There is No Substitute for an Instructor

Most will agree that there is no substitute for instructor-led classroom training.  The interaction and dialogue between teacher and student is tough to beat.    But tight budgets and even tighter business needs can make it difficult to break away from the office to attend training.  You need to be better at your job but you’re so busy doing your job you can’t take time to get better.    Enter the next evolution in learning:  Remote Online Training.

Remote Online Training can help maximize your ever-shrinking training dollars while creating new opportunities with tight schedules.  But is it good enough to replace being in the classroom with the instructor?  Definitely maybe!  Allow me to explain.

Some of the most important criteria in any good training offering are:

  • Quality of Instruction – Training is a waste of time and money if the instructor isn’t good at what he/she is doing and able to convey the information in a way that is useful and meaningful.
  • Cost Effectiveness – When it comes to price, remote online training has an advantage over instructor-led classroom learning.  Put simply, training dollars go farther when instructor and student don’t have to come together in the same room for learning.
  • Ease of Scheduling – Many remote training solutions allow you to learn on your own schedule rather than taking time out of the normal work day.  You can attend training pretty much anywhere you have a computer and Internet connectivity.
  • Quality of Interaction – Training needs to provide value and it needs to engage you in the learning process.  This is a lot easier to do when you are sitting face-to-face with the instructor who is interacting with you.  If you are remote, staying involved is more difficult and you are more likely to mentally wander or literally get pulled away.

When choosing a remote training solution you have two basic choices:

  • Computer-Based Training (CBT)
  • Live Remote Online Instructor-Led Training

Here is a brief overview of each:

Computer Based Training (CBTs)

Most CBT solutions use pre-recorded videos as the primary mechanism of delivery.  There is little to no interaction between teacher and student.

What’s good:

  • Repeatable.  You can watch the same lecture over again.
  • Controllable.  Pause, rewind, fast-forward, etc.
  • Portable.  CBT’s are often available on-line or via CD/DVD.  If you can store the videos on your computer you can watch them anywhere.

What’s bad:

  • Non-Interactive.  You can’t ask the instructor questions (in real-time) and you don’t benefit from the input of other students in the classroom.

Live Remote Online Instructor-Led Training

This is instructor-led training with a twist:  The training is live but student and teacher are not in the same room.  They are brought together through the wonders of teleconferencing technology.

What’s good:

  • It’s Live.  The class is real and interactive.
  • Real-Time Interaction.  Remote students can ask questions in real time.  They can use their web cam, keyboard and computer screen to interact and ask questions as well as participate in the labs at the data center remotely.
  • Cost-Effective.  Remote Online Training is often less expensive than classroom training.  Combine this with the elimination of travel costs to/from training and the cost benefits are unmistakable.

What’s bad:

  • You’re still not there.  Because you are not in the physical classroom you will still find it easier to mentally or physically wander.
  • No really, you’re still not there.  Being physically present for any event is almost always more impactful.

Would you rather go to the football game or watch it on TV?

Would you rather go the Grand Canyon or watch videos of a friend’s vacation?

Would you rather be in class with the instructor or watching it remotely?

The alternatives to actually being there can be impressive but they are never the same as the first-hand perspective.  The determining factors are the needs of your business (e.g. can you get away) and your travel and training budget.

Whatever you decide, ITdojo can help.  We offer remote on-line training in addition to classroom instructor-led learning.