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E-Learning – the future?

31 March 2015

.The coming of the internet age forced training providers to re-think their roles. Should all training be delivered digitally or is there still a place for direct interaction? Chris Power, divisional manager, Training, at 4see looks at the pros and cons of e-learning versus traditional classroom based courses.

For many companies, face to face or straightforward classroom training has been the long established and well rehearsed learning route. After all it has stood the test of time.

It has always allowed delegates from one company to get together for a day, learn something new or improve knowledge while sharing their knowledge of the organisation they work for. On open courses it has also allowed people from different companies and backgrounds to meet and share experiences while learning.

This is still, rightly, an incredibly popular way to learn. It allows interaction between delegates and trainers as well as providing opportunities for discussions on related topics or issues that learners experience in their own workplaces. What can begin as a training day often results in trainees discussing and finding solutions to problems that have often bedevilled them within their own organisations. A double win if you like.

At 4see we have many years experience in delivering both theoretical and practical training in environments that enhance and support the learning experience. So what is key?

You must have trainers who are vastly experienced – that is vital. The very best trainers will know how to get the best out of each learner so that the course is a positive experience.

The majority of courses can also be delivered as in house options with the venue and dates chosen by clients so that they can maximise the training experience and minimise business disruption. And what is equally important – keep costs down.

And it is those two issues - costs and time - that have largely driven the digital e-learning revolution. Many employers do not object to the cost of the training. But take into account also the loss of employees for the duration and the cost of attendance, including travel and accommodation, it is easy to see where the concerns lie.

This is a critical issue which highlights the benefits of online training. The learner can work through a course, one module at a time and at a pace to suit them. Each module has an end of course assessment which measures the knowledge they have absorbed from the training.

Some training naturally lends itself to this delivery better than others. One such area is DSE training and assessment where the individual receives the correct information and instruction to understand the importance of setting up their workstation correctly.

This can lead to cost and resource savings as the organisation only needs to focus on those who have unresolved issues rather than the entire workforce. Even traditional 'face to face' training, such as manual handling, can be delivered as a refresher session through online training.

Initial training can be provided in a classroom scenario with practical elements. Then refresher sessions to reinforce the message can be undertaken in later months or years providing, a truly blended approach.

This is all becoming increasingly popular and more cost effective as many of us at work and at home have access to computers and the internet. And talking of costs, if training provided is of good quality and is flexible it will help to reduce the chance that you will have accidents or injuries at your workplace. So money invested in training and can save organisations several times over.

So a final suggestion when it comes to training, get the training right from the right people and it will always pay dividends.