Online education and training is becoming increasingly popular in the business world. Do the advantages of this development outweigh the disadvantages?

Enthusiasm for digital technology is at an all-time high, not least in the workplace as companies around the world turn to internet-based training to keep their employees abreast of all the latest developments. As with all new trends, there is some debate about whether


transition is for the best.

One key reason for


move away from more traditional training methods is the fact that e-learning offers businesses the opportunity to reduce their expenditure significantly. Providing face-to-face training can be exorbitantly expensive, particularly in terms of travel costs and lost productivity, and online courses can greatly reduce the expense of keeping employees well-informed and up-to-date. Computer-based training renders geographical location irrelevant and


eliminates the need to pay an instructor to travel to your office or cover the cost of sending your employees to a training centre. It


minimises the amount of time wasted. From a purely financial perspective, there is no doubt that


shift to digital learning makes perfect sense.


, research suggests that the quality and effectiveness of web-based courses lag behind the efficacy of those delivered in a classroom setting. People crave interaction and while digital training courses may offer a welcome addition to a company_s professional development plan, many educators believe that they should be used to complement rather than replace instructor-led sessions. Some subject matter


as compliance training is well-suited to an online

format whereas

Accept comma addition
format, whereas

management or leadership courses which are more collaborative in nature, are best taught ‘in person_. Many companies are starting to implement ‘blended learning_ programmes which aim to combine the best of both worlds.

In conclusion,


the rise of computer-based education is very attractive in terms of reducing overheads, for the moment at least, more traditional training still has its place in the workplace. The challenge for businesses is to find the right balance between the two.

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