The Death Of Face-to-Face Training?

face-to-faceFace-to-Face vs Virtual

As we are slowly and cautiously emerging from the COVOID-19 pandemic, to hear people talk about virtual training, is almost to believe that businesses and nonprofits have somehow been doomed to learning in this manner.

Virtual learning, believe it or not, has been shown to have been as effective, or even better than Face-To-Face Learning.

Like it or Not, IBM Says…

According to eLearning.com (March 12, 2020), a recent study by IBM reported that students enrolled in virtual training classes actually learn five times the amount as they do with in-person trainers. And, like it or not, the same study reports that about 72 percent of all companies prefer virtual training over in-person events.

We are hardly “doomed” it would seem. In fact, in an industry slated to reach $325 billion in about five years, the virtual training business shows no signs of slowing down. Why is eLearning taking off? Is it due solely to Covid? Apparently not. The pandemic might have given it the kick start it needed to accelerate the industry, but the general trend has been promising for many years.

Per eLearning.com, “Many companies and their employees struggle to justify the time spent in traditional face-to-face training. Moreover, employees prefer digital content.”

At this time, employees at home or in their socially distanced offices are under intense pressure and are overcome with workloads. They have no problem viewing a digital presentation, but they lack the luxury of flying off (if they could fly) to attend a seminar. They want content, they want information, but they want to do it on their time.

Speaking of Time

The Brandon Hall Group, the research and analyst organization with 100,000 worldwide clients conducted a study on eLearning in 2017, obviously it was a pre-pandemic study, but what they found was that “eLearning can decrease employee training time by 40-60%…employees have total control over their learning.”

At Virtual Training Associates (VTA) we have spoken with many of the participants in virtual, ethics training classes. They want to learn, but they need convenience and flexibility. This is what we deliver.

We are in a time where we find that the overwhelming number of employees who want virtual training, normally get their training from online resources or training videos. To that end, a training video we customize for an organization can be tracked. We can tell the number of engagements it has received and certainly we can track employee engagement.

Speaking of engagement and retention the Research Institute of America has found (April 2016): “that eLearning increases the retention of knowledge by 25 to 60 percent.” This is highly significant, especially for slower learners or those who wish to repeat a class.

Obviously (and especially during these socially-distanced times), digital formats allow “students” to have ongoing discussions over the ethical training material that has been presented. We live in a social media age, and discussions about the material are easy to encourage. Far better that digital programs are discussed (even with widely different points of view) than face-to-face meetings where the group breaks up and goes their separate ways.

Virtual training is succeeding because people want it to succeed.



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