When it comes to traditional versus online learning, there are many factors to take into consideration before you can determine what kind of program is the right fit for you or for your organization. With the proliferation of online training, particularly since the move to hybrid work, you may have experienced a wide spectrum in terms of online course quality and effectiveness. After all, the abrupt need for many organizations to transition to an online training program means there were often bumps along the way.
Fortunately, we can help you smooth out the turbulence and think critically about your training program and how it is - or isn’t - working for you.
There are many mistakes you should (and can) avoid with your learning program to ensure that everyone on your team is able to get the most out of the time they put into it.
Traditional learning happens in a specific location at a specific time. Make sure that your online training program isn’t tethered down unnecessarily by schedule and location requirements. After all, the best thing about online training is how accessible it is for all kinds of learners. Your team doesn't even necessarily need to leave the comfort of their own home to work on upskilling or safety compliance training. Whatever type of training you need to get done, online courses mean that the only thing you have to have is a computer and a reliable wifi signal.
This flexibility helps give people with disabilities, individuals with full-time jobs, parents, frequent travelers with unpredictable schedules, military personnel, and ESL learners access to their training whenever and wherever - regardless of whether or not they are an early bird or a night owl. By removing so many barriers to access with an online training program, you’re increasing the likelihood of timely course completion, while honoring your team’s needs in the process.
Outdated methods of tracking training by hand should be left in the past where they belong. By choosing a customizable online training system, you will instead have the ability to tailor your courses to meet the specific needs of your industry, keeping your team safe while also improving their performance. For instance, with the Vector LMS & Training Management platform, you can design new and custom activities for your various departments.
Such a bespoke system comes with powerful tracking capabilities that allow users to assess their progress, review areas where improvement is needed, and verify whether or not they are compliant with important safety and training requirements specific to your industry - no pad or pencil required.
The expense of having dedicated in-person instructors, physical training facilities, and travel costs can be a huge barrier to keeping your team up-to-date on training requirements. With a flexible online training program however, your company will eliminate the cost of traditional in-person instruction. Online learning also takes 40% to 60% less time than in-person training, considering that there is no time spent commuting through rush hour traffic. It may be more surprising to learn, however, that studies also show that online training actually allows learners to retain more information than traditional in-person training programs.
In fact, online learning raises retention rates by 25% to 60%. This is often because online learning opportunities provide people with a much greater degree of control over their own training speed, learning environment, and schedule.
We’ve all experienced a webinar or online training course where absolutely everything went wrong. Perhaps we’ve even hosted that webinar ourselves. At the end of the day, no matter how great the training materials are, if people are unable to reliably access an online course due to frequent technology failure issues, they will not be able to benefit from it. That’s why, when it comes to your training program, you need to ensure that your technology is up to snuff and that your team can depend on it to work the way they need it to when and where they need it.
One of the disadvantages of poorly authored online learning is that it can be less engaging than in-person coursework. Because online training is more likely to be one-on-one, it also requires more from the learner to put into it what they want to get out of it. That’s why it is so important to design your training program to boost engagement.
Methods to help combat your team from nodding off during their online training include taking advantage of microlearning opportunities. When possible, you may wish to ensure that your training can be done in short bursts, so your team can get in and get out. Also, online training that utilizes powerful 3D animations is effective at retaining attention. And finally, by allowing your team to focus on upskilling opportunities that they are passionate about, they are far less likely to find online learning to be a snooze - and, on top of that, by investing in your employees, your retention rates are much more likely to improve.
Ultimately, with a little effort and intentionality, you can set your learners up for success with their training. The flexibility of online learning makes it a perfect option for many organizations that are focused on upskilling and reskilling their employees, keeping them up-to-date and compliant with safety procedures and protocols, or simply allowing them to pursue learning and development opportunities that are important to them.
For us, it starts with investing in a great LMS that will ensure you are offering the high-quality, efficient, research-backed content your team needs to learn more conveniently and effectively. It’s time to find an LMS that will provide your team with a pathway to improve skills and core competencies while taking advantage of all that online training has to offer. Request a demo from Vector today.