Understanding E-learnings and classroom training – which is better?

We would certainly be saying the truth if we articulate 2020 as an ‘unprecedented change’ that has affected us all. The reason behind that change was, no doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic, where institutions got shut and learning got affected in various ways.

Now, let us put this straight – post the hush hush created by this pandemic, organizations are beginning to retool. Basically, bridging the gap until the business comes to normalcy (definition might vary as according to different leaders). 

Formal classroom training remains number one, according to the LinkedIn survey report 2019, where 78% professionals stated that this is the only way people learn. But, times are changing – the mindset of seeing no other way and sticking with ‘what we have been doing’ can cause learning to get static.

People are now experiencing leaps – put E-learnings, instructors, PowerPoints, field trips, mobile trips, blended learning and development all into a learning washing machine. Turn it on, and reimagine! How fun is that!

Before we put up the differences between E-learning and classroom training, let’s get back to Clay Shirky’s Ted Talk – ‘Institution vs collaboration.’ How do groups get anything done right?

How do you organize a group of individuals so that the output of the group is something coherent and of lasting value, instead of just being chaos? A question that requires thinking, right?

Though the management remains responsible for making sure that everyone is trained and registered, missing spots occur when one is ill. One needs to balance trainer, classroom and operational availability.

Both the classroom trainings and E-learnings focus on three outcomes –

  • Reaction to the programs
  • Learning the intended knowledge, skills or attitude
  • On-the-job application of what’s being learnt

The adequacy of classroom and eLearning regularly turns into an issue of discussion. Would we be able to say most certainly which is more powerful? While one (classroom) offers continuous collaboration with a teacher, the other (eLearning) permits learning at one’s own speed in an adaptable way!

In such a case, how can you conclude which strategy you really want to embrace for successful and information communication to the learners?

Character of both modes

Talk about some ways, and you’ll find that live online lessons are similar to traditional face-to-face classes — here, a teacher presents information and interacts with a group of people in real time — but talk about differences, you’ll definitely find them. Let’s take time to explore them.

The primary fundamental contrast is in classroom ones – the executives. In an actual classroom study, the instructor is allowed to move the students around, gathering them in various ways and spreading out the class such that it makes the exercises run as expected.

So, basically in classroom training, there is always somebody who is there to motivate and assess the learner’s performance. As compared to e-learning where one has to be self-disciplined and effectively driven to take full advantage of the course.

Requirements in training (agility)

With online courses, learners have access to learning materials such as module contents, assignments, lecture materials, podcasts and recorded sessions anytime during the course of their studies.

With Classroom Learning, a safety professional needs to be present at a physical location to speak with tutors face to face, during assigned hours. This can be limiting, especially for working professionals.

Cost benefits

Coming to the money saving advantages, different reports show eLearning as more savvy than classroom ones. Corporates save around 50% to 70% on preparing, when they supplant educator driven preparations with eLearning, because of decreased or wiped out movement expenses and more designated preparing (IOMA 2002).

Not at all like classroom training that requires the presence of mentors every single time the course should be conveyed, eLearning can be grown once and used on various occasions for the necessities.

Besides, it is presently extremely simple to foster an eLearning course in fast time following the approach of composing devices (a brief course can be created in around 3 month of time).

Chasing learner’s progress

It’s hard to read the room when you’re not in an actual room. Is your pace too fast or slow? Is anyone still confused about a concept? The process of assessing learners’ progress in the classroom consumes huge time and manpower. On the other hand, eLearning courses can be delivered on (LMSs), a software platform, for tracking and monitoring learners’ progress automatically in the course in an efficient manner.

The new reality does not mean a complete shift in delivery methodology or compromise in learning quality; it is an opportunity to redesign and recreate learning experiences that are both flexible and sustainable.

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