Face-to-face training versus eLearning: Getting the balance right

Face-to-face training versus eLearning: Getting the balance right

Face-to-face training versus eLearning: Getting the balance right

On the surface, eLearning seems the perfect escape from the perils of face-to-face training sessions.

Farewell stale biscuits! Goodbye awkward role plays! Be gone stuffy training rooms, ill-prepared presenters and nonsensical team building activities!

But let’s not get too caught up in the hype. Employers must think carefully about what they’re hoping to achieve before signing up for an eLearning model as the ultimate solution – not just because of development costs, but also because of effectiveness.

As a starting point, employers should consider the desired learning outcomes – what knowledge or skills will learners acquire in the training? Next, decide upon the most effective learning model – will learners best acquire the knowledge through instruction, demonstration or participation in activities?

Consider the best delivery model – Face-to-face? Online? Self-guided workbooks? There are plenty of variables to consider.

Finally, consider the quality of the training.  Whether it be Face-to-face or Online the quality of training on offer varies dramatically.  Look for testimonials, examples, and references before committing to a provider. 

In many instances, learners may be best served by a combination of face-to-face and eLearning sessions. The social aspect of face-to-face learning enables participants to learn from each other – but it’s important to consider the prior knowledge or skill level of the group. Extra care should be taken when making a choice on training that involves leadership competencies, values and behavioral change where learning methodolgies typically include  interaction, sharing stories and  group discussion which cannot be achieved in an eLearning environment.  In contrast, if your participants are spread across a number of locations, a webinar series or eLearning modules might be a good way to maximise efficiency.

Think laterally to find the best delivery method for your desired learning outcomes.

In June iHR will launch a series of EEO, harassment and bullying online training modules.  These modules will set a new standard in online learning through the use of dramatic and powerful simulations of typical workplace situations using the latest 3D animation.