Here we are, 2021 and due to the pandemic, many of us find ourselves with limited options for training, and education. In person classes seemed to have disappeared and are quickly being replaced with many different online options. But which type of training is better, online or in-person? Well, it turns out that there have been studies on the subject and like everything else the answer isn’t as simple as the question. Better isn’t always best for everyone in every situation. There are a lot of different variables,. What kind of training are you looking for? Does it involve an exam like the food safety manager course or is it compliance training like harassment prevention? Some classes require hands on training such cooking or or equipment skills while others may only need to be one on one like a therapy session. Maybe the question should be, which type of training is better for you?
Most of the studies that I looked at use the Kirkpatrick Model which accounts for all styles of training but can be applied to our situation here. What I’d like to point out is that half of the model addresses the individual learners needs (satisfaction & comprehension) and the other half of the model addresses the businesses needs(application & cost benefit). Almost all of the studies I found online says that there is no clear evidence that between online learning and in person learning that one is more, or less effective than the other. It might be important to ask, what are we trying to achieve? Well, I’d say if you the employer much of the decision as to what is better is based on results and behavior and to the learner it’s more about how much you learn and how was their reaction.
One of the most important aspects about these studies to me is that all of them mentioned satisfaction and repeatedly reported that people claim to be much more satisfied by in-person learning, whether it be one on one or in a group setting. And as an instructor myself, we offer an online study at home version of our training and an in person version of our training and those that chose to the online studying only pass our certification process at about a 60% rate. In the end here is what I suggest, if you are an individual who is deciding what is better for you the think about your learning style, ask yourself what your trying to achieve and go from there, know one knows you better than you. If your an employer and you’re trying to figure out what is best for your employee, just ask.