'In-person' vs. online training - which works best?

There has been a big growth in recent years in online training and with good reason. The flexibility it offers is huge, both in terms of the breadth of subjects available (from foreign languages, to social media skills to computer skills and lots more) and also in terms of being able to study when and where it suits you.

Online learning requires a high degree of self-discipline, good time management and an ability to turn a blind eye to distractions.  It's not for everyone.

There are many circumstances in which face-to-face training works best and for a lot of people it will always be the best way to learn.

Here are three reasons why in-person training can be more effective.

You're committing your day

When making a booking onto a training course you are making a commitment of cost and time. You're committing to be at a set location, at a specific time and date with the expectation that you'll leave that room at the end of the day having consumed 7 or so hours of knowledge/training on the subject area. You know that the trainer will have set a structure and pace to ensure you get through the material in the allocated time. There will be no distractions (no emails or text messages to or phone calls to respond to), you've made yourself available just to learn and the entire focus of the day will be just on the subject matter.  This can be a very different story with online training.

Get your questions answered when you need to

Aside from live online training (which is rarely 1:1 anyway), it's nigh on impossible to get your questions answered in real time with online training.  If you have a burning question about something that's being discussed, it's much more beneficial to get it answered 'in the moment'.  It means that the flow of learning is not disrupted and eliminates that burning frustration - that feeling when you don't quite get something but the online training has moved on ... it's just so annoying.  That feeling can stay with you to the point that you just switch off.  With in-person training you can just stick your hand up and ask.

A more dynamic learning environment

Let's face it, there will be far more interaction and more of a buzz in a room filled with people ready to learn than there would be with you sat at your kitchen table staring at your laptop - and for many, this energy makes for a more successful learning environment.  Learning in a room full of others will also give you a broader perspective on the subject area, because you'll be learning about other peoples unique challenges, experiences and results as well as the trainers'.  And then of course there are the networking opportunities...

Whilst we agree there's a place for online training, the feedback we receive from our clients time and time again proves to us that for many people, nothing beats getting away from the office and going to a learning environment where a highly experienced trainer will provide the structure, pace and knowledge needed in order to provide a solid understanding of the subject within the allocated timeframe.

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