Online Learning versus Face to Face Learning
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Online learning versus face to face learning is an ongoing debate that's been taking place for years. Both seem to exist in organisations, but often in isolation and independently from each other. It's kind of an us and them sort of feeling where on one side of the fence is ONLINE and on the other is OFFLINE. They're not often the best of neighbours!
First of all I should point out that I LOVE face to face learning. You can't beat the personal touch, the social aspects and the discussions that take place. There is absolutely no replacement for Face to Face learning. But at times, online learning offers a range of benefits, usually around COST and TIME. And with more and more businesses taking advantage of and better tools to deliver Live Online Learning, the gap between on and offline has definitely narrowed. Online learning definitely has a place in our learning mix. But that's the key. It's part of the mix, not a replacement.
What are the FEARS organisations have with ONLINE learning?
A few months back, I needed to pitch LIVE ONLINE LEARNING to some people in our business as a sensible approach to a challenge we were facing. We had just over 100 people to train on a particular topic, spread nationally from Edinburgh to Plymouth and had just a four day window to do so. There really wasn't another option. Knowing what I know about live online learning, I couldn't really ignore this viable option. Ahead of putting this forward, I started having some informal conversations to test the water and see what people thought. I particularly focussed on the barriers and concerns that people had. After all, this was kind of a sales pitch I was doing so I needed to understand what objections I would face. There was a common theme in every conversation I had. It was a FEAR that live online learning would be seen as a replacement for face to face learning. For many reasons, that was certainly a perception that I wanted to quash straight away before it started.
Why does ONLINE learning add value to Face to Face learning?
I decided that I was going to reach out externally and get some external expertise on how best to help my organisation overcome these FEARS. DPG's Mike Collins kindly agreed to have a conversation with me on the subject and even more generously agreed for me to record the conversation, which I have since shared with some key people in our organisation. It was a great conversation where we discussed all sorts of aspects of live online learning. There was a particular snippet that was so powerful in communicating the message I wanted to share that not only emphasised that online learning should not be a replacement to face to face learning, but actually described how online learning actually adds value to face to face learning.
The result: I now have a level of awareness in our organisation that live online learning exists, it is a viable sensible option to use, but it should be used as part of a blended approach and not in isolation to other learning methods.
Would you have a listen and let me know what you think?
I did post the clip on here at the time, but it's been so popular I've recently added this onto my podcast channel. It's just a five minute clip.
Would you mind having a listen to it and letting me know what you think? You can listen in by clicking on the link below and clicking the play button
Here's the link: Why is online learning good news for Face to Face Training?