In the course of researching Part 2 of our Events Training blog, we came across a piece which echoed much of which we already wanted to impart about the value of face-to-face training. So, with due acknowledgement to a base-article by the London Management Centre, here's our take on the value of our face-to-face events training.
Recently there has been a boom in the e-learning industry, primarily due to its accessibility, ease-of-use and ubiquitous technology. However, its credibility in terms of qualifications can often be a deal-breaker - where having an online degree from an unaccredited school is a sure way to get a resume discarded.
Networking forms the bread and butter of business. Although e-learning courses have networking potential via chat rooms, messages and emails, it simply isn't as effective as engagement through real-life human interaction. Networking not only encourages but demands interaction and as such it reflects the benefits implicit in face-to-face training.
2. Engagement and Focus
E-learning is essentially about passively absorbing a video stream, playback, presentation or text and as such, allows for many distractions to easily affect the user. Many e-learners subconsciously begin to ‘multi-task’ during the course (even if this amounts to simply tidying their desk or dusting their keyboard) which impacts negatively on their ability to gain from the e-course. With face-to-training, a class-room environment allows experienced Trainers to implement strategies which keep trainees involved and engaged to retain attention, leading to more effective outcomes from the training activity.
E-learning courses may often include embedded content which proves surplus to a Trainee's own needs. (Even at it's most simplistic level, how many YouTube instructional videos have you watched which contained irrelevant information?) Face-to-face training offers the perfect customisbale solution, as it can be almost instantly adapted to fulfill audience requirements and expectations. Thus, face-to-face training provides a more cost-effective option, despite its perceived expense.
An important factor we often overlook about e-learning is the sheer importance of human interaction. A lot of great things can come about by simple collaboration with like-minded co-trainees. Discussions and debates develop on topics where the learning process benefits from peer-group viewpoints. It's difficult to share and benefit from best-practices when you're e-learning in isolation.
5. Problem Solving
If something goes wrong or is misconstrued during e-learning (a misunderstood phrase, technical term or unintentional jargon for instance) it may prove difficult to find an immediate answer. Conversely, queries or issues which might arise during a face-to-face course can be quickly addressed by the simple raising of the hand - with the resultant insights and solutions often proving of deeper value through clarification from an experienced Trainer.
In conclusion . . .
We hope these 5 key points should enable you to draw your own conclusions. E-learning is here to stay and will continue to fulfil certain training needs - but an investment in face-to-face training provides in-depth and long-lasting experiental value which simply can't be matched by screen-based learning techniques.