Within a few years, the way we learn may not look the same as it does today.

Benefits of online training and learning

With the rising transportation and infrastructure costs, the government and private enterprise are all recognising the enormous benefits of online training and learning.

1. Convenience –students can access training when they are ready and in their own time, in comfort and where they choose. You don’t have to worry how people will get to or from the event.

2. Immediate and cost-effective – no rooms to hire or transport to catch, the training is immediate and online. It is more affordable for the client and cost-effective to run.

3. Easy – no dressing up or being outside your comfort zone. Lots of bells and whistles throughout the programs. Discussion time is available.

4. Good return on investment – anyone around the world can access your training at any time of the day or night. Because the internet is global, there is much larger market from which to attract interested participants to your online presentation. Exposure to your product is much greater.

Benefits of face-to-face training

With increasing emphasis on the use of e-learning, I am still a big advocate for face-to-face instructor-led training.

1. Focus – the participants have fewer distractions/ phones are off and they are ready to train.

2. Workshopping and learning from other participants – during the class, everyone has the opportunity to share their knowledge and ask questions. This experience cannot be duplicated with e-learning. While there are online discussion groups, they cannot match the experience of interacting face to face. There is a level of confidentiality – what happens in the classroom stays in the classroom.

3. Problem solving – a good facilitator will follow the lead of the class and help them find ways to solve problems. With e-learning, there is little adaptability to address this type of issue. If one or more participants have specific problems, the facilitator can catch up with them in the breaks.

4. Networking and building personal relationships – at every face-to-face course, participant’s network with each other individually or as a team and build better relationships. These relationships can lead to referrals, job offers, increasing profits, even marriages! The benefits in building these relationships way outstrip the cost of hiring a training room.

5. Breaking down barriers – bringing all team members to meet and share can help solve problems incredibly quickly, compared to training individually online.

There is no doubt e-learning can be an effective training method for some topics but do not overlook the many unique benefits of bringing people together to learn from each other in a face setting, especially with sales, service, leadership and people skills.

The choice is yours. Happy learning.

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