Online learning offers the ultimate flexibility in scheduling, geography, and content development. Instruction may be synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of both.
Synchronous instruction places trainees and facilitators online at the same time, where they collaborate in “real time” through instant messaging, online chat, and interactive multimedia.
Asynchronous instruction takes place independent of a “real time” facilitator or instructor. Threaded discussions, cloud sharing, and interactive multimedia promote robust interaction between learners and instructors.
Whether synchronous or asynchronous, benefits of online instruction include:
- Consistency – Once developed, the quality of an online training program is consistent, delivery after delivery. It never degrades and is not subject to variables such as trainer bias, scheduling changes, and group size.
- Cost – Online training can significantly reduce your training expenses and the costs of lost productivity. There is no need for travel or a lot of time away from work when learners can simply log on at home.
- Engagement – Online instruction requires active participation. The use of multimedia promotes interest and understanding for all types of learners.
- Flexibility – An online training program may be rolled out company-wide or beta-tested and then archived for use as needed. Training materials can be repurposed to align with individual departments, teams, geographic regions, product lines, etc.
- Interactivity – Web 2.0 tools such as LMS/CMS and other multiplatform technologies enable extensive interaction online. Guided role-play, skill assessment, document sharing, and group projects complement didactic instruction for a comprehensive learning experience.
Online training is much more than uploading a PowerPoint presentation to a server. The separation of instructor and learners creates specific requirements that must be addressed in the design process.
Contact me to explore the benefits of hybrid instruction for your team or group.