A few years ago, when our church was learning the best way to use our church management software, we sent four individuals to a training seminar that was six hours away from our church. We had to reluctantly include one overnight stay and two days of food and travel in order for them to get the necessary training to work with the software.
The church management software that our church uses was worth the commitment in training time. The modules in the software provide straightforward accessibility to membership, people skills, email communications, and other useful resources for the church. There was not any online training available, at that time, and a lot of of the features of the software went unused. Training seminars were on the market from time-to-time, in various parts of the US. The assumption was that training was available, but it was the responsibility of the user to pay for the travel, as well as the training seminar fees.
This is just what our church did. We paid the seminar fees along with the travel expenses and obtained the benefit of having several people who were knowledgeable about the full software package and equipped to put it to really good use.
In a general sense, the thought of going to an instruction center to get instruction appears to have been the model for the past few years. Only recently has wide-spread utilization of online training come into the mainstream of thinking. Webinars, training programs, podcasts, etc. are presently widely obtainable in many industries, including software, hardware, and manufactured goods.
Are the online courses just as good as attending a training lesson? Overall, I believe the answer is yes. Certainly the broadcasting of specific results are as effective. In many cases, it will be same instructor providing the online training as it would be if the training were held live. Course materials are often made available in both instances, so those would be also considered equal.
In specifically what areas is online training better? One good thing about online training is in cost reductions and time savings. This is significant, and very likely the most measurable advantage. Another is the ease of scheduling around a training program. Sometimes, the customer can choose when the person wants to view the information. In other cases, as in a webinar, the instructor sets the hours. In certain instances, such as a podcast, the information could very well be reviewed over-and-over.
What then, are the actual greatest things about planning a trip to attend a training course? The most critical consideration is the direct interaction with the instructor. Often, through questions and dialogue, more information is gathered than is presented at the prepared classroom setting. Sometimes, certifications are just made available to actual live attendees of a course. This way, the certifier is in a position to verify that the recipients received the entire required information. In an online setting, a person is free to walk from the screen without the instructor being aware of their absence, for example.
Overall, the advantages go toward having instruction available online. The same basic information and facts are broadcast to the actual customers, the time and cost savings are huge, and the results are most often available for review.