E-learning vs. face-to-face training: the ultimate challenge

Most trainers are quite skeptical about moving their face-to-face lessons to online training: in this article we will try to explain what are the perks of e-learning and why it represents the future of training.


We have already talked on this blog about digital natives and their different way to approach learning: getting unfocused very easily and needing different stimuli to keep their dopamine levels high. In the same article, we stated that the only way to overcome this “diversity” is to customize training methods and contents to reproduce the way people interact with digital tools in their everyday life.

Let’s now talk about “old-school” training: very long texts to read, one-way taught classes, long video-lessons to watch, endless multiple choices tests. Despite being very informative and complete content-wise, all these tools have one main feature in common: they are boring.

Do you remember the 9 seconds research with gold-fishes? How do you think a digital native would react when facing such unengaging contents? There is only one possible answer: getting distracted, wasting time, simply not learning.

That’s why you need to create interactive lessons that stimulates students to be engaged and focused on contents during the session: traditional methods are not an option anymore, if you want your learners to take something away from their training time.



Speaking about time: how time-consuming is moving people to a specific place, at a specific hour?

Every kind of organization nowadays has to train their employees about a number of procedures, just like therapists have to rehabilitate different kind of patients. Do they all need to be physically close to each other to do so? Sometimes they actually do, and we will talk about this in a future article.

However, most of the time it would be way most convenient to use long-distance training, especially when considering that these training sessions are often recurrent and need to be repeated over time with different contents or to different people.

What does it mean cost-wise? Switching to e-learning would save money in terms of cost, but more important in terms of time: allowing learners to study whenever and wherever they like would in fact reduce transportation and accommodation expenses, travelling and in-class time and valuable work hours missed, not to mention pollution reduction and helping the environment.



Taken all this perks for granted, when talking about e-learning, tracking issues are the elephant in the room: we can hear trainers complaining that following a student’s progress on a computer is not comparable to looking at him face-to-face. Well, we completely agree: it is in fact much better.

In order for a content to be really engaging, it needs to be structured in such a way that  it requires continuous interaction: tapping on the screen, selecting an item, answering a question and many other similar tricks force learners to stay focused. If they get distracted, the lesson simply does not go on.

Now think about one-way taught lessons: can you really prove that students kept their attention for the whole time? On the contrary, tracking methods in digital training can ensure trainers that at the end of the training period, all the learning contents have been delivered, but most important actually studied by each student. This is a key aspect especially when the aim of training is a certification: this way, the acquisition of the required competences can be shown not only by a final test or exam, but also by the entire learning process.


Of course, meeting the trainer is still an important step. However, when using e-learning this face-to-face phase of the process plays a new, more effective role. Would you like to know more?

Find out in our next article!


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