Online Training versus Classroom Adult Training: Which is better?


For years now, a debate has been raging on between Online Training (Self Study) and Classroom Training (Tutored) to decide which is better.

After carefully reading through tens and hundreds of opinions on blog posts and articles, it’s easy to say that both have their own merits and clearly, there is no easy winner. However, when we take into account some specific factors, Classroom Training seems to be the preferred method of learning. Here’s why:

From employer’s perspective

Every employer trains their employees in their preferred method of working; right from a small café owner to corporate giants. Almost all employers believe in their own work ethics and like their employees to adapt them. This is hard to do through an online course.

When an employer asks its employees to train online, it can easily come off as ‘added work’ that is a burden to employees. On the other hand classroom teaching means a day off work for them! They not only tend to take a deeper interest in learning, but also feel valued as a part of the organisation.

Every employer who trains its employees in a classroom environment, gains their trust. The employer is seen as investing in its staff when it sets time aside specifically for a training session or workshop.

Classroom training sessions also mean a good photo op for publicity and in-house journals, websites and blogs. It gives the employer something to promote.

Employers get to choose between onsite training or training their employees at a remote location. Also, they can tutor a large bunch of employees together in the same space while monitoring their progress.

From employee’s perspective

As an employee who works weekdays, online training gives an option to study in the weekends; however, it also means giving up on some personal time. Classroom training allows a day learning without disrupting work or personal schedules.

Also, studying online means studying by yourself and many topics may need reference reading. Whereas in classroom training, a tutor is always present to clear things up on the spot.

In addition, working as part of a group in the class helps bring out creative ideas. You can take notes and jot down points that others may present. The overall process makes understanding the subject easy and practical.

For an individual

If you are an individual, probably looking to extend your skillset, online training may appear to be more viable a solution. This is because you can study at your leisure and even pay for course modules in parts as you work a regular job. Also, some specific courses such as language require more time to learn and most of the learning is best done by self. However, if you are looking for quick certifications in disciplines such as food safety or conflict resolution, classroom training can save you time and effort as you can train to get your qualification.

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