Online training is a big deal these days.
It’s how many trainers, speakers and coaches are having to deliver their knowledge, skills, and experience.
That means, of course, that the topic has become subject to increased social media chatter. As with most things, everyone seems to have an opinion on it.
And there lies a problem.
Because opinion sometimes gets touted as ‘fact’.
I can’t let that go because it’s simply not right, not fair. If people are put off learning online because they’re influenced by something they read (even if it’s not backed with any supporting evidence) that’s more than just a pity.
It’s also potentially very damaging to the livelihoods of the many, many thousands of trainers, speakers, coaches, and other professional experts around the world.
I have plenty to say about some of the misconceptions that are flying around about online training. But let me focus on four BIG ones:
Misconception #1: Online courses are of lower quality than face-to-face
Well, for starters, I don’t think that’s true.
In my professional opinion, to create an excellent online training course you have to put in almost DOUBLE the effort you would put into preparing a face-to-face one.
And here’s why.
You have to shorten your modules. You have to make them bite-sized to make them intelligible. You need to add captions to your videos to make them accessible for people. There’s a lot more design that goes into an online training course than actually goes into a face-to-face one.
And because you put more effort into creating or developing an online course, it can actually be of much higher quality than an equivalent face-to-face training course.
Especially true if you are suddenly converting an existing face-to-face course to an online version, it’s time to take stock of what you already have. If you are pivoting or adjusting your means of delivery to your audience, now is a great opportunity to revisit your content and redesign it for the online world.
Misconception #2: Online courses don’t help you advance your career
Unsurprisingly, I tend to disagree with this one as well.
Look at all the people that have taken my online Microsoft 365 courses, for example.
It means they can do more for their clients. It means they can get more done in less time. It means they can enhance their skill set.
That, in turn, leads to greater employability and means they can command a higher charging rate. They become the ‘go-to’ person in their niche because they know what they’re doing.
When you look at it like that, I can only believe that online courses and online training do enhance your career skills and opportunities.
Misconception #3: Online courses are easier than face-to-face
This is another thought that needs to go straight in the bin where it belongs.
Thinking about it, this is a bit like the myth I covered in my previous 7 Myths About Online Training blog.
Online courses can absolutely be as enjoyable as face-to-face ones, but they’re definitely not easier.
As a participant, you have to have the discipline to show up. You need the discipline to attend. You must have the discipline to do whatever tasks you are set to do. And you need to be able to use the tech that you are given, that your learning is hosted in. That might be Zoom, it could be Teams or could be a different platform.
So, I wouldn’t say online courses are easier than face-to-face, but it is a different kind of attending. A different experience.
Misconception #4: You need to be a tech wizard to attend an online training course
Well, surprise, surprise. I don’t think this is true, either.
Depending on the platform being used, and whether it’s live or pre-recorded, the online course will be delivered in an easy-to-use platform.
For example, many people have become really familiar with using Zoom over the last three to four months. And similarly, the same is happening with Microsoft Teams. People have got used to how they work now. So, you don’t need to be a tech wizard.
What you do want are good instructions. That should not be an issue because your professional course instructor will take care of that. They will send you great joining instructions and show you – probably in a simple video – how to access the learning.
And there you have them. Four misconceptions about online training.
Are there any more you can think of? Do comment, feedback and let me know.
P.S. You can find more of my posts, articles and videos for VA’s if you follow me on LinkedIn. I’m on a mission to help more VA’s become the superhero for their clients. You’re invited to be part of that movement.
P.P.S – This post is based on the second of the 5 Ms video series which featured first on LinkedIn. You can see the videos on my YouTube Channel