When it comes to training new and existing employees, the majority of businesses either have the option to provide online or classroom based training. Here we will explain the pros and cons of each method to help you decide on the best way to deliver training to your employees.
Online training Pros
Online training gives employees the chance to learn at their own pace.
Online training allows for long-distance learning. This means that employees can carry out the training on their PC at home or work and save on the time and costs associated with travelling to a training centre.
Not only is it a cost effective and convenient option, but also beneficial in terms of allowing employees to progress at their own speeds. Employees that are quick learners will not have to wait for others to catch up or go over material they have already learnt.
Another benefit of online training is that it can lead to increased productivity. Employees may be able to complete some of their training at home or off-site so they can be more productive with their time in the work place.
Online training is also very easy to update. If there are changes in your industry, such as new regulations your employees need to know about, you can simply make changes to the training software from one location and roll it out nationwide.
Online training Cons
One of the downsides of online training is that it requires the use of technology that older employees may not be familiar with. If they have never used online training software before, they may find it hard to grasp.
Another downside is that although employees can work collaboratively using some online training programs, they still lack the interactivity and communication of a classroom setting.
Classroom training Pros
Classroom based training is great for getting your employees working together and sharing ideas.
Classroom learning environments provide the important ‘human touch’ that is often missing from online training. Learning in a classroom-type setting will allow employees to work together, share ideas and learn from each other, as well as from their trainer.
Another benefit of classroom training is that it teaches employees to work together in a cooperative way, which is essential in the workplace. It will also provide new staff with the opportunity to get to know each other, which will make them feel more comfortable in the work place.
Classroom training Cons
One of the negatives associated with classroom based training delivery is that not everyone is comfortable learning in this environment. Some people may feel that they are too shy to ask questions and express uncertainty in front of their peers.
Classroom training can also be a time consuming process. It’s important to remember that not everyone learns at the same speed, so this could either be particularly frustrating for fast learners who are being held back or hard for slower learners trying to keep up.
In terms of costs, classroom-based training is more expensive than online alternatives. Not only do you have to pay the trainer, but also hire out a training room and pay the travel expenses of your staff. The training will also have to take place during work hours, which will impact your productivity levels.
A final issue with classroom based training delivery is that if changes need to be made to the learning materials, it can be extremely time consuming and costly. As well as re-training the trainer, you will also need to re-write and re-print all of your course materials.
Hopefully our list of pros and cons for both online and classroom based training delivery has helped you to decide on the best option for your business. As you can see, both have their pros and cons, so there will always be a little compromise in your decision. What is worth noting is that many businesses are now choosing blended learning as their form of training delivery. This involves blending traditional classroom learning with online training software to provide a solution that meets the needs of all employees.
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