The advantages of eLearning compliance programs have been well documented. Not only are these virtual training sessions regularly more cost effective than a traditional classroom, they also offer learners greater flexibility, allowing them to consume the associated materials at their own schedule and pace.
Further, the information covered in these shorter, more focused training sessions is routinely better retained by learners.
Trying to determine what the online portion of your training program should look like? Read: eLearning Compliance Training: Why Are Shorter Courses Better?
Of course, traditional in-person training can also offer a number of benefits, providing learners with immediate feedback and increased opportunity for discussion.
Just as eLearning programs have embraced gamification and interactive content to draw in learners, classroom training -- when done right -- can offer a similar level of interaction. When the learners are in the same room together, you can more easily foster group discussions among participants, exposing workers to the opinions and perspectives of others.
For example, while online training can offer your employees the tools to build their cultural competence and engage in discussions across social, economic, and racial boundaries, an in-person training program could offer the opportunity to have one of these discussions immediately in a safe, judgment-free environment.
Similarly, complex questions can be immediately discussed and resolved without waiting for a response. By providing all of the needed information at the time of learning, you can better prevent training gaps or gray areas from forming.
In-person training can also offer a higher level of personalization in the content being provided. Learners prefer real-world scenarios and examples that apply to their day-to-day job roles, and an eLearning program could struggle to provide that level of customization.
By contrast, each classroom setting can be adjusted to the unique requirements of those learners. And examples can be developed "on the fly" through group discussion to make the scenarios more relevant and informative.
Executive participation is critical for any successful training program. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED), one of the primary keys to combating corruption and unethical behavior is the participation of senior-level management in the creation of an honest and transparent culture. Unfortunately, an email from the CEO describing how important an online training program is to the company will probably be ignored by a large portion of the staff, resulting in little impact.
Conversely, by having C-level executives and other key managers sitting in a training classroom with other employees, your business can create a clear tone at the top that not only is training important but so is the topic being covered.
As both training models offer unique strengths and weaknesses, a hybrid approach that incorporates both methods can offer unique advantages. Initial classroom training can deliver an interactive experience that allows learners to experiment with the new concepts and ask questions directly from an established expert.
Meanwhile, ongoing eLearning techniques, such as microlearning, can offer regular reminders for core concepts as well as updates to policy or process changes.
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recognized a number of these advantages as part of a meta-analysis of various training and educational studies. In particular, the DOE found that among older -- post high school graduation -- learners, a hybrid education program tends to yield better training results.
Part of this advantage may be from the extended learning time offered by online coursework, which expands the window when students can review the relevant information. Also, education programs that incorporate more collaborative and instructor-directed elements tend to be more successful.
Further, the meta-analysis found that the effectiveness of online learning elements appears to be rather broad, leading to similar learning outcomes across various content and learner types.
Whatever training program your business chooses, it should employ a holistic approach, combining a healthy mix of in-person and online training. By offering your employees a multitude of options, you can accommodate a broader range of learners and better ensure that important information is absorbed and retained by staff.
Further, you should take measures to make your training program:
To learn more about how Workplace Answers can help your business develop a training program that meets your company's unique challenges and expectations, request a demo of our online compliance training.
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