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Online Learning VS In-person Training

Online Learning VS In-person Training: 6 Key Differences

By Alicia Beharry
Published on March 23, 2021

Over the last while, options in online learning have significantly increased. More than ever, people are choosing to further their education through eLearning. As long as online learners have an internet connection, they are able to learn from any location.

While in-person training is a traditional experience in an actual classroom setting, at a specific location. There are several differences between online learning and in-person training that organizations should know. We have broken down the differences to help you make a more informed decision based on your business.

1) In-Person Training Provides More Hands-On Experience

Learning in-person, working with instructors and other learners provides opportunities for greater interaction. When speaking to another person face-to-face it usually provides more clarity and understanding than communicating via text or email.

Live chats and other forms of online interaction may not offer the same level of human contact. Although eLearning has advanced tremendously in recent years, there are still many industries in which some in-person training is usually necessary. For example, various medical careers, such as nursing, would require in-person training. Industries that include technical training such as electrical or automotive work may also require more hands-on learning.

2) Online Training Offers Greater Flexibility

Online learning provides flexibility in many ways that normally are not available with traditional in-person learning. Online training is a great option for individuals that are working remotely or are unable to attend in-person seminars.

Even though online courses are structured, employees are able to finish their work according to their schedules. For example, if one module to a course needs to be completed each week, employees can finish the work at any day or time during that previous week. Online learners are able to log on throughout the day or even at night, from any location to complete their training.

3) In-Person Training Allows Employees to Learn at the Same Pace

In-person learning keeps each employee learning on the same schedule. If more than one person from the same company wants to be trained for a particular role, in-person training would typically be a good fit for that scenario.

Many learners can learn at the same pace online, but it could potentially be difficult to monitor several people’s timelines- who are working independently watching videos, completing their daily tasks etc at the same time. Generally, in-person training provides uniform structure and organization. 

4) Online Training Features More Program Variety

There are only so many seminars throughout the year employees will be able to attend due to dates, responsibilities, locations etc. With online training, employees will be able to participate in online courses and training programs at their convenience.

Online training programs are made available year-round, so the stress about where or when training will be taking place is eliminated. When enrolled in an online course, it doesn’t matter where your employees live and work. Employees that are in different geographic locations will still have access to the same training. 

5) In-Person Training Offers More Face-To-Face Interaction 

Learning in a traditional classroom setting allows learners to connect in real-time. In-person training allows more opportunities for interactive projects and group activities. Individuals who find that they learn successfully with a more hands-on approach will likely want to take as many in-person classes as possible.

Face-to-Face interaction also provides great networking opportunities. Live chats and other social online methods are useful, but some learners may miss the in-person connection. People absorb knowledge differently, so it is important to consider your employees learning styles

6) Online Training Is Often Less Expensive

It seems all types of education and training have increased in cost in recent years. However, there are several ways online training can save you money.

  •  Transportation Costs- The cost of gas and vehicle maintenance can add up when driving a couple times a week to training. Additionally, some trainees may have to spend on a public transportation pass or ride-sharing services, if they do not have access to a vehicle. 
  • Housing Costs- If a participant needs to stay in a specific city in order to complete their course or certification, this can often be very costly. Going out of town for a couple days to attend a seminar or conference can also often be expensive. 
  • Course Costs- In-person classes and training are typically more expensive due to the fact that operating buildings, parking lots, and maintaining staff in-person learning is generally more pricey than operating an online training program. 

Determine what works best for your employees’ schedules, learning needs and your budget. If your business’ team is geographically spread, or you are looking for an affordable training option, online learning might be best suited for your organization. 

Get in touch with a SkyPrep product specialist to determine how SkyPrep can help with your training needs.

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