When you compare online learning vs face-to-face training, it’s clear that the future is blended
Then: It was predicted that online shopping will take charge in the future and gradually all physical stores will die. eCommerce will kill shopping malls!
Now: Shopping malls have grown in number and strength. Real estate agents operating in US markets confirm that the demand for retail real estate is at an all-time high. Retailers are using technology to provide better shopping experience to the shoppers.
Then: Office towers will be redundant as people will prefer working remotely.
Now: Employees utilize innovative technologies for working remotely as well as from office locations.
In both cases, technology has not wiped out the offline experience. Instead, it has enhanced it with a blended approach.
This applies to learning too. When you compare online learning vs face-to-face training, online has numerous benefits, but it will never completely replace the face-to-face experience.
Online Learning vs Face-to-Face Training: Blended learning is the future
Blended learning is a method of learning that combines web-based technology with instructor-led training to accomplish a learning objective. The future of learning lies in blending the best of both the worlds: online learning and face-to-face classroom learning.
Rather than simply comparing online learning vs face-to-face training, aim for blended learning that compliments offline courseware with the use of technology, instead of one form replacing the other.
Online learning offers advantages like:
Cost: online learning may require an initial investment, but in the long run, it turns out to be cheaper than traditional face-to-face learning.
Convenience: online learning can be accessed by the learner irrespective of time zone and location. Most courses are device agnostic, too.
Game element: it is easier to insert game elements into online learning. Gamification ensures better engagement and knowledge retention in learners.
Face-to-face training provides benefits like:
Personal experience: Not all skills can be learned online. There are certain skills that you need to learn by doing it yourself with the help of the instructor. A teacher-student interaction can be more fulfilling face-to-face.
Networking: In spite of all the video conferencing options available, you need to meet your peers and instructors in person if you want a richer relationship.
A large body of material: When a large body of material needs to be presented, then face-to-face sessions are the most effective.
Greater Engagement: it’s much easier to keep an attendee’s attention when they’re there in the room with the trainer plus it’s much easier for the trainer to see if someone is drifting off or falling behind.
Online Learning vs Face-to-Face Training: ways to use a blended learning approach that benefits your learners
- Prior to the course, use online pre-course questionnaires to gather information about what’s important to your learners.
- You can ask the learners to come to the class prepared after watching a video or completing a pre-work assessment online. Online pre-work can help save money on stationery. It also makes tracking easier.
- At the end of the course, ask your learners to take the assessments online. This way, you can automate the scoring system and track the reports better.
- Use online systems and forums where the learners can interact with their peers and instructors and post any queries they have in mind. This can occur even beyond the classroom training hours.
- During the training session, provide learners with online access to course materials that they can interact with and add their own notes to. As the session proceeds, add content to this repository e.g. answers to case studies, photos of the group, and the results of brain-storming sessions.
- After the face-to-face session, make the study materials and workbooks available online, so that the learners can revise what they have learned. Online availability helps the learner visit the concepts at the time of need.
- Provide online aids for the learner that help them do their work better. You may also want to provide them with a list of subject matter experts, through an online directory, who can answer their queries if they get stuck at any point.
A blended approach works wonders because it successfully combines the support of classroom training methods with the flexibility of online learning.
You no longer need to decide between online learning vs face-to-face training. With the enhanced use of technology in the classroom, modern learners and trainers benefit from both. To find out more about the future of training using the blended learning approach click here.