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E-Learning V’s Face to Face?


What are the positive and negative points relating to e-learning?
fiona wilson

6 Responses

  1. E-learning is great
    E-learning has some noteable positives:

    You can use it to deliver training to a geographically dispersed audience – different time zones, for example.

    In doing this you are significantly reducing delivery costs – no travel, hotels etc to worry about.

    E-learning can deliver content at the convenience of the user – this can reduce the impact on a business – less time away from the work place.

    It can be used by the learner to explore things they way they want to (if the system is set up this way – not all e-learning systems offer this)

    It can also be used to reinforce learning delivered previously, say on a face-2-face course, by providing ‘just in time’ learning – you refresh what you did on a course just before you need to apply it. E.g. you do a recruitment interviewing course, but don’t apply it for a month or 2. Just before you have to do that first interview, you use the e-learning system to refresh yourself – thereby enhancing the value/effectiveness of the original course.

    It can provide opportunities for greater reflection amongst users – in some early e-learning experiments I was involved with in the RAF, learning effectiveness was significantly enhanced – the content of a 3 day traditional course was delivered via e-learning system over 16 weeks. It was all done in our spare time – no impact on business – the learners were scattered all over western europe, and the learning experience was much, much stronger all round.

  2. E-learning is bad
    I have posted positive stuff about e-learning separately due to space considerations.

    The downside of e-learning – you can’t so easily fire a question at the tutor – at least not in real time.

    E-learning systems are in early developmental stages, and tend to favour people whose learning style is more to the reflective and theorist side of things, although it is improving.

    E-learning systems vary greatly in quality, and being highly structured, may be lacking in flexibility.

    It is very difficult to have a real time discussion with other learners, you can’t see the passion or fire that some people bring with their comments or responses – it is in one sense a less rich experience.

    Many people responsible for training development in many organisations may be (politely) enthusiastic amateurs. Often it is not their main role. If it is, they may not have had any formal training in it. It is a temptation in such cases to hand responsibility for learning over to an electronic system, especially with all its benefits (see separate response to your question).

    The fashion is to put an ‘e’ in front of everything and people believe it is problem solved.

    Not so.

    E-learning has much to offer the learning & development world, but it has a long, long way to go before it can become the primary learning environment, no matter how bad we want this to be the case.

    I am happy to discuss my own experiences as a user, manager and developer in greater detail, should you wish. Email me at

  3. I don’t think people are saying that it is better.
    e-Learning must be seen as another way of learning i.e. IN ADDITION to, not as a REPLACEMENT FOR, all your intructor-led training [ILT] It enables people to learn in a different way, which appeals to some people’s learning styles, but not all.

    It does have clear benefits for both the learner and also for the organisation.

    The current buzzord is BLENDED, is it not? In other words use e-Learning where appropriate to compliment your ILT offering.

    Happy to share more if you want to email me.

  4. Is Instructor lead interactive?
    I agree with all the other responses plus who says that class based courses are interactive anyway. The delegates listen and are encouraged to ask questions but a lot of the time they would rather sit back and wait for the end of the day.
    With e-learning it can be self paced and when you have a question you can ask it and wait a response.

    For example would you have had such a number of responses if youhad asked a class and would I bothered to have replied?

    I just happen to have a few moments free to collect my thoughts and give you a response.

    You are using e-learning, or at least how I would imagine it to be.


  5. e-learning
    e-learning is about to evolve. Imagine an e-learning system that allowed you to share applications with others live, so you are all looking at the same thing, then, imagine being able to ‘fire a question at the tutor’ live! in real time, yes, TALK to one another, yet you could be spread all over the globe, but all talking and solving problems together, each person taking their turn to edit applications on the platform, and all the other users see it live. In addition, imagine it being a TRUE e-learning platform, where you can get anything from a Cert, Diploma through to a Masters Degree in training!
    Call me to find out more 01344 885566


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