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eLearning is better than classroom training!

Ok…I’m just being sarcastic. eLearning is actually just different than classroom training. They both have their pros and cons. I want to list a few areas that are positive “pros” for eLearning.

At times you need to train people that are dispersed geographically. They may be in various buildings or working from home. You could send a trainer out to each area or you could have participants come to a central location. There would be considerable travel and time involved.
Online training could help. There would be no need for travel and each participant could save quite a bit of time and take the training in the office/home.

Trainer Resources and Scale
There are times when you have a big system roll-out or maybe even a company merger situation. When large roll-outs occur, do you have enough training resources? Do you have enough time to put a lot of participants through a classroom experience? Do you have trainers who are up-to-speed on the content?
In these situations online training may be able to supplement and/or replace classroom instruction. Online training could help take the load off classroom crowding. These courses can also go out to many users at the same time.

There are certain courses that seem to always be changing. The system is constantly being updated, the policies keep changing, and the product details are a moving target. How will these changes be handled? How will you update material? How will the trainers get the new knowledge? Will you need to retrain those who previously attended the course?
Online content can be changed once from one location. There is no need to get trainers up-to-speed and no need to reprint materials. You could also quickly create a “recent changes” course to send out to previous attendees.

Training facilities are expensive. You may need computer labs, projectors, space, whiteboards, supplies, admins, and more. You also many need multiple building locations.
With online content the user just needs a computer. Now to be fair, there are some eLearning costs that we could consider as “facility”. For example, you need development software and possibly at learning management system (LMS) to launch and track the courses.

There are amazing trainers in the world but they each have their own way to training and they don’t say the exact same this each time. Even trainers from the same company may be teaching different topics. Consistency is a concern with classroom content. If your content must be the same each time, then eLearning is a good choice. The course content and delivery is exactly the same each time.
Does the content and delivery need to be the same each time? Does the content need to be customized for different audiences?

Learning Styles
People learn in many different ways. Some like reading, others listening, and others watching. An online course can offer many different ways of learning. Images, audio, text, animation, case studies, games, etc. can engage learners.

As I said at the beginning of this post, classroom and online training both have their pros and cons. Some content seems to lend itself more towards one or the other. Do your research and choose the method that is best for your project/organization. (or maybe even use both)

What other benefits can you think of? Leave a comment.

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