Ninja Excel BlogTraining for CompaniesIn-person versus online training: What you should know

In-person versus online training: What you should know

A person doing in-person training in a library and connects through a computer for online training

Nobody has the philosopher's stone when it comes to training modalities. In-person and online training are two useful training modalities for any organization. As we have already mentioned, It all depends on the type of company, the age and education of the workers and their approach to technologies.

Although online training methods exploded due to the pandemic, the return of in-person activities has been the initial reason to return to in-person training.

According to a survey by the Gensle Research Institute conducted in Mexico in 2022, 54% of respondents would return to face-to-face activities to improve their professional development. Although in-person training is valuable for the employee, in terms of live interaction or the improvement of interpersonal relationships, Online training is cheaper, faster and easier to implement in logistical terms. 

When you have prepared the Detection of Training Needs (DNC) or the Annual Training Plan, Which method is the most accurate for your organization? Which modality best responds to the needs of your company? 

If you are in the middle of some of these processes and need to decide the best training method, you are in the right place. In the next Ninja Excel article, we will talk about in-person and online training methods. In addition, we will describe its characteristics, advantages and disadvantages and how to choose the most suitable one for your team. 

What is in-person training?: definition   

In-person training is in-person teaching. In this modality, the trainer, teacher or presenter is in the same place as the students. It is described as the most “traditional” method, since it is carried out in a room or auditorium, at a set time. Generally, there is no record of the event. 

Characteristics of in-person training 

The characteristics that stand out from doing in-person training are the following: 

  • Live interaction: Students and trainer can interact in person and ask questions in real time.
  • Non-verbal communication: Students can read the trainer's facial expressions and body language to better understand the content.
  • Synchronous learning: Learning at the same time and in the same place.
  • Personalization: The trainer can adapt the training in real time to meet the specific needs of the students. You will use ways to capture your attention, whether in the interaction, presentation or materials available. 
  • Group learning: Students can learn from their peers and work as a team. Strengthens interpersonal relationships between peers. 
  • Taught by the company or external: From ESAN they affirm that this training can be given in the company itself (in company). It can also be outside the company's facilities, from an external provider that provides the training service or at an outside location (a conference room will be rented for this). 

Advantages of doing in-person training 

exist many advantages to doing in-person training are the following

  • Improved participation and commitment: Students may feel more engaged and motivated to learn due to in-person interaction and individualized attention from the trainer. Additionally, they can discuss their different points of view. 
  • Personal connections: Students can make personal connections with their peers and the trainer, which can be helpful for professional development and network building.
  • Greater knowledge retention: Students can remember content better when taught in person and can ask questions and receive immediate feedback.
  • Appreciation: training is offered to help the worker, which is seen well by him to develop your skills
  • Networking: In-person training strengthens contact and knowledge networks between people from the same or different areas. 

Disadvantages of in-person training 

However, every modality also has its disadvantages. In this case, for face-to-face training the following happens: 

  • Expenses and costs: This modality is usually more expensive due to the costs of renting premises, travel, food or catering and even accommodation if it is in another city. For a large company with limited resources, it may not be the best option between less effort and greater reward. 
  • Time: The time spent on production (if it is not allocated to an external supplier), transportation to the location or even the training time itself.
  • Logistics: The preparation of the room, auditorium or premises, planning of those involved in the event and solution of unforeseen events (technical failures, for example) can affect the result of the training. 
  • Learning outcomes: Although the instance is the same for everyone, perhaps not all workers will be comfortable with this modality. Therefore, there may be dissimilar results in training.  

What is an online training method?: definition

The online, distance or virtual training method is teaching through a virtual platform. That is, the entire learning process, from access to the lessons, feedback, study material, and even help from a tutor, instructor or teacher, is done in a virtual environment. 

Also from Elucidation, is any “type of training that employees can complete through a laptop, tablet or smartphone.” 

Features of online training

Some characteristics of online or virtual training are the following. 

  • It can work in a E-Learning environment or through virtual video conferences through Zoom or Teams. 
  • Could be synchronous (if participants connect at the same time in a conference) or asynchronous (if users do it at the same time as they can). 
  • Users access content anytime, anywhere.
  • Content can be more easily updated and modified as needed. It may be due to the training provider's own academic offering or curriculum. It can also be based on the company's demand. 
  • It is scalable, since it impacts a large number of users at the same time. 

Advantages of online training

  • Savings in costs and time: May be more cost effective due to elimination of travel and accommodation costs. According to a study by consulting firm Brandon Hall, online training reduces the time workers spend on training by 40% to 60%. 
  • Flexibility: Adapt to the workers' times and be able to reconcile their professional and personal lives. They can access the training content anytime, anywhere. They only need a computer and an internet connection. It is also defined as an “asynchronous” modality for these same reasons. 
  • Reinforcement: In online training environments, there is an opportunity to review, memorize, reinforce, and even review certain parts of the training that you did not understand well.
  • Agility: There is a time saving in the lessons, especially if they are through short videos of 2 to 5 minutes. 
  • Stake: In online systems that have forums or group participation instances, it is advantageous to do training. 
  • Promotes autonomy: Students know the time and the goal to reach, which challenges them to be more autonomous in managing their learning routines. 
  • Control of progress: Online training methods, having everything integrated into one, also have environments where administrators see the employee's progress status. 

Disadvantages of online training

Some disadvantages that online training will entail would be: 

  • Little personalized: May be less personalized and adapted to the individual needs of participants.
  • Little motivation: The user can see that it is easier to do this training than in person. Therefore, you may underestimate doing this type of learning. 
  • Less effectiveness depending on skill: effective in teaching specific practical skills and techniques.
  • Self-discipline: Not having a routine or feeling little challenged in improving your skills or knowledge will make you underestimate this modality. 
  • Connection issues: The internet or the computer can affect the quality of the training.

How to decide between different training modalities? 

It is important to take into account a series of variables before deciding on one or another training method. How to do it? Here we leave a series of key ideas. 

  1. Do a skills gap analysis that exist in the organization.
  2. Identify the competencies and skills needed to meet the company's objectives.
  3. Obtain information on the situation of workers' skills and their main needs.
  4. Determine the target audiences and choose the most effective method, according to their knowledge, age or role within the company.
  5. Prepare a DNC that gathers all the background information to then prepare a Training Plan

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