Digitization has led to a significant difference in learning and training methods, as well. Alongside it gave rise to a debate on whether E-learning is better or classroom training? Often people compare these two learning methods and feel confused about which one is better for them.
We can never say which one is better because both have their pros and cons. On the one hand, E-learning enables the learners with more digital features and allows them to learn as per their comfort. So on the other side, classroom training, or we can say traditional learning, allows the trainers to interact live.
Therefore, there are many such factors that one must keep in mind before choosing a course for their firm. It is essential to understand both of these in-depth and then pick what suits you best. Hence, here are some significant differences between E-Learning and Classroom training, which you can consider.
E-Learning vs Classroom
1. Social Interaction
The main difference between the two learning style is how the interaction takes place between the learners. Interacting and communicating with one another has always been a significant part of the learning process. It helps the learners to understand the concept and also encourages healthy discussion.
If you talk about classroom learning, one can raise their hands on the question they have asked and share their opinions. It is one of the well-known practice and happens in every traditional classroom across the globe. The learners are given a chance one by one.
In E-learning, the learners get their hands on several exciting features for communicating. You get live chat, emails, forums, and discussion boards too. Moreover, it encourages active participation and learning. Here, the trainer acts as a participant and is always present to intervene if the discussion goes wrong.
2. Place Of Learning
Another significant difference is where you get to learn, or in which settings the learning style allows you? If you take a look at traditional classrooms, then you undoubtedly require a room to start the course, without that it is not possible. Furthermore, you must need to be mentally present in a class all the time because the instructor won’t repeat everything for just one trainee.
E-Learning, on the other side, is just the opposite and works according to learners’ comfort. It turns your world into a classroom. Even if you are lying in your bed, you can access the course you want to grab. Furthermore, you get some other essential and helpful features such as recording the content, replaying it, and reviewing the course.
What happens in traditional classrooms is that learners cannot note down every instruction, and then they let it go without revision. But in E-learning, one can easily record and can review zillions of times quickly. Therefore, it is one of the considerable benefits of E-learning.
In addition to all this, E-learning also proves helpful for the trainers. The trainers can conveniently take a look back at their session and can make changes if they want. It reduces errors and enhances the quality of training.
3. Multimedia Support
Using multimedia such as audio, video, and text enables the learners to rapidly and grab the concept. Furthermore, it has a substantial impression on the minds that they remember it for a longer time. In traditional classrooms, it is always not possible to teach the content using multimedia. However, there are specific tools that can be used to meet this purpose to some extent.
In E-learning, one gets access to a vast range of multimedia, such as visual storytelling, interactions, simulations, and scenarios. But the instructor has to use all the mediums carefully by not overwhelming the learners.
Here are some of the media options that come with an all-round E-learning course:
Moving Graphics: One of the most trendy media types these days are animations and videos. It is appealing and catches the eyes of modern learners.
Color: Yet another essential media to make the concept far easy to understand is the ‘color.’ If the crucial element in the content is highlighted, it becomes easier for the learners to differentiate.
Font: One of the essential elements of learning is the font. Yes, which font of what size you select matters a lot. Italics and bolds can also help and are a crucial part.
Graphics: For better and quick understanding, graphics such as symbols, icons, and photos play a significant role. If it is used in the appropriate manner, then it can help to clear and improve the message. Also, one should never overdo things as it becomes a distraction element as well.
4. Learning Materials
In a typical classroom, most of the time, the training material is provided using verbal instruction or simply complimenting it with a PowerPoint Presentation. In E-learning, the material of learning and training is entirely distinct.
In E-learning, the visual and written note replaces the instructor, so learning here is made with attentiveness. It needs to be high-end and grasping enough to compel the learners. Drawing the attention is much essential here and for that trainer has to make the learning material using various elements, such as:
Catchy Headlines: Giving eye-catchy headlines is the first aspect that one has to keep in mind. If the content’s heading is new and informational, the learners feel curious to know about it.
Tone: The pitch and the variations in tone plays an important part. Since the learners will read or listen to the learning material, it is crucial to consider the top for better understanding. For example, using pauses, commas, abbreviations, etc.
Clarity: Keeping the training material concise and short for E-learning material is significant to avoid any learning difficulty. It is essential because there will be no instructor present to solve the learner queries. Therefore, one should try making the sentences short and to the point.
5. Instructor Oriented vs. Learner Oriented
Another considerable difference is the focus of learning, whether it is focused on the trainer’s learner. If there is no trainer required, it is undoubtedly all about the learners, and it happens mostly in E-learning. It can be really beneficial if the material is designed aptly. Since no instructor is involved, it is essential to explain the crucial information to the learners with the right vocabulary.
If the training material is well-supported with clear explanations, the E-learning course becomes far better than the one led by an instructor. Furthermore, the quality of learning also gets affected sometimes due to the instructor’s mood. It is eradicated and enhanced in E-learning.
On the other hand, it can become harder for the learner to remember the crucial points in traditional training settings. A bit of lack of concentration can make them miss essential instructions. But in E-learning, you are allowed to go back and forth to learn the points.
6. Cost Benefits
Undoubtedly, budget is one of the essential parts of industrial training. Therefore, it becomes necessary to find a training or learning method that efficiently suits the budget and meets the learning requirements. Furthermore, it is yet another significant difference between E-learning and classroom training.
When it comes to E-learning, several research pieces support the fact that it is way more cost-beneficial. There is a possibility for the firms to save up to 50% to 70% on training if they chose-learning over an instructor. It is because of the fact that E-learning directly eliminates the fees of the instructor, the traveling costs, and more.
On the other hand, there is a requirement of instructors every time they start learning in-classroom training. Furthermore, in E-learning, one course, once recorded, can be used endless times. Hence, in this manner, E-learning expenditures are considerably less than classroom training.
7. Time Constraints
Time plays a crucial role in traditional training. It is because the trainer is getting paid as per the time. Furthermore, there is a lot in traditional learning methods to learn in a very short time. In better words, we can say that the instructor has to provide an abundance of information in a decided time period, which sometimes is more challenging for the learners.
But, E-learning eradicates all the timing issues. It entirely depends on the learner of how rapidly or slowly they want to play the content. Also, they can decide in one shot how they want to grab. It enhances the learning quality because, in this manner, the learners retain the information more.
Since E-learning is well-structured in smaller segments, it becomes easier to process. Learners also get access to skim material if they already know the information.
8. Tracking The Progress
Monitoring the progress report of the trainee or learners is a crucial part of learning. Furthermore, one cannot consider a learning process complete without knowing the progress. Here is one of the differences where E-learning outshines classroom training. It’s the ability to track the learning progress of the learner. In traditional classrooms, this work needs to be done manually, and there are always some chances of errors. Furthermore, classroom training and progress tracking require a vast workforce and consume more time.
E-learning the courses can be easily provided with the use of software or Learning Management Systems, which makes it easier to monitor the learners’ progress. It makes this process easy and efficient.
What Is The Future Of E-Learning And Classroom Training?
It is tough to tell if E-learning will surpass traditional training or not. Since we can see that both learning styles have their pros and cons and have different impacts on the learning process, it is hard to judge. Still, the debate continues because the vision is not clear if the traditional classrooms are going to be replaced forever or not.
If you take a look at the current situation of COVID-19, then undoubtedly E-learning has taken all over the traditional classrooms. We all are supposed to attend online classes, but in the future, things can change because the learners of younger age must have a trainer as they are not skilled in accessing digitized features.
But if you look at people already working, E-learning seems more beneficial and comfortable. The introduction of new technologies such as VR and robots give tough competition to traditional classrooms.