September 28, 2023

Distance learning or face-to-face training, which one to choose?

#training#professional skills#digital talent#professional career

A few years ago, distance education was the ugly duckling of higher education homeschooling because it was less recognized than face-to-face education. Today, online learning has become the preferred option of millions of people for its flexibility, for eliminating geographical barriers and for giving access to a more varied educational offer.

Online training allows you to attend the best courses and educational centers in the world from home.

In face-to-face education, students go to a physical classroom where teaching and much of the learning takes place.

Online education – also known as e-learning – continues to gain ground on face-to-face education and the majority of students have already tried this type of teaching. 77% of young people in the world have an online course in their curriculum, according to a Global Shapers survey published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the trend will only increase.

Another manifest proof of the global growth of distance learning is the number of users of online course platforms: the five most used worldwide totaled almost 90 million students in 2018 and more than 900 universities incorporated MOOCs – massive and open online courses – into their educational pointed out by the seminar search engine Class Central.

North America and the Asia-Pacific region lead the online learning industry which, according to the forecast report Global Online Education Market: Forecasts from 2018 to 2023, will obtain an annual growth rate of 10.26% over the next four years and exceed 286,000 million dollars of market value in 2023.

Online and face-to-face training are two different ways of acquiring knowledge. Although both pursue the quality of teaching, each uses its own method and establishes its own channels and patterns of learning.

Virtual education uses the Internet and information and communication technologies (ICT) to provide students with didactic tools – chats, blogs, videoconferences or shared documents – that make the course dynamic and make it more intuitive and easy to follow. This asynchronous system allows students to attend class, work, communicate, take exams and access content from anywhere. Distance learning is also characterized by promoting the autonomy and curiosity of students, collaborative work, critical thinking and self-taught learning. This system also diversifies the sources of knowledge. On the other hand, in face-to-face education, students go to a physical classroom where teaching and much of the learning takes place. In this modality, students acquire a more passive role and adapt to the rhythm and method of the teacher, who becomes the main source of consultation.

The history of ‘e-learning’ at a glance.

SEE INFOGRAPHIC: The history of ‘e-learning’ at a glance [PDF] External link, opens in new window. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE TRAINING

Virtual education has pros and cons to assess to know if it is the most suitable:

AdvantagesThere are no geographical barriers. The best educational institutions in the world are within reach of being able to access them from anywhere.Schedules are flexible. The contents are always available and can be accessed at any time. This makes it easy to study several subjects at the same time.Costs are lower. Tuition fees are cheaper by implying, among other things, less infrastructure.The contents are updated. All materials are in digital format and that facilitates their constant renewal.

DisadvantagesIt requires organization and willpower. The idiosyncrasy of this type of education forces to establish certain routines.It makes it difficult to deal directly with the teacher. The contact with the teacher occurs virtually and that conditions when it comes to, for example, making consultations.Reduces the chances of socializing. In the absence of a physical place to go, it becomes more difficult to establish personal relationships with other colleagues.ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF FACE-TO-FACE TRAINING

In the case of face-to-face training, there are also some positive and negative aspects to assess:

AdvantagesThe deal with the teaching staff is closer. Students have direct access to the teacher when consulting questions or establishing tutorials with him.The possibility of socializing. By getting together with more people in a physical space, contacts are established that can be of help in the face of the labor market.Discipline as a virtue. Having to comply with preset schedules instills discipline to avoid touches of attention by teachers.

DisadvantagesThe costs are higher. The maintenance of infrastructures – facilities, services or supplies – and travel make it more expensive.Schedules are stiffer. Those who want to combine their studies with a job have it more complicated.The contents take time to update. Teachers tend to rely on analogue materials, which are complex to update, when teaching their classes.

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