Will E-learning Or Online Training Replace Classroom Training? Why?

Traditionally, Business School’s Classroom Training Meets Their Requirements, But Changing Growth and Education Trends Could Change this.

Will E-learning Or Online Training Replace Classroom Training? Why?

Introduction.

I am a teacher, LMT 1.0, with 20 years’ experience. For an extensive period, my emphasis was on library or primary school educators. As a second-stage educator, I moved into content development. Consequently, for nearly three years I spent time as a Content Specialist and Learning Developer in the Primary school sector, sharing my knowledge with teachers in ever increasing numbers.

Learning Forward.

As digital literacy has continued to pervade society and become part of daily life, the demand for continuing education has increased. It has also become easier to gain access to content for training purposes. However, this is not a situation which was prevalent in pre-digital education. People rarely travelled to individual subjects. Consequently, learning required spending time in the classroom, dedicated to every subject and everyday development of skills and knowledge, for a certain number of hours each week. The key component which differentiated teaching and learning from other learning avenues was an understanding of all the content elements, demonstrating all the steps in the learning process, and monitoring every single individual and group that was involved.

Traditional Classroom Training.

While digital tools have made access to learning resources and content easier, and classroom learning more engaging, I still feel that there are lessons to be learned from the classroom approach to learning. Classroom learning and providing advanced training to teachers have been a prevalent aspect of secondary school education since the early 2000s, particularly in teacher training. The attendance to the classroom, professional assessment and continuous content development all combined to create an atmosphere in which learning occurred on an individual level, and with the objective of increasing performance.

But in recent years, these practices have been challenged. The ‘flipping’ of the classroom and learning on the go have raised challenges which were never before seen in classrooms. In the traditional classroom, teachers have watched the majority of their lessons during the day, or recorded and replayed them at the end of the day. In the online world of e-learning, such practices are no longer viable. Online means that lessons can be shared quickly, and a large number of people can participate in what are essentially short bursts. The videos which students can watch can be taken at any time during the day. Overall, it is much more efficient for teachers. But does this mean that classroom learning is inherently obsolete?

Is It Time to Offer Online Training?

Given the diversity of content that is now available online, to assess teacher ability to teach students requires insight into the content. However, at the same time, the amount of academic content available to students online seems to be increasing. Some believe that online learning is intrinsically biased toward academic topics, and teachers should therefore aim to focus their efforts on the content they feel is most relevant to student progression.

With this in mind, how should we think about the future of teaching and learning? Should we expect to focus on advanced technical and career learning while we teach technical content? Should we transition to a full distance learning model? Or would a hybrid model be viable? How best can we achieve the objectives we collectively choose to pursue? These are difficult questions, which are bound to be discussed on more than one occasion. But in the end, we will all have to create the learning and training that works for our own organisation, and each of our schools.

Because online learning is a growing factor in the global education market, we must invest in all of the learning tools which can be offered online and in hybrid models. In the long run, teachers are expected to be much more skilled in using digital tools, and on a daily basis. It is essential that we look beyond the here and now and take advantage of the advancement which digital platforms have given us.

This means looking at the growth of online learning, and the advantages of additional opportunities to train and develop our professional skills. It is time to embrace change and think globally.

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