Online training and e-learning have become increasingly popular over the past decade. There are a number of advantages when it comes to technology-based training but do they really overshadow the advantages of traditional, classroom-based training?
Traditional classroom training has been and will continue to be the foundation for workforce development. The advantages to the traditional learning setting provide extra value to any training experience. Here are the advantages of classroom-based training:
1. Less Distraction
Online training and e-learning methods are designed to be quick, easy, and convenient, but does that still hold true in practice? For many employees, e-learning is something that they can fit into their work day but what happens when the training is interrupted by a call or a coworker’s small talk? People become easily distracted with e-learning.
According to a study published by The Journal of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), a number of students they surveyed reported that non-learning applications of the technology they were using, distracted them from learning.
Traditional classroom training is designed to have the learners engaged with the curriculum with minimum distractions. This type of training forces learners to flex their focus and pay attention to the topic at hand without e-mails and coworkers distracting them.
2. Human Elements
The human element also plays a role in the way that learning material is absorbed.
This notion that adult learners utilize their emotions in order to obtain and retain information and knowledge is important to the learning experience.
If an employee is going through online training, they may be missing out on some of the human behaviors that invoke emotions connected to learning. For example, a standard online video course may be over-produced and lack a tone of voice that truly conveys the message of the material. When going through classroom-based training, the learner has cues from the trainer to use when trying to recall the information at a later date.
3. Group Interaction
Group interaction is a clear advantage to traditional training methods. When putting an employee through supervisory training, for instance, that employee has the opportunity to interact and share stories and lessons with other like-professionals. These conversations may not only lead to a discovery that improves their supervisory skills but their general interpersonal skills as well.
The Gestalt International Study Center notes that “students consistently highlight the centrality of the teacher’s presence and interpersonal skills for their engagement in learning.”
The learners are not only developing their own interpersonal skills while in classroom-based training but they are relying on the interpersonal skills of the trainer for their engagement in the material as well.
Be sure to consider these advantages when evaluating training options for your organization.