E-learning holds the image of being more cost effective and convenient than classroom or lecture based training. However, is it as yielding when it comes to changing behavior and enhancing the learning experience? That’s the question we hear a lot. The answer is that it differs from person to person. However, one of the reasons, my corporate clients consider e-learning specifically effective for retention is that learners are able to revisit the courses as much as they need at any time, for refreshing purposes. In addition, leaners can also choose the ideal time for them to take the online session, as per their commitments and timeline.

In the past 30 years, as first televisions and now mobile devices and computers have grown around the world, learning by video has become one of the rapidly growing fields in education and training[1]. The market for training video for learning and skill development is huge and runs into billions of dollar on annual basis. It makes sense that video learning is definitely an innovative and modern model for revolutionizing training and education.

However, the video learning is not ye universally acclaimed. Many learners and trainers still prefer conventional classroom learning. Other see technical problems holding up the speed of progress. It is complicated area with a lot of potential and a subject we will be covering more in future. In a debate between video or digital modes of training and education, and face to face interaction characterized in in-person courses, we might lose the way to much better and truly effective training opportunities in future. It becomes necessary to determine the pros and cons of both side, so as to establish the cost which we might bear as a result of ignorance.

The benefits of telecommunication can never be denied, since it makes the communication cheaper, immediate and easier. It is still important to remind that before the inventions of all these advances in science and technology, people used to interact or communicate more[2]. Why is this so?

This is because of a basic reality that all humans are social beings. The young and growing number of adults now find themselves quite active on different social media platforms, however their search for the connections depicts that people crave for human interaction. One of the great contributing writers for Psychology Today, Mr. Ray Williams[3] says that human interaction is quite fundamental to one’s life and is one of the defining human traits that distinguishes us from rest of the species in the world. Physical interaction is still the best way to communicate, learn and gather memories, opponents of video learning says[4]. It is the fact that all meaningful relations are built through personal interactions, with the firmest connections made when the time is spent together.

When it comes to training, virtual or digital or online training has become an increasingly common replacement to classroom-based learning. With increasing demand, more educational universities and organizations are capturing the online training and modern learning models for their students and employees, respectively. The digital learning setting, specifically video learning, has been proved to have a number of benefits, like minimizing spatial barrier and increasing flexibility[5]. However, at the same time, there is cost in terms of decreasing face-to-face method of learning, which no matter what, still carries at least some unbeatable benefits. Critics have argued that though digital models are readily accessible to all, yet these are not be an ideal option for everyone. Researchers in this regard have revealed that among the most successful and reputed businesses globally, the majority still prefer face to face forms of training delivery.

In addition, group learning, that is one of the most prominent components of in-person courses, facilitates problem solving skills and develops collaborative skills and teamwork, which are quite critical in life[6]. Video learning thus doesn’t seem a good medium when it comes to teamwork and group learning. However, trainers are still finding the ways to minimize the gap as much as possible. For instance, video learning is being made in 2-way webcam settings, enabling teacher or trainer to be in central location and reach learners that are spread globally. Such innovations might greatly reduce the cost of video learning versus in-face courses.

[1] https://www.brainscape.com/blog/2014/11/video-learning-pros-cons/
[2] https://www.td.org/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2014/09/Webex-Face-to-Face-Training-Is-Still-the-Better-Choice
[3] https://www.td.org/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2014/09/Webex-Face-to-Face-Training-Is-Still-the-Better-Choice
[4] https://trainingmag.com/trgmag-article/online-vs-class-success
[5] http://www.forbes.com/sites/elizabethwoyke/2011/01/21/pros-and-cons-of-ipads-in-the-classroom/#7f7e684a5dbd
[6] http://www.cte.cornell.edu/teaching-ideas/engaging-students/collaborative-learning.html

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Bryant Nielson is heavily involved in the Corporate Training and Leadership and Talent space. He currently is the Managing Director for CapitalWave Inc and the training division, Financial Training Solutions. He brings a diverse corporate experience of organizational development, learning and talent development, and corporate training, that also includes personal coaching of top sales individuals and companies of all sizes. For the prior 4 years, Bryant was the Managing Director and Leadership and Talent Manager for Lengthen Your Stride! LLC. In this position, Nielson was the developer of all of the courses for MortgageMae University (MMU), the Realtor Development Center (RDC), and of Lengthen Your Stride! (LYS). In that position, he developed material, refined over many years of use and active training, and condensed the coursework and training to be high impact, natural learning, and comprehensive. Bryant has over 27 years of Senior Management experience encompasses running his own Training and mortgage firm, in New York City. He strongly believes that the corporate training is not to be static but should 'engage and inspire' students to greater productivity and performance.