This question is not easily answered and is usually personal in nature. By this I mean that everyone comes to formal business/adult education with their own objective. Some folks are seeking formal certifications such as the Project Management Professional (PMP)® or the Agile Certification Professional (ACP)® to enhance their careers and better position them for success. Others simply need continuing education credits to maintain their certification. While still others have the fundamental interest to become better educated and gain knowledge in their respective fields. As a training services provider, it is my job to meet all of their needs and provide curriculum and instruction for each objective.
Classroom training typically means a formal classroom environment with an instructor (face to face or virtual) and multiple participants. This is by far the most prevalent type of training but certainly not the only type. We are seeing increasing demand for e-learning, computer based training that eliminates the classroom and allows the student to become educated using self-paced computerized modules that can be viewed at the convenience of the student. Let’s examine the pros and cons of both:
– The knowledge, experience and the ability of the instructor to facilitate discussion can greatly enhance any classroom experience.
– The interaction shared between the students leads to a stimulating environment and enhances understanding.
– Students have the ability to ask questions and receive an immediate response.
– Curriculum can be customized to the needs of the organization for onsite training.
– Classroom training typically means days away from the office. For contractors, this often translates into lost billable hours.
– Can be more expensive than e-learning training.
– Instruction led by a low-energy, un-knowledgeable instructor can greatly diminish the value of classroom training.
– Training can be conducted on-demand according to the schedule of the student.
– Typically less expensive than classroom training.
– Is often boring and non-stimulating.
– Limited ability to ask questions, if at all.
– Little or no interaction with fellow students who can help enhance the learning experience.
– Cannot be customized to the needs of the organization or the individual.