Let’s be clear: we at Maestro have nothing against instructor-led training. We can develop ILT with the best of them. We also acknowledge that, depending on the situation, it might be a better solution than eLearning. But we also know that eLearning can often be the far better choice. Here are five good reasons why.
1. eLearning offers scalability
As your company grows in size and number of locations, or if you already have a geographically dispersed workforce, the cost of delivering real-time training on location can increase exponentially. For example, instead of two or three part-time instructors you may need three or four full-timers. You may need to fly dozens of participants in from multiple locations and pay for their lodging and meals.
In contrast: eLearning offers instant scalability. One course can just as easily and effectively train one person as one hundred.
2. eLearning prevents lost productivity
ILT can incur a cost in lost productivity because it often requires trainees to take a significant amount of continuous time away from work. A half- or full-day onsite training session is a major investment, especially if it involves travel. That investment can quickly become a significant loss if it does not pay for itself in increased productivity over time.
In contrast: eLearning is available any time, any place. Another advantage is that learners can complete it incrementally, as time allows, rather than all at once.
3. eLearning offers as-needed training frequency
ILT courses often focus on core training, such as product knowledge, legal compliance, administrative procedures, etc., that is essential for new hires. However, because it not practical to provide a full-blown ILT session every time you hire someone, it can often be months before they get all of the necessary training – which only delays how soon they can be fully productive.
In contrast: eLearning is available whenever the learner needs it, as often as they need it, and once it has been developed, at no additional cost per training session.
4. eLearning provides consistency
The more instructors and facilitators you have, the more difficult it becomes to train to a consistent standard. Some instructors may be exceptional, others less so, and even an excellent instructor can have a bad day from time to time. The more distance and time your training needs to encompasses, the more of an issue consistency can be.
In contrast: eLearning provides the same content and interface every time. That’s not to say that eLearning can’t be updated or adaptable, as long as you include these factors into the design.
5. eLearning allows for affordable translation
Even if your company’s official language is English, you may have substantial numbers of employees who are non-native speakers. They will often learn more quickly and effectively if they are taught in their native language. That’s fine if your instructors are fluent in a second language, but add multiple languages and factor reasons 1 through 4 above to the mix, and regular multilingual training can quickly become cost-prohibitive.
In contrast: Even if you deliver your eLearning in English, having transcripts or translations available in other languages helps ensure that your employees have all they need to truly understand and apply what you’re trying to teach them.
The right learning to fit your needs
So, are we implying that eLearning is automatically superior to instructor-led training? Certainly not. In fact, if you expect to derive any of the benefits of eLearning you have to be sure to invest the proper analysis, design, development, evaluation, and management support — just as you would with ILT. There are no one-size-fits-all performance support solutions; however, there are some solutions that fit a lot better than others. Make sure that whatever you choose is the best fit for your needs.
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