This is the first post in a short series all about the benefits of online training. When I started delivering training for Learning Tree at the turn of the decade, way back into 2010/2011, online training was already becoming a big part of the training delivery model at Learning Tree.
If I think back to those days in London, maybe between 3-5% of attendees were attending online — that probably equates to one or two attendees per training session. These days, this figure is much higher — around 20-25%, which equates to 4 or 5 attendees per training event. These figures are based on U.K. operations. In North America, these figures are much higher. As an example, I have taught several events in Ottawa, New York, and Maryland where the total attendees for each have been around 20, and 16 of them have been online participants.
When I talk to attendees online about why they have chosen to attend a training event online instead of coming to class, I get a wide variety of response including:
All the above are responses from attendees I have spoken to over the years. Looking at their replies, it is easy to identify some of the benefits of taking online training.
You don’t need to make arrangements with your partner and family to be away from home for a week. You can take the class from home or your office. If you really want, you could take it from your favorite coffee shop or from the beach, sipping a margarita during the afternoon break.
When I started out in my IT career, online training wasn’t an option — fast Internet wasn’t quite readily available. So, I had to attend in person — travel to London for the week and learn in the classroom. At the time, while learning SQL Server 2000 DTS from my now good friend and fellow Learning Tree instructor, Charles Kangai, it was well worth the money my employers paid (I was based in South Wales at that time).
If you add train tickets, hotels, and a soft drink or two into the cost, along with a week of being out of the office, the cost of my actual training was only half the final bill. Trains and hotels are not cheap. Taking a class online removes that cost. You just have the course fee, which represents quite a savings and stretches that training budget.
We all have busy lives and other non-work related commitments. Being away from home for a week might not viable if you have a young family, your partner works, and you don’t have child care. Maybe you have a dog, like Seth and Jake here, and nobody to take care of them. You can attend the class online with your dogs at your feet. I would recommend walks before class, lunchtime, and after class.
You live in Edinburgh, Scotland? How lovely. You see a class running in London, New York, or Toronto that you would like to attend, but you don’t have the budget to travel? No problem. You can still attend online via AnyWare. You also have the option to attend the class during U.S. hours, opening a whole new course schedule to you. You can even go to work in the morning so you are not out of the office all week.
Have children in school that need dropping off and picking up each day? Not an issue. Attend online, let your instructor know in advance, set your status to away, pop out to collect the kids, and re-join when you’re done. Then, you’ll finish at 4:30 pm and even have time to help your kids make YouTube Videos about Minecraft or Roblox.
You receive an experience identical to if you were to attend in person — you can ask questions, talk to your instructor before and after class, complete the exercises, and take part in the class discussion.
In the classroom, when an instructor provides a demo, it’s through a projector. When you attend remotely, you get to view it on your screen.
There is a downside… you don’t get the biscuits and treats at break time! But, you can supply your own 🙂
I have taught many classes with online attendees, been a producer, helped online attendees with the technology, as well as attended several online events myself.
Everyone I have spoken to has enjoyed the experience and benefits that come with attending online. For me, it means I get to sit at home, learn, ask questions, walk the dogs, fetch the kids from school, sleep in my own bed, and all at half the same cost of attending in-class.