Recently there has been a boom in the e-learning industry because its ease of use, availability and because technology is always on the rise. Its credibility in terms of qualifications has been a deal breaker in some instances where “having an online degree from an unaccredited school is a sure way to get a resume discarded”.
It is true that online training is more readily available and perhaps more convenient but in terms of efficiently learning, it may not be the best way to go yet. Face-to-face training is the traditional way and still has its strong foundations embedded into the learning process for many companies and institutions because of its clear advantages. Here are some of them:
This is a key aspect, networking is almost like the bread and butter of business. Although e-learning courses and do have networking potential via chat rooms, messages and emails; it simply is not as effective as having a real life human interaction with another person where you exchange hand shakes and conversation. This method is more significant and is a huge bonus which you can get from face-to-face training and means you will network more efficiently which in itself has a lot of benefits.
- Engagement and Focus
E-learning is essentially just watching a video stream, playback or reading texts, presentations and such, the nature of it allows many distractions to easily affect the user unless self-discipline and focus is implemented and reinforced to ensure the learner is paying full attention at all times.
Many people using e-learning will end up subconsciously ‘multi-tasking’ because they will be doing something else while doing the course and it affects what they actually gain from the e-course.
With face-to-training, you are usually in a classroom with the teacher, where many teachers will implement strategies to keep you involved and engaged as possible because it retains your attention and will most definitely encourage better results.
- Adaptability – keyword “customised training courses”
Many instructors and companies now offer customised training courses, which is a great initiative because it allows delegates to specifically learn what they want to learn, which ends up being cost effective and keeps the customer happy because many of them will not want to learn the excess information that does not apply to them, at the same time they will be unhappy if they didn’t learn what they wanted to learn. Courses that operate face-to-face have the amazing option to be adapted to the learner’s needs when needed where as e-learning simply just offers set options.
An important factor we forget about e-learning is the sheer importance of human interaction as mentioned before. A lot of great things can come by being in a room with other people wanting to learn, such as detailed discussions and debates regarding subject topics where you may even learn from other people and take in viewpoints that you haven’t considered yet. It is easier to interact and meet new people from inside or outside of work when you have a common ground.
- Ability to have 1-to-1 if any problem arrises
Every learner will be different, some are very independent in the sense that if they have a problem, they will eventually solve it themselves with no problem. However there are a lot of learners who need to be shown or have something explained because they do not understand it.
If something goes wrong while e-learning, whether it be something as simple as not knowing the meaning of the word, phrase or just simply not understanding the concept of something, it may be a long-winded process to find the answer. This basically forces you to be independent if something goes wrong which is bad because if you happen to be one of those people who need to have something explained to, what would you do then?
If a problem arises when you are in a face-to-face course, you can simply ask the instructor to explain it better so you know what is going on.
To conclude, these were just some points as to why face-to-face training has many clear advantages over e-learning but e-learning is still a newly formed method and will continue to grow and maybe will improve to such a point where it succeeds compared to face-to-face training.
This article was written by the London Management Centre, a consultancy company focusing on training courses in London in fields such as business, management and marketing. To continue the discussion, we invite you to follow the London Management Centre on LinkedIn.