Traditional classroom learning vs. manager training online

The Benefits of Online Management TrainingWhich works best: E-learning on a computer, or a traditional classroom setting with the instructor standing at the front?

Look it up yourself and you’ll see explanations for why each side has its strengths.

But — and this is significant — in a workplace with motivated learners, where time and costs are essential, there is widespread agreement that manager training online is the best way to educate a larger number of people in a more consistent manner and at a greater savings than classroom instruction.

E-learning offers hands-down training advantages for 75% or more of the information that organizations need to convey to employees. For sure, E-learning is not always the best approach, but it is the best approach most of the time.

E-learning is especially suited for motivated learners and offers distinct advantages such as convenience, standardized delivery, self-paced learning and a variety of content.

Here’s a quick review of each of these factors.

1: E-learning empowers motivated learners

The Internet is the educational cruise ship for the intellectually curious. It can take anyone anywhere at any time to learn about almost anything.

Motivated learners, and especially managers and supervisors, become even more empowered when they find the training meaningful, when they feel competent to put the training into use quickly and when they believe that their training will have an impact on day-to-day and long-term productivity and their own professional success.

A 2008 Thomas College study titled The Effectiveness of Online Learning concluded that “working professionals studying online significantly outperformed full-time graduate and undergraduate students in traditional classrooms” because:

  • The online learning requirements were directly related to, and in the context of, the work experience of the professionals, and
  • The professional online students had a vested interest in learning this new material.

2: Convenience

How convenient? Boot up the Internet and class is in session. How can training be any simpler than that? No need to coordinate schedules for a day-long gathering across town or even a 2 p.m. meeting down the hall. Anyone can take an online course anywhere and at any time.

3: Standardized delivery

Even the most seasoned classroom instructors can forget or misstate information, but manager training online delivers the exact same information every time a user clicks the mouse.

Also, in a classroom setting, learners might hear the proper information and accurate messages from the instructor, but misinterpret it. But with online training, learners can essentially “rewind” and review the parts they are uncertain about. They can listen to the same section of a training session over and over, until they’re certain of it.

E-learning also allows for the delivery of standardized instruction across the hallway as well as across large, geographically distributed enterprises. For instance, the learners in your warehouse in Walla Walla, WA will get the same info as the learners in your call center in Ocala, FL.

 4: Self-paced learning

You’ve heard the phrase “No Child Left Behind.” E-learning is the workplace version of “No Employee Left Behind.”

Since E-learning is self-paced, there is no need to slow down the entire class for that one straggler who isn’t getting it. When instructors have to backtrack, that usually results in not having enough time to cover the entire content.

 5: Variety of content

Organizations can teach almost anything online. E-learning is limited only by the creativity and talent of content developers. The past decade has given way to countless vendors and products in the e-learning marketplace.

Many companies hire vendors or create their own tailored content on topics as varied as specific job training, technical training, safety training, HR training, bias and harassment training, manager training and even training on an organization’s own specific culture and values.

This is the third in a series of articles on the benefits of online management training. To see the other articles, please go to The Benefits of Online Management Training page.


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