Leadership Courses Online vs. In the Classroom: Which is Best For Your Team?

SUIT.pngYou have two primary options when it comes to selecting the right leadership courses for your team: online instruction or classroom instruction. The major difference between these two options is the setting for which the classes are offered. Online leadership classes offer all instruction and coursework over the Internet. Students can complete the entire course from their phone, tablet, or computer. Classroom courses, on the other hand, are conducted in a in-person classroom setting with a hands-on facilitator.

Both options offer plenty of pros and cons. It really depends on the needs of your employees and the goals of your company to decide which learning method is right for your team. However, to make this determination, you must first understand the benefits of online and classroom leadership courses.

Benefits of Classroom-Based Leadership Training

In a classroom-based leadership training course, all students have the benefit of having a skilled facilitator in the classroom with them. This gives students the opportunity to ask questions and engage in healthy debate to ensure they comprehend the material fully. In addition, classroom instruction offers the value of in-person skill practice. Students are able to practice new skills in a live setting with an experienced facilitator present. This allows participants to respond to a variety of directions and reactions and to put their knowledge to the test — just like on the job.

In addition, studies have shown that in-person training sessions enable students to retain information at a faster and more efficient rate than most other settings. This creates powerful training opportunities that are "stickier," which makes it more likely for the participants to retain the information and to integrate what they have learned into the workplace.

The downside of classroom training is that students must attend classes at a set time and location. This can be very cumbersome for employees with busy schedules. In addition, classroom training courses tend to be more expensive than some other training methods. These costs may not fit into your company's training and development budget to cover all the topics your leaders need.

Benefits of Online Leadership Training

Online courses help to break down some of these barriers by offering cost-effective leadership training that can be completed at your employee's convenience. Your workers will be able to take online courses at a time and place that is most convenient for them. This allows even employees with inflexible schedules to advance their skills with professional leadership training.

Online training is best when broken down into short online modules that cover a single topic. This is called online “micro-learning.” Each module takes about five to fifteen minutes to complete. Not only does this make it easier for the average employee to fit into their day, but it also helps to improve retention. In fact, this type of training has become a very effective way to teach working professionals new skills and techniques.

Best-in-class online courses today give plenty of opportunities for participants to practice with in-depth scenarios and other exercises. So when it comes to putting their new skill to the test on the job, students trained via a high-quality online course tend to do just as well as students trained in the classroom.

The Blended Option

Blended learning takes the best from both leadership courses online and leadership courses in the classroom. It enables students to still complete a bulk of the coursework online at a time that is most convenient for them, while also attending abbreviated classroom learning sessions. These classroom sessions are instructor-led and focus primarily on in-person skills practice in order to provide the most impactful use of classroom time.

This type of training provides companies, and their employees, with the best of both learning techniques. Employees still have the convenience to complete most of the coursework from the comfort of their home or office at a time that fits their busy schedule. Employees also have the added bonus of having access to instructor-led classroom training that provides in-person skill practice. This enables workers to implement these new skills in the workplace more efficiently.

Which Is Right for Your Company?

As you can see, there are benefits to all three types of learning options — online, classroom and blended leadership training. Since no two companies are alike, it is important that you consider several things, such as budget, convenience, and subject matter, when deciding which leadership training method is right for your team. Closely evaluating your company's needs will help you better determine what type of training will be most effective for your team.

Vital Learning offers online leadership courses, classroom leadership courses and blended leadership courses. These flexible solutions are designed to meet the needs of all employers and employees. If you are still unsure what type of training is best for your company, a leadership expert from Vital Learning can help. These experts will work directly with you to help you determine which training solutions would work best for you and your employees, fit your company budget, and help to meet your company's specific leadership training goals.

One thing is certain: The best way to build leaders in the workplace is to offer professional training that explains and teaches invaluable leadership skills. To learn more about the various leadership training courses available and for help determining which training delivery method is the best for your team, contact Vital Learning today.


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