the employer and employee would benefit.

Training employees, customers, and partners for compliance

Compliance training is required in every industry. The only difference from one business to the next is the type of training required; IT companies need data protection & privacy training whereas doctors and other medical professionals require healthcare compliance training. Speaking to all industries, courses that teach anti-harassment or diversity training apply to all industries and may not be legally required, but are beneficial to enforce.

There may be certain scenarios where training employees in person is much more effective, like teaching warehouse workers how to properly operate a forklift or other heavy machinery. However, most compliance training can be just as effective in the form of self-paced learning. For example, if you’re training anti-harassment compliance like our client Paragon, you can use on-demand training materials like videos, PDFs, and interactive activities to teach employees the basics of what’s allowed and not allowed in the workplace. Continuing, you could test these employees on their newly learned knowledge with multiple choice or short answer quizzes and tests.

If you wanted to engage employees beyond self-paced courses, you can host compliance training virtually in real-time using webinars.

Offering professional certifications

Professional certifications can help employees stand out from competitors by showcasing their work ethic and skills.

HubSpot is a huge player in the professional certification space for marketing and sales courses; many employees that want to improve their resumes take HubSpot courses during their job search. HubSpot courses consist of PDFs, videos, interactive assignments, and other activities that professionals can engage in by themselves online.

Using self-paced courses to certify professionals in an industry is a great way to raise awareness for your company, position yourself as a thought leader in a particular industry, and create an additional source of income conveniently.

If you are using self-paced learning with a learning management system–we highly recommend making sure your software has a certificate builder, so you can customize and upload certificate designs.

Delivering continuing education (CEU)

Professionals in different industries require continuing education throughout their careers.

For example, real estate professionals use CE courses to improve lead gen and sales, and healthcare professionals require CEU to maintain high-quality patient care and medical practices. Since continuing education is one of those things that professionals require but it takes time outside of their normal work schedule, it’s best to make these courses flexible.

Use self-paced CE courses to help employees and organizations thrive in their industry without taking up much of their time.

Helping professionals renew licenses

Most careers require employees to maintain licensure–offer self-paced courses to help professionals prepare for exams and train to renew their licenses. Help insurance agents, nurse practitioners, doctors, social workers, HVAC service people, and other professionals maintain licensure more conveniently using self-paced courses.


Streamline HR and automate some redundancies involved in your regular onboarding process using an LMS and self-paced courses. If you’re a fast-growing organization then your HR department is probably under constant pressure. Using an LMS and self-paced learning, you can automate some repetitive tasks and improve the overall experience new employees joining your company have during their onboarding process.

Next Steps: Create Self-Paced Courses

Now that you see how using self-paced learning can positively impact your training programs, do some research on learning management systems. After you choose an LMS, you will have all you need to start using self-paced learning in your training programs!

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