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5 myths about online training

Posted by Ilona Wallace on Mar 29, 2017 9:15:00 AM

Online training is effective, cheap and easy to do, but myths persist about it. What is it about digital technology that makes people uneasy?

We’ve picked a few of the prevailing myths about online education, and debunked them for you.

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Myth 1: It’s Still Too Early to Know if it Works

Even though ‘virtual’ learning via computers was first conducted in the 1960s (nearly 60 years ago!) this style of education is still treated as new.

In fact, we often differentiate between ‘online’ and ‘traditional’ teaching methods, with ‘traditional’ meaning lecture-style, in-person classes.

But ‘out of class’ education is really nothing new at all. Distance education via the post started in the 1700s! And School of the Air, a radio-based education method, was launched in 1951.

Correspondence education has been a successful teaching method for hundreds of years. The only difference is that online learning and digital training use the latest technology, so you don’t have to pack up and post reams of paper to your instructor. How efficient!


Myth 2: Online Learning is Not Effective

The success of a class, whether online or in person, relies on the same things: expert teachers, great resources and effective assessment tools. As long as the online course is good quality, then the lessons should be effective.

A report by the US Department of Education, which analyzed numerous studies in the field, found that online learning was as effective as face-to-face lessons. They also found that online learning provides students with more resources and more time to read materials, which can be a great advantage for students who cannot study as quickly as other individuals.


Myth 3: Online Learners Do Not Participate

On the contrary, online learning provides greater opportunities for participation – and this participation can easily be logged or viewed by the instructor or training manager.

Compared to traditional teaching methods, digital education can be very inclusive and adaptable for students who are differently abled. For example, online learning allows shy and neurodiverse students or team members to participate without having to speak or present in front of their classmates.

Most importantly, the majority of employees, especially young staff members, want to be trained. Providing professional development is a great way to ensure your employees are engaged and loyal. If a person wants to do something, and they’re given the opportunity to do so, then they will! So, if your employees want to learn, then online training is a great choice, especially when they're in an industry where they're working long hours and they don't have a lot of time.


Myth 4: You Can’t Learn Soft or Practical Skills Online

Yes, you can! ‘Soft skills’ – communication, team management and customer service, for example – can absolutely be learned online. Digital technology has advanced to a stage where interactive modules are possible, too. This service for medical professionals, for example, allows students to engage in simulated scenarios – the same sorts of ‘role playing’ exercises that would be conducted at a face-to-face training session.

For practical skills, the proof is in the pudding. Video tutorials – from make-up artistry to changing lightbulbs – have driven the change in how we view education. You can easily learn from video modules how to do practical tasks. For the hospitality industry, for example, you could learn how to make a cappuccino or essential cocktail making techniques, simply by watching a video and following the instructions.

Myth 5: Online Learning is Not Flexible

There’s a perception that online courses are created and dumped online, left in a corner of the internet to gather dust and collect cash for institutions. While some places probably do take this approach, the real joy and wonder of digital education is its flexibility and adaptability.

Online courses can be updated with brand new information at the drop of a hat. If industry practice changes, then a few clicks of a mouse can delete obsolete information and provide resources pointing to the latest research.

Individually, online courses are often more flexible than ‘traditional’ methods, as many institutions lean towards ‘modular’ learning in their online offerings. This means you can often select to study specific topics only, and can complete those topics at your own pace.

Depending on the training provider, you can usually make your own timetable. Online learning doesn’t have to take place between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. You can log in at 3am on a Sunday if you want, or you can download sessions to view on your commute to work.

Of course, all of this goes back to quality. A bad face-to-face training session is as much of a waste of money as a bad online training session. Make sure you pick a high-quality training provider to get the most out of your online learning experience.


If you're interested in learning more about Typsy's online courses for the hospitality industry, please visit our website for more information! 

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