When it comes to most training initiatives today, especially in a professional setting, elearning is often preferred because of the immense benefits of using it – particularly in that it is more cost effective.
There is a lot of hype around elearning today (arguably more than every before), so it is understandable that it is the first choice whenever training must occur.
Companies are quick to hire an outside consultant, or even purchase elearning software in-house, to create and distribute their training.
But is elearning always necessary? Truth is, it might not be.
ELearning Can Sometimes Have a Negative Impact
I have made a career with elearning, which is a large extent of my life these days. However, there was a time where I traveled across the country presenting training material in a live seminar setting. Sure, it cost more money for the client, but the truth is that the material itself was not fit for elearning.
While there aren’t any hard-set rules as to when it is best to use live training instead of elearning, there are some characteristics that you may want to keep an eye out for:
- Is the topic ultra-specific and complex? (If yes, go with Live)
- Is the target audience large in number? (If yes, go with ELearning)
- Is the training only needed once? (If yes, go with Live)
- Are there budget constraints? (If yes, go with ELearning)
- Are simulations necessary? (If yes, go with Live)
But what if you have a complex topic and the target audience is large in number, and perhaps even spread out geographically? Well, that’s when budget comes into the conversation. If the budget is there, a blended approach might in fact be the best option. Budget allowing, you can prep the audience with elearning and then deliver shorter one-day seminars which ultimately can decrease the travel expense.
Today we can accomplish quite a bit through elearning and mobile learning methods, but it isn’t any reason to not consider a more traditional approach to the training event. It might actually be more cost effective in the long-run, especially if the elearning does a poor job and there is a need for constant re-training.