Which is better? Online or classroom training. Why?

John Sherman

When it comes to online versus classroom training, it is important to recognize each has a unique environment. There are many additional differences you should know before you select the right option for your organization and employees. As far as which learning opportunity is better, they both have advantages and disadvantages although the consensus among businesses is that e-learning has a competitive edge.


Training rules

Most people know what to expect from in-person training, whereas that is not always the case with individuals who participate in e-learning. After all, the experience of a classroom setting starts in preschool. Especially if your company has never offered online training, you can anticipate your employees having a significant number of questions. The best way to prepare them for e-learning and to help them feel excited about the online opportunity is to put together information and instructions that address their questions and concerns.

If you have a large organization, consider holding an orientation for new hires and existing employees to go over the benefits of taking online training courses. At that time, you can also discuss the required technology, provide examples of the topics available, give them information on resources they can turn to for support, and so on.

Positive experience

Another difference between classroom and online training has to do with support. People who train in a classroom setting have someone they can turn to immediately when they need help. With online courses, your employees may have to wait a few days for support. As an example, if you have workers using e-learning at home, and they complete a course on Friday, they would need to wait until Monday to get answers or assistance with a problem.

You can address this issue in two ways. First, make sure someone on your leadership team staffs an on-call support line. Second, choose a method of e-learning on a platform that includes support as part of the overall pricing structure. The same goes for receiving feedback. You need a well-designed online training source that includes instructor feedback or provides reporting to the participant’s manager.

Driving force

Compared to a classroom environment, online learning is more student-driven. In other words, people who take courses online as a way of developing or honing skills and knowledge want to learn. Before taking the e-learning route, it would help to conduct an analysis of each department within your organization to identify the level of interest and needs. Make sure you choose workers who are willing to better themselves and their careers for online training.

Between the two options, online training requires more self-discipline from participants. Although most courses take an hour or less to complete, your employees must still manage their time correctly. If you have a staff eager to learn and willing to dedicate a portion of their day to learning, online training is an outstanding option.

On the other hand, if the people within your organization you want to put through training tend to procrastinate or show zero interest, a classroom setting might be the better choice. Of course, if your organization consists of both types of employees, you could develop a program that includes classroom and online training.

Segmented learning

When providing employees with in-person training, most companies cram as much information as possible into a single session. Although some participants will sail through with no problem, others may feel overloaded with details, making it difficult if not impossible to digest the training material.

With online training, you can select one or two courses at a time, giving your staff time to absorb the lesson before moving on. Because the top e-learning platform has many training courses lasting no more than an hour on average, they work great for everyone, including those with short attention spans.


Between home and work, people have little extra time. For that reason, they look for ways to make life more convenient. When using classroom training alone, you could run into two problems First, by taking your employees away from their work responsibilities, they could become even more stressed. Second, because classroom style education typically occurs during business hours, it could impact your revenues.

When you use the online delivery method, your employees could complete the required courses from anywhere and at any time. You would pay them for going through training off the clock. The next business day, they would return to work with improved knowledge and skill. Without worrying about training, they could focus better on their jobs.


Many people think classroom training is better for collaboration since a group of participants can go through the same session at the same time. However, you can coordinate online courses for groups as well as individuals. For instance, if the entire human resource department needs compliance training, you could have the group complete the courses together in a classroom-type setting.

Offering both options ensures your entire staff receives the training required to work more efficiently while preparing themselves for a more rewarding career. With classroom and online courses, you offer your employees valuable and practical training they can apply to the work they perform.

Incredible training solutions

As the demand for online training courses continues to increase, you will find an abundance of available services. However, not all offer the same calibre of material as Go1. Not only do we have tons of articles and videos on virtually every topic imaginable, but we also keep our pricing competitive. For your online training needs, we offer incredible solutions for employees on all levels.

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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