Online training is not one thing.
Just as with face-to-face training there are many different ways in which it can be delivered and with continual improvements in technology, training provider provision and client engagement, online training has come of age.
Online training can work exceptionally well when blended with offline learning too – whether that’s by research, support and mentoring, or through qualification process such as an ILM Award in Leadership and Management.
So how do you choose the right online training delivery for your people and your teams?
Here’s our pros and cons guide to online training to help you choose the right platforms for your team.
Open courses delivered online
Open courses delivered online can provide excellent learning, especially as they can deliver to small groups or individuals from your team at a time. They tend to be ‘live’ events with at least one trainer leading the course.
Online open courses are easy to join and most professional training providers will be adept at delivering interactively, ensuring that their platforms and timings ensure a comfortable and varied session.
Many open courses use a variety of presentation, electronic flipchart, private analysis and even online breakout rooms to ensure that the value of exchanging thoughts and challenges is reaped.
Some, such as our own, will have a physical training pack sent in the post to the delegates’ chosen addresses and will adhere to strict timekeeping to keep planning and other commitments easy.
In-house or private courses delivered online
Delivering your in-house training online is a great thing to do if your delegates live and/or work in different geographical locations. Again these are live events delivered by your trainer.
Being able to do the same training course and discuss challenges collaboratively without the cost and hassle of travel is very appealing.
It also makes organising dates much easier – the bane of the training manager!
Video-based presentation training
Time is always tight – especially if the people you are training are key – such as managers, salespeople or professional fee earners.
Delivering online training via video means that learners can log in and do the training whenever suits them.
It also means that shift workers can do the same training as their colleagues over the same period of time.
However, take up and engagement can be low. If there’s nothing other than videos, they’re easy to skip or to watch without due attention.
Video-based online learning is best done when accompanied with a tangible output like a piece of analysis, some follow-up coaching or a qualification process.
Online qualifications can be done in two distinct ways although there are a number of variations.
Firstly where the learning is first done through the attendance of online training courses. Or where the learning is done by online video presentation training which can be re-watched.
The assessment is usually done online too. Some providers, such as Impellus, will provide each learner with a dedicated assessor who will take each delegate through the learning process to qualification.
These provide highly flexible and interactive qualifications and fit very well around the everyday pressures of busy people.
Blended online training
Online training can work well as part of a formal learning process.
There is great value in getting people together and allowing them to meet and interact. But you don’t need to do this for every training interaction.
Using online training to deliver certain elements of a programme gives a great mix, makes planning easier and slashes training costs without detracting from the value of the training in any way.
Facilitated online learning
This is a great way to get your team focusing on real issues and sharing ideas without the need for being in the same place.
Using the premise of facilitated training or by using models such as Myers Briggs Type Indicators and team analyses, subjects such as ‘how can we work better as a senior management team, or ‘how do we collectively seek to improve our sales margins’ can be addressed.
Great online training providers will use tools such as pre-course analysis, in-training breakout rooms, and online flipcharts to record the output from the training.
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