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Training Courses vs. e-Learning

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Training courses are a great way to improve the effectiveness of a company’s workforce, however, it can be difficult for managers to negotiate the various categories available. Some managers prefer employees to attend online training programs, as they consider e-learning an inexpensive alternative to classroom training.

But does it yield the same results?

A recent report by the U.S. Department of Education found that “classes with online learning on average produce stronger student learning outcomes than do classes with solely face-to-face instruction.” Is it possible to say the same thing for professional training?

Employees seem to prefer e-learning. They love the fact that they can access their online training courses anywhere, anytime. They don’t have to stay after hours in the office to complete mandatory training, or to be stuck at their desk if they want to learn more about a specific task or process. They can even access their training on-the-go by using their mobile devices.

Furthermore, a UNC Kenan-Flagler study points out a critical distinction between millennials and the older generations, which shows how the new tech-savvy generations are rising in the workforce. As a consequence, the reliance on eLearning tools is increasing commensurately.

On the other hand, although technology-based training is becoming increasingly popular, training experts agree that it will never completely replace classroom training. At present, an overwhelming number of companies continue to use classroom training alongside an increasing amount of technology-based training. Regular training courses offer a different approach, more personal and intimate, with a structured environment.

Moreover, for busy professionals, time management is often the biggest challenge in their professional development plan. Since the traditional classroom setting provides a schedule, it’s easier for professionals to integrate the training course into the daily routine.

E-Learning materials may be made accessible to the workforce throughout the day. This makes it possible for employees to learn the subject at their own pace and in comfortable settings. That’s true, but it’s also true that classroom training allows employees to attend lessons in a safe, quiet, clean environment, away from the noise and pressures of the work area.

Professionals are used to interact with colleagues and customers and they would prefer a “human touch”. A classroom environment allows for instant expression of opinions and thoughts with face-to-face interaction with classmates and the instructor

In conclusion, there is no right or wrong learning style. Knowledge and skills development is vital to the health of organisations. According to a recent Smarter Workforce study, IBM looked at best performing companies and worst performing companies to see if skills had a part to play in performance. The results we found are not surprising: 84% of employees in Best Performing Organizations are receiving the training they need

So, any choice you make needs to be the right one for your particular learning style and needs. You may even find yourself taking some courses in a traditional classroom setting, while tackling other subjects in an online format. Either way, it’s certainly nice to have these options and the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills.

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