by Unboxed Staff | Dec. 28, 2020 | 5 Min Read

What You Need to Know: Online Training vs. Traditional Training

Young businesswoman giving presentation to team at new office.

Did you know that eLearning boosts knowledge retention? Are you thinking about transitioning your traditional training curriculum to virtual learning?

At first, the idea of online employee training as the new normal might seem a bit intimidating. However, understanding the merits and demerits of training methods both online and offline can help you make a more informed decision.

This article discusses the pros and cons of online training vs. traditional training, online employee training software and provides you with virtual tools to transition your training online with confidence.

Let’s talk about training.

Merits and Demerits of Training Methods (Online vs. Offline)

You’re weighing the pros and cons; we get it. Virtual is new, and in-person is normal—at least, it was. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of an online training curriculum vs. an offline curriculum. If you're unsure which one to use for your employees, consider the merits and demerits of training methods that are facilitated online versus in-person.

Merits of Online Training

One of the unique benefits of online training is its flexibility. When you train your employees virtually, they can learn on-the-go. This is especially true if you invest in mobile training programs and materials that are accessible on a wide range of devices through a learning management system (LMS).

Online training also requires less administrative planning tasks. For example, you don't have to worry about finding an instructor, a venue to hold training courses, or arranging everyone’s lodging and itinerary. People can learn wherever they are, and you're free to focus on other, more important things than finding a place to accommodate everybody safely.

A few other benefits of eLearning include improving profits, reducing training time, and increasing knowledge retention.

Demerits of Online Training

One drawback to online training is distractions, but that’s the biggest threat to modern learners across the board. Luckily, you can overcome this hurdle by investing in an interactive online training program that uses microlearning. Think of microtraining as bite-sized chunks (5-minutes or less) of information that employees can learn and immediately apply.

Online training is very popular among younger, more tech-savvy employees. Those who are older or don’t spend much time online might struggle to keep up with an online training curriculum. The eLearning curve can make it harder for older adults to learn the skills they need to progress and move up in the digital workplace.

However, employees can’t jump the skills gaps if they don’t receive action-oriented training! Microtraining videos break down information into manageable, comprehensive content, providing the perfect opportunity for Baby Boomers, in particular, to upskill without feeling overwhelmed.


Merits of Offline Training

In contrast, many consider offline training as the traditional, trusted, and default approach to workplace learning. It doesn't exclude people based on their access to certain technologies or their affinity for technology in general.

Classroom instructor-led training, versus virtual instructor-led training (VILT) and eLearning, provides physical, social interaction, helping learners connect with each other and facilitators. With collaborative learning and compelling content, in-person training can foster meaningful relationships, and healthy competition as everyone learns together.

Demerits of Offline Training

While offline training does have its benefits, there are downsides to choosing a more traditional training style. For example, it can be harder to monitor learning outcomes, track, and measure learner progress without using a mobile LMS training system. Facilitators may assume that everyone is keeping up, but in reality, participants might be struggling to get by.

Online training provides opportunities for facilitators to check-in and assign assessments to evaluate how employees are doing. With access to digital learning and collaboration tools, instructors can correct problems right away, rather than dealing with paperwork and splitting communication between in-person sessions and emails.


Online Employee Training Software

At this point, you might be leaning a bit more toward online training. Some organizations don’t have a choice between online training vs. traditional training given the state of the world, but remote work doesn’t mean training has to stop!

Here are the two most popular online employee training softwares you’ll want to consider that can support your remote teams.

LMS Training System

A learning management system provides a social, collaborative learning space for employees online, packed full of communication tools, integrations, engaging content, analytics, and more. Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies extensively use eLearning to train employees, and an LMS training system makes that possible.

LMS software delivers content to various devices, makes training mobile, and encourages high levels of learner engagement. These powerful learning platforms provide content in various modalities, including fun, interactive, and educational games.

Well-designed LMS tools also give admins plenty of control over the material their learners receive. They can field questions, add users, coach employees, and review metrics with ease to ensure everyone is on the right track.

LXP Training System

Another type of online employee training software is a learning experience platform (LXP). An LXP is similar to an LMS in a lot of ways. A key difference, though, is that it’s learner-led, meaning learners choose their learning path and admins have less control over the content.

Due to its open-source library of aggregate content, LXPs offer a much broader range of training content. Since learners get to choose what they want to learn, LXPs do result in higher employee engagement levels. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag, but both learning platforms are extremely powerful and beneficial to corporations of all sizes.

To learn more about the benefits and key differences of an LMS vs. LXPs, browse our blog: What You Should Know About Learning Experience Platforms LXPs.

Online Training vs. Traditional Training: Which Do You Choose?

And there you have it, the merits and demerits of training methods: online training vs. traditional training. Being able to answer questions like, "What is online training?" and "What are the pros and cons?" can help you to feel more confident about making changes to the way you train.

With all of this information readily available in your virtual toolbelt (aka saving this blog in your jam-packed bookmarks bar), are you interested in taking a digital approach to training?

Start exploring online training housed in a mobile learning management system today!

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