NSCA Foundation

The big face-to-face versus online training debate

Kineo Australia

By Sally Danbury, Kineo
Friday, 15 March, 2019

The big face-to-face versus online training debate

Since the eighties, the knowledge economy has grown exponentially, generating high-skilled jobs and public access to the internet, as well as influencing the way we process information. With resources available from anywhere and at any time, the growth of online learning has been rapid and continues to boom.

Online training is widely used as the chosen workplace training medium. Digitisation and Personalisation have positively impacted the learner experience, along with the introduction of intuitive tools that provide data-driven analysis for evaluating learning outcomes. We know that e-learning is comparatively cheaper than face-to-face training, also presenting more flexibility to the learner.

The best of breed online courses are rich, immersive and effective learning experiences.

Is an exclusive online training experience the best approach for our workplace training?

Face-to-face or classroom-style learning works better with some topics as not all are compatible with an exclusively online environment. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each training style to determine what is best.

E-learning pros

Courses are accessed online. Learners can take a course from the workplace or from the comfort of their home and learn at their own pace with 24/7 access, which is not possible with traditional classroom structures. Many courses are now also mobile enabled and combine text, graphics and video to create a unique learning experience. The learning can reach many individuals and is consistent — everybody receives the same content. In addition, intuitive analytics tools can predict current and future learning gaps, recommendations for extending that learning as well as standard completion rates and pass marks. Credentialing is a hot topic in the e-learning space and can validate the course quality, providing recognition of that learning and endorsement from professional industry bodies.

Cons of online learning

E-learning isolates the individual from their peers as there is no face-to-face interaction or a mentor at hand. This can reduce the overall value of taking the course. It also requires more self-motivation and time management skills.

If technical connection issues occur, then accessing the online learning resources can become difficult. Where there is no accreditation, the quality of the course content can come into question. There is a strong potential of additional work required and a lack of transformational power.

Pros of face-to-face training

Individuals can exchange ideas and questions with one another providing another valuable learning medium that online environments cannot replicate. Direct interaction with the educator is also highly beneficial. In particular, this mode of learning is highly suited to a young audience yet to join the workforce.

Cons of face-to-face training

A classroom setting can stifle learning by allowing dominant personalities to take over the discussion environments. Quieter individuals become limited in their communication options for exchanging ideas and information.

So, what is best?

There are both advantages and disadvantages to all types of learning environments. A combination of online and classroom learning to convey subject matter individuals will be the best training approach.

Learning also depends on the individual’s motivation and the impact of these immersions comes down to the effort the individual puts in to their professional development that transcends the overall experience.

Kineo has a wide range of professional training courses and the only provider to have endorsement by the NSCA Foundation. Look out for added value benefits with NSCA Foundation digital credentialing coming soon to these courses. The most popular courses cover workplace safety:

  • Bullying and Harassment for Employees
  • Work Health and Safety Fundamentals
  • General Evacuation Training
  • Identifying, Reporting and Responding to the Abuse of Older People in Care
  • Basic Life Support
  • Equal Employment Opportunity for Employees
  • Manual Tasks for Workers
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Manual Handling
  • Manual Tasks in Aged Care

As a City & Guilds Group business, Kineo is part of a powerful global group, leading the way in skills development, technology and credentialing. However, Kineo couldn’t do what it does without the help of great relationships — with its customers and partners like the NSCA Foundation.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Tierney

NSCA Foundation is a member based, non-profit organisation working together with members to improve workplace health and safety throughout Australia. For more information and membership details click here
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