How is eLearning Different from Classroom Training?

30 Jan

I missed my self-imposed posting guideline by a day, and I am grateful for this lapse. It reminds me that the quest for perfection is the perfect killer of motivation:) So, with my recent lapse, I am completely rejuvenated!

Let us quickly review the recent posts on the topic of learning.

Now, through this post, let us differentiate eLearning from classroom trainings. Actually, eLearning means different things to different people, and despite being around for about two decades, eLearning is still fighting for acceptance. It’s not that people and organizations don’t know about eLearning – and in social circles, they’d often speak of eLearning in a positive, slightly emancipated manner – but this acceptance is quite like the way live-in relationships are accepted in our society. It’s acceptable as long as someone else is doing it.

But let’s leave the philosophical discussion for now and review how eLearning is different from classroom training.

Here are some of the ways in which eLearning is different from classroom training.

  1. The Audience’s Attitude & Skills
  2. The Content Presentation
  3. Anticipation of Cognitive Dissonance
  4. Accuracy in Content and Language
  5. Open Channel for Communication & Doubt Resolution

The Audience’s Attitude & Skills Should be Oriented towards eLearning.

The success of eLearning is often determined by the attitude (maturity, internal motivation) and the skills (time-management, stress-management, and technological competence) of the learners.

The Content Presentation Needs to be More Engaging.

In the absence of external bonds, the learner’s attention could stray more easily in an Online/eLearning course. eLearning needs a conscious effort towards personalizing the eLearning content delivery.

Cognitive Dissonance should be Anticipated.

In eLearning content creation, you need to project the worries that will assail your learners; and you will have to build the resolution of those issues in the course.

Accuracy in Content and Language are More Important.

You need to be much more careful while dealing with content and presenting it to your audience. In a classroom training program, you can correct your error easily and without fatal consequences – but in eLearning, your error may remain undetected for a long time. Also remember that language errors that aren’t even noticed in an on-ground training program become monsters in eLearning.

Open Channel for Communication & Doubt Resolution is Essential.

Classroom trainings are characterized by direct synchronous communication. This helps boost the learner’s confidence. ELearning either has no two-way communication (CBTs) or it has asynchronous communication and doubt-resolution (I am not speaking of the virtual classrooms here.) Special attention has to be given to these details in eLearning.

I’ll be back with what I call the Doppelganger Advantages of eLearning!


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