Should Online Training Replace or Supplement Your In-Person Training?

Conner wrote a post recently about the training maturity matrix, discussing how online training can help to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your company’s training programs. It won’t surprise you to hear that the Lessonly team and I think online training is important, but that doesn’t always mean in-person training is bad. In fact, with some of our customers, we’ve seen a blend of online training software and in-person training lead to more successful training outcomes.

If you’re solely using in-person training to get the job done today, there are two paths you can take to integrate online learning and craft a more useful training program: replace or enhance.

Replace

If the amount of interaction needed between a trainer and learner is minimal and the uniqueness of the the training content from session to session is low, instructor-led training is likely a very inefficient to reach training goals. So, if your training involves you standing in front of a room of people and reciting your training materials from memory, with minimal learner-to-teacher interaction, switching to online training makes sense.

Making the switch completely to online training helps bring a consistency to your training and can lower the costs significantly. If you can answer yes to the statements below, consider making an adjustment to your program:

  • The people I need to train are distributed across the country (or world) and finding one single time to meet is difficult.
  • The content I train with is the same exact thing, every time, and there are hardly ever any questions or discussion from my learners.
  • I have to travel all over the place train people, and it’s not cheap to do so.

Enhance

Online training to enhance your current training program works slightly different than completely replacing your in-person training program, but it can still be just as effective. Using online training to cover the fundamental information that you need somebody to understand can make your in-person session much more productive and useful for your learners. Alternatively, using online training after in-person training can aid in comprehension and information retention. Remember, most of your in-person training is forgotten by the time your learners complete your lectures.

Another bonus: online training gives your learners a repository for their training materials, allowing them to review information weeks, months, or years after the training has occurred. Like before, if these statements apply to your situation, then enhancing your in-person training with online training likely makes sense:

  • There are often meaningful discussions around our training materials during the training time among co-workers and trainers.
  • It is not easy for my learners to access and get the most up-to-date training materials after we complete our initial training regimen. I’m afraid my efforts are going in one ear and out the other.

The bottom line is this: Online training can make your training programs more effective and more efficient. If you’ve found other benefits beyond what we’ve discussed here, make sure to add them in the comments below. Thanks!

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