Face-to-Face Training versus eLearning Courses

Are you thinking of swapping your face to face training to an eLearning course?

Perhaps because it is more cost effective, easier to deliver or because it means people in different locations get the same training?

If so, take a moment to ask yourself;

Is it possible to convert ALL existing training material into an eLearning course?

The answer is, yes… and no.

People learn by practising what they have been taught and some argue that can’t be done in front of a computer. Of course, we disagree.

Technology has advanced a lot over the years (stating the obvious!) One additional way learners today can practice their skills in an online eLearning course is through simulations, completing activities that create realistic, on-the-job experiences.

However, there are conversations, connections, and commitments that can’t be recreated via technology.

But with a good management team, and a well thought out training programme, including 1-2-1’s or group sessions for example, those elements can still be achieved alongside an eLearning course.

“There are advantages to both modes of delivery, and as training organisers, it’s our job to identify the best, most sustainable way to pass on information so that it sticks”.

So where does the journey begin when adopting online training as a tool to complement and reduce the hassle and cost of face to face training?

Step 1: Identify the must-have content

Creating an eLearning course from content that has been delivered face to face isn’t as easy as cutting and pasting from one file into another.

An 8-hour workshop doesn’t transform into a 15-minute online module. The first step is to identify the “must have” content. What must the learners understand after they’ve completed your course?

Use this information to identify the learning objectives and move to step two.

Step 2: Determine the structure

Can the content fit into one module? Or, maybe this is a series of eLearning modules that build on one another? Will everything be covered online, or do some components need to be covered in-person?

(Hint: this is where you can utilise blended learning to ensure learners benefit from the best bits of all training methods available.)

Identify the structure you’ll be using, look for ways to make the learning come alive, and move to step three.

Step 3: Get “buy in” from others

We all know learners get attached to “how it’s always been done.” To avoid a rebellion, make sure you get buy in from key people or groups when transitioning face to face learning content to a new, eLearning format.

If you don’t get support from others, your transition won’t succeed and you’ll be back at square one.

Demonstrate that you have the right content, that it’s going to be delivered in the most effective way possible, and you’ll be able to engage advocates that will help make the transition easier.

Once your advocates are on board, move to step four.

Step 4: Communicate about the transition

Learners who have been around for a while may be resistant to the new way of learning.

That’s why you must be open and communicate about the transition. Be sure to do so early in the process, learners who are resistant to the change will need time to ask questions and adapt.

Use your advocates from Step 3 as part of your communication plan, ask them to emphasise how delivering the content via eLearning is a win for the organisation.

Regardless of whether you’re delivering the content face to face or via eLearning, remain committed to creating engaging, sustainable, and results-based learning material and you’re on your way to a successful course.

To discuss your learning management further, give us a call on 01325 734 885 today. We can talk through a variety of options with you, from purely online learning to a blended approach, how to choose and brand your LMS, and whether an Off The Shelf eLearning course or custom content tailored to your organisation will suit your needs and your budget best.

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