Advantages and Disadvantages for On Line Contractor Education and Training. On line training has become more popular as courses are adapted to the on line format. For some contractors the pros of on line training outweigh the cons, however most of the contractors we speak with in the residential industry prefer to attend training classes in person.
In our Mass Construction Supervisor Continuing Ed Class last week one contractor told us he ordered a course online and was totally frustrated that he could not get questions answered timely. Also he said if he started and then had to stop for a few minutes he then had to go all the back to the beginning of the course.
Here are some thoughts to consider before you choose on line or in-person training.
The convenience of being able to take a training while in your home or office saves on travel time to attend a training in person. You can even attend class in pajamas.
On line classes are usually available around the clock allowing contractors to fit the training into their schedules without having to block out time to travel and attend the class.
All Focus Is On Training
With on line training classes all time is devoted to learning the objectives of the course. You do not have to allow for breaks or lunch.
On line courses tend to be cheaper than in-person classes due to the fact that there are no facliities, teacher or food. Remember you allways get what you pay for.
On line courses can be boring and monotonous
With on line training you here someone reading a slide or syllabus to you or you read it yourself. Charismatic and experienced teachers engage and motivate the class. A good teacher can make a boring subject exciting.
Attending in-person education and training classes provides an environment that fosters group interaction. Students learn objectives in a collaborative way from others who are usually in the same industry. Contractors often bring up current live examples giving the group an opportunity to learn from one another.
No Immediate Feedback With On line Training
In-person training allows the teacher to immediately answer questions as they arise. The lack of face to face interaction can be difficult if you like personalized attention form your teacher. With on line courses the student must wait for an instructor to get back on line or wait for an email response hopefully by the next day.
Teacher's Assessment of Course Material Understanding
With on line training there is no way the teacher can assess how the material is being received from the participant. With in-person training the teacher can see and sense if the material is being received well or not and then attempt another approach to help those who may need to hear or see things presented in a different way.
Distractions in Home or Business Office Affecting Learning
On line training is often done in the home or office where there are numerous distractions. For example the home office is often filled with project files, bills, pending estimates, ringing phones, email notifications, faxes, family members and pet interruptions. On line training requires discipline and focus. You will have the responsibility for your learning and must motivate yourself to complete the tasks.
With in-person training you know why you are there and the teacher will keep you on task.
On line courses require a minimum level of computer skills and often require learning new skills to navigate the programs. On line courses usualy take more time to complete than in-person classes.
Select the best teaching method which you know works for you
Whether you elect to choose on line or in-person training be honest with yourself on which learning method is best for you. Many contractors have a difficult time focusing and sitting in front of a computer to take a on line class.
Even though on line training has a lower cost and can be taken on your time schedule there is no interaction with others in your industry or a live instructor. The opportunities for to learn from other contractors who face the same battle you face everyday is priceless.