Interview and article by David Peers, US Reporter
December 20, 2022
These past two years, technology has been essential as we navigated the pandemic and found a way to work remotely. Keeping in touch with friends and family through mobile apps, looking through social media, and meeting online with coworkers have all been made possible by incorporating technology into our daily lives. But what about skills development? What is the difference in results between in-person training and e-learning? A study suggests that while there is reduced stress around attending online training, it definitely comes with its disadvantages, such as:
Increase in online fatigue
Lack of engagement in virtual classrooms
Certain subjects are hard to accommodate online
Interruptions due to external factors (family, technology, weather etc.)
On the contrary, below are the top 3 advantages of in-person training that should be considered while learning a new skill.
In-person training encourages employees to interact with one another in real-time
Social learning and safe practice in the group with the instructor increases memorization and skill development exponentially. Experienced instructors are equipped to put their audience at ease and help them navigate through the most uncomfortable practical exercises without feeling discouraged or judged by their group. In-person training also allows us to see an immediate response and the results of the participants. If one subject is easily understood while another proves challenging for employees, instructors can instantly adapt and provide additional examples to make sure the material is well understood. This versatility enables employees to learn more at the same time and minimize confusion.
In-person training strengthens workplace relationships
Online training is beneficial in various ways, but it may be an isolating experience. In-person training allows employees to cooperate and communicate throughout the process. It encourages them to build workplace relationships and get to know one another better on the human level. While discussing the problems at hand and learning from coworkers’ expertise, employees get inspired and come up with more creative solutions for the business. When it comes to establishing relationships, nothing beats time spent together, and it is a terrific method to simultaneously strengthen team spirit and boost staff skills. In-person learning provides a safe space for participants to ask questions and receive answers immediately, maintaining confidentiality and allowing employees to sort out their problems professionally under the instructors’ guidance.
In-person training keeps employees engaged and collaborative
While online learning can benefit some people, it can also be problematic for others, especially if the topic does not appeal to some employees. When conducting online training alone, it’s easy to lose focus, get distracted and skip some content. People tend to multitask throughout online training sessions, whether intentionally or unconsciously. On the other hand, in-person training can be made fun, enjoyable and interactive. Physical involvement and interaction are still the most effective methods of learning. There is much to be claimed for in-person learning, which results in higher productivity, engagement and satisfaction.
Olia, what is the best approach when companies are looking to upskill their workforce? Both in-person and online training have plenty of advantages and disadvantages, and both will deliver results if you have skilled instructors behind the program you select. The question really comes down to: “What will you prioritize? Saving some money and going with online learning or maximizing the results by offering in-person training?” As of right now, our data still shows that in-person training is in higher demand. The power of collaboration and the long-term impact of making real connections is often underrated. It’s easy to think that connecting with someone online is as good as meeting in real life, but the truth is that for most of us, we get a better sense of someone when we speak face to face and can feel the energy in the room.
Do you think your recommendation might change in the nearest future? I’ll start with a quote from Peter Drucker: “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; It is to act with yesterday’s logic.” All that to say, with all new technologies such as AI, AR and VR that are being developed and launched by the major players on the market, I won’t be surprised if we will be enabled to achieve greater results remotely just within the next few years. Remember what happened with the Internet? Now, as it is widely available, the tools above will be adopted quickly. And with the recent pandemic situation that is followed by Russia-Ukraine War, it is only accelerating as we speak.
How do you and your team plan to stay on top of the adult education game with all challenges around? We still stay strong behind our mission and values that we won’t change. We exist to maximize the value of learning in peoples’ environments while helping them to find their true calling and peace in all areas of their lives. Our vision is not to compete with our competitors in any way and, instead, to use all our energy for evolving our practices and methods while working together with multiple experts around the World. We constantly analyze data and conduct research around adult education and new technologies to be able to respond to it immediately. We plan to stick to it in the future and bring those learnings into everything we do.
Conclusion With today’s corporate global shift at what appears to be breakneck speed, it’s easy to underestimate the power and necessity of face-to-face communication. Online training does not provide the one-on-one attention yet that in-person training offers. That’s why in-person communication is essential for increasing engagement between leaders and teams and should be part of every internal communications strategy. In-person learning facilitates teamwork and learning from other participants. It also enables collaborative issue-solving and, most importantly, networking. Employees meet like-minded people with common interests who can help them further their learning path. If there is a major behaviour change campaign, it is beneficial for the instructor to come in and address the audience to support with detailed and accurate change management practices. Connecting the learning objective to an inspirational activity is a helpful strategy to ensure that the learners remember the important message, whether it is about improving teamwork, environmental challenges, or fostering cultural awareness within the organization.