I know I am biased (we deliver face to face workshops) but I am a bit fed up of being told e learning is the way to go. It is true that online training is more readily available and perhaps more convenient and cheap, but we are all involved so much with technology, looking endlessly at screens, email, text, Facebook, utube etc. we are in danger of losing all our ability to communicate, empathise and connect. Because of this I think it’s more important than ever that business invest in face-to-face workshops for their people and train them in being human! Below are 7 reasons why its time to save a significant part of your budget for face-to-face workshops.
1.Connecting and networking
This is a key aspect; networking is almost like the bread and butter of business. Although e-learning courses do have networking potential via chat rooms, messages and emails; it simply is not as effective as having a real life human interaction with another person where you exchange handshakes and conversation. This method is more significant and is a huge bonus, which you can get from face-to-face training.
2.Engagement and Focus
E-learning is essentially just watching a video stream, playback or reading texts, presentations and such, the nature of it allows many distractions to easily affect the user unless self-discipline and focus is implemented and reinforced to ensure the learner is paying full attention at all times
Many people using e-learning will end up subconsciously ‘multi-tasking’ because they will be doing something else while doing the course and it affects what they actually gain from the e-course. Come on admit it you have all done it one eye on the screen the other probably on another screen!
With good quality face-to-training, participants are immersed in the learning, engaged in the activities and inspired by the trainer, and humans want to be involved and challenged and before you say gamification its still a lone activity.
3.Relevant and customised
Courses that operate face-to-face have the amazing option to be adapted to the learner’s needs when needed where as e-learning simply just offers set options. I am always able to adapt on the day and make sure learners get something that is relevant to them. They are involved in the learning rather than ticking boxes and doing something that everyone else is doing. Of course if you need people to cover something quickly and it’s a process or compliance issue then e learning is perfect, but soft skills such as communication, empathy, self-awareness and relationship building, no way sorry I don’t buy it.
An important factor we forget about e learning is the sheer importance of human interaction as mentioned before. A lot of great things can come by being in a room with other people wanting to learn, such as detailed discussions and debates regarding subject topics where participants can learn from other people and take in viewpoints that haven’t considered, research says we can learn up to 83% from fellow participants. It is easier to interact and meet new people from inside or outside of work when you have a common ground.
Have you ever heard someone say they had a light bulb moment from e learning? The chances are not, yet I have lost count of the many times this has happened on our face-to-face workshops, life changing moments that stick forever. Emotion, making mistakes, laughter and sharing are what really learning is all about and all of that only happens face to face.
To conclude, these were just some points as to why face-to-face training has many clear advantages over e-learning but e-learning has its place don’t get me wrong but please don’t tell me it’s the only way to learn or it’s the best way to learn lets not be cheap or lazy and give employees what is right for the learning and them.