Online training is otherwise known as e-learning. Unlike in-person training, the former can be affordable, making it a great alternative to classroom training. How about a checkup of their outcomes? For an in-depth look at the pros and cons of classroom training vs. online training keep reading.
Online training and e-learning are synonymous with each other. These closely associated phrases can be used interchangeably as they mean one and the same thing –i.e., an alternative mode of learning. Just like conventional classroom training programs, online training has proved to be highly effective over the past decade.
Did you know? Together,the US and Europe account for over 70% of the global eLearning industry. But the fastest growing market is Asia Pacific as eLearning percentages are growing at an annual rate of 20% every year here. The growth rate of self-paced eLearning is almost 50% in populous Asian countries like India, China and Malaysia.
Being instructor-led, online trainings are said to be 100% successful only when fixed set of conditions are met.
The transition from classroom to virtual learning space can be called a ‘one-for-one’ trade.When an eLearning course is designed (especially a course that caters to job seekers in the IT sector), it needs to be exactly designed like a traditional instructor-led training course. So, you may settle for the fact that eLearning shares several common features with classroom training, but it boasts of its numerous unique attributes as well. As a result, an online training can acquire a 100% success rate only if the following criteria are met.
- The course content is appropriate for online delivery and teaching.
- The curriculum is curated and designed well (which means there are relevant contexts, challenges, activities, assignments and projects followed by a proper feedback session) just as in a classroom program.
- The communication plan in place is super solid.
- The lessons follow a ‘WIIFM’ (What’s In It For Me?) approach.
- Instructor or expert level supervisory support is available to support this e-learning course environment.
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All is said and done, which one among the two is a better mode of instruction?
Advances in technology have honestly made video training highly accessible and affordable, yet live training always renders a more personal feel. But the effectiveness of classroom training still remains questionable.
In this blog post we have tried to unravel some research-based facts and industry statistics to help you come to your conclusion. But before drawing any conclusions, it is crucial to keep your career goals and core business interests, in mind.
Whether it is online coaching or it is classroom training, the answer is for you to decide. One size does not fit all – do you agree? Be it outdoor, indoor, online or classroom (virtual),every single training approach comes with its own share of strengths and weaknesses.
Differences do exist between both training methods. In order to help you and other new professionals in the eLearning industry get started, we have enlisted below some useful features regarding online learning:
- Live session streaming - Online training are generally live as they offer a flexible and cost-effective alternative to classroom training. Almost all of them use Web conferencing platforms to broadcast messages at a stipulated time period to a sizable population segment. For example: A CEO goes on air to announce the on boarding of a new executive or an HR director communicates revamped employee benefit programs through webcasts. That way, the training becomes easy to scale and distribute. The only rule being that every participant has to log in at the same time to access the session. Some sessions leave a recording after the event is over.Generally, a small-time slot and limited opportunity for interaction hinders long dialogues during the training. To solve this issue, participants are sometimes requested to join forums related to the training topic for detailed discussions later.
- Self-Paced learning methodology - On-demand online learning is offered through cloud-based software where trainers can feel free to upload content such as PPTs, documents and pdfs. Such multimedia courses allow participants to complete the training at their convenience. So, every end user can adjust the pace of the course by replaying sessions and retaking chapters on any hand-held device or computer, and online teaching is great to cover complex subject matters in the digital space.
- Affordability – Online training comes with inexpensive study resources and also deliver an ample amount of hands-on practice. They are generally followed by assignments, videos, quizzes, projects or tests that have a stringent time window. e-Learning is said to have increased knowledge retention by 25 to 60%, according to WR Hambrecht. No wonder that 73.6% of technology-delivered training comes through networked, online methods in Fortune 500 firms. These numbers were revealed only recently by workforce.com.
- Blended learning - Blended learning allows companies to derive the maximum juice of all worlds. It lets them incorporate physical, live Internet and on-demand training into a single power-packed curriculum.
- Adaptability–As a candidate you can identify certain features in the course that are highly relevant to your area of interest or work. You can always feel free to start, restart or revise a specific level. There is no need to skip chunks of subject matter and you can always skip sections that you know! That meansyou get to spend only quality time in your online training course without any restrictions or obligations like a classroom program.
- Hands on – Both online and in-person classes offer hands-on exercises.
- Convenience–As a student, you can access recorded videos and even study them offline! As a learner,you ultimately get to access valuable training content anytime, anywhere, with Internet connectivity. SO much of flexibility is impossible in a live training program.
- Cost – Students can contact multiple instructors and support teams as well as discuss concepts or doubts with huge forums of like-minded people from a similar domain rea. There are zero associated travel costs for both learners and instructors.
- Protected learning - Online training can be taken at ease from the comfort of your home or office without too many interruptions.Similarly, live training promote distraction-free sessions to help you absorb the concepts just as you would do in a classroom program.
Here are some interesting statistics on online training methodologies, which you should not miss:
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- Online training or eLearning is up to 25% quicker and shorter, as compared to traditional classroom training in the same subject.
- Video learning is highly popular among adults these days. Learners who undergo video based online training, always appreciate the availability of materials that are relevant to urgent job openings. A Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast predicts that by the year 2018, video will account for almost 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.
- In the year 2011 alone, 77% of American Corporations were using online learning programs.
- GIA revealed that in the $200 billion Corporate training industry, online training or eLearning represents $56.2 billion!
- Today the global eLearning market is over 15 years old!
- Instructor led online training is a highly popular teaching method among organizations. As a result, blended learning and eLearning have become industry buzzwords.
- A huge number of freshers and professionals across the globe today are depending on online learning mediums and eLearning technology.
- A recent study called the ‘Towards Maturity Benchmark Survey’ revealed that 72% of the companies said eLearning and mobile learning helped their business adapt more quickly to change.
- Today 4,600,00 college students are busy taking at least one of their classes online. These numbers are all set to surge up further by the end of 2017.
- According to the National Research Business Institute, 23% of employees leave organizations due to the lack of development opportunities and training facilities.
Were the above online training statistics surprising to you? Wait! We have packed some more spice below.
Online Training is A popular Training Delivery Methods Today
The facts and figures shown below will attest this point further.
- In the year 2014 alone 53% of training hours were delivered by instructor led online teaching settings across the globe.
- 15% of total training hours were delivered through virtual classrooms and webcast only where the instructor was sitting at a remote location.
- The year 2015 saw a sudden demand of eLearning and online coaching services.
Thus, online training is a highly popular mode of learning today. The compilation of statistics and facts above demonstrate as well as validate this thought. Besides, it is also a great way of spending leisure time, which we generally waste on driving up all the way to a training location!
Trainers across the globe unanimously agree that ‘webinar’is a highly effective way of communicating employment updates,new laws and other crucial HR topics. In case you attend such training in person in your college or at work, you may lose a half a day of work/studies plus waste driving time!Amazingly, in an online training, you simply need to go through a presentation or a video tutorial right from your work desk, which might last a few minutes or at the max a few straight hours. This kind of e-learning is further a great way to connect with the right trainers and (but geographically-dispersed) like-minded people through forum memberships. A majority of e-learning portals give you the opportunity to ask questions via chat and sometimes even on call. Some online IT training institutes have 24x7 support desks to cater to candidate queries around the clock! Amazing, isn’t it?
Yet, online training is best used when participants pick it themselves.
Food for thought
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Effective training implies a careful combination of both online and classroom components. The key is to figure out which topic works best in each format for you as a learner. In order to become successful in an online learning environment,you must understand all the distinctive characteristics of that particular Internet-based course to comprehend how it will impact you as a learner. The flexibility of this online course couples up automatically with a lot of self-scheduling and time management.
Online courses can be binary: as a participant, you either sink or swim. Industry experts have said that older students possessing some industry exposure, or having relevant internship or work experience are most likely to perform better in an online environment than high school students!
Keep all these factors on your mind and weigh every option possible, to stay on the right course. All the best!
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