Classroom, Virtual, eLearning or Blended training – Which one is right for me?
It has been a couple of years since we last spoke in this blog about the various training delivery methods available so I thought it was time to update, most especially as more and more are coming on stream.
With improvements in technology, the range of methods you can choose for your training is becoming ever greater with terms such as Classroom, Online, Virtual, Video, Onsite (In House), Blended, Blended Virtual and Attend from Anywhere being bandied about – but what do they all mean and which one is right for you?
Let’s start by explaining the various options:
Simply put, classroom courses mean you attend a classroom in person, sometimes over a number of days, where you are a taught by a tutor qualified in the subject matter.
Whilst this requires time away from the work environment (a reason often cited for the benefits of online e-learning) classroom training can bring many benefits, including:
- Focus – away from the day to day office distractions
- Learning from the experience of both the tutor and other attendees – being able to ask questions as you go is a good enough reason to choose this approach for many
- Networking with others attending the course
- Often the exams and certifications are taken during the course
- Some of these can also be provided at the weekend or over a number of evenings
Focus on Training has over 20,000 classroom courses in over 300 locations – click here for more details
Virtual Classroom(also known as Attend from Anywhere, VILT, AnyWare, V&C Select and others)
With a Virtual course you join a live classroom course remotely via web access at the scheduled time and in effect you are taking part in a full classroom course as though you were there.
This approach can be beneficial for many, recreating a classroom experience online and enabling full interactions with the learning professional leading the course alongside being:
- Convenient – accessing the training from home, the office, or anywhere with internet access. It is particularly convenient when there is no Classroom course near your home
- Cost effective – saving money on expenses like transport, hotels, meals and childcare
- Time efficient – reducing time out of the office and time spent travelling to and from training centres
- Quality – Virtual courses provide the same high quality as classroom training as you are, in effect, attending a classroom course
Focus on Training has over 5,000 Virtual classroom courses across a wide range of subjects – click here for more details
Online (also known as eLearning although we think that covers all non-classroom delivery methods) (can also be called On Demand)
Online courses are usually custom written and delivered in small controllable chunks and are extremely flexible, allowing you to learn in your own time, at your own pace, and in the comfort of your own home, office, or even on your mobile device.
Many online courses also provide access to full support from subject-matter experts for the duration of your course which can be for periods ranging from 3 months to 12 months.
Whilst usually a lot cheaper than Classroom courses, if you are undertaking certificated training, many will also include the exam fee (check this before you buy as some training providers do not include these fees in order to appear to offer reduced prices) and exams can be taken either online or within a classroom at one of many centres around the UK.
Focus on Training has a large range of Online courses across a wide range of subjects – click here for more details
Whilst some Online courses will provide a level of video content, Video courses are custom built to offer a powerful alternative to traditional classroom training, delivering modular videos that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and from any device.
You receive all the benefits of having an on screen qualified tutor delivering the course as though in a classroom alongside the benefits of Online training, which include reduced costs and associated exams taken in a classroom or online.
Focus on Training has a large range of Video courses across a wide range of subjects – click here for more details
As if there isn’t enough choice, there is a small range of courses which combine the benefits of Classroom courses and Online learning.
Alongside the Classroom, Online and Video options, Focus on Training currently provides a range of Blended courses where you can take some elements Online and some elements in the Classroom – click here for more details
Blended Virtual (also known as Blended Live)
This is a recently launched delivery format that normally replaces a more traditional (5) day Classroom or Virtual full time course and combines the expert direction of instructor-led training with the flexibility of on-demand eLearning. Normally over a 3-6 week period, students will receive an introductory instructor-led session followed by weekly on-demand assignments and 3-4 hour instructor-led sessions (usually delivered Virtually).
Pacing the content in smaller chunks over several weeks allows students to learn on their schedule and at their speed. Additionally, supporting students with expert-led, challenge-based exercises and access to the instructor; Blended Live more effectively transfers skills and knowledge and meets the expectations of today’s enterprises.
Blended Live does this without travel expenses, with less disruption to standard workloads, and imparts greater knowledge and skills transfer – creating a mastery of the material. Resources are available 24×7 from any location – students can train in the evening or over weekends to fit around their busy work and life schedules. – click here for more details
In House (also known as Onsite)
With In House, the training is delivered as specifically required by your company, at your company premises or other location of your choice near to your business.
In House delivery brings you advantages over public courses, including:
- Team learning experience
- Avoidance of travel and accommodation expenses
- Opportunity to tailor training to meet your specific needs
- Scope to reflect your own style and approach
- Lower pricing (normally if you have 5 or more delegates)
- Examinations can still be included
Focus on Training can deliver almost any of our classroom courses via a business specific In House course and this can be customised to suit particular circumstances if required. To find out more and see how Focus on Training can help with your requirements click here
Confused yet? So what is best for me? Classroom, eLearning, In House or Blended Training?
That is very much down to you, your budget, and preferred learning style, how many people you want to train in one go, your ability to get away from the office or desire to network and learn from like-minded professionals.
Rest assured, Focus on Training are here to help you.