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.Four BIG Misconceptions about Online Training

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.

They might take Work Smarter with Style in Word
or Essential Excel Skills for Business, or How to Use Microsoft Teams. When they do, it means much more than just learning core ‘how-to’ tasks.

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.

Four BIG Misconceptions about Online TrainingOnline 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.

Shelley Fishel



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 

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2 thoughts on “Four BIG Misconceptions about Online Training

  1. I agree totally with your 4 points and f course the great thing about online training is its accessibility even before the pandemic there was a issue about the practicablity of attending physical training rooms. for many reasons some learners found it a real challenge to travel to a training room often over long distances and very frequently staying overnght -resulting in themhaving to decline the offer of this training.

    Online training opens the world of training to everyone anywhere

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The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes