Distance Learning vs. Classroom Training: The Split Decision?

Marissa Mayer, Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo, kicked off an interesting debate about working from home.  The New York Times summarized the debate in their Editorial, Location, Location, Location.

After reading the article, I began to think about the debate as it relates to training.  Is there a difference between distance learning and classroom learning?  Is one better than the other?  Should we, as an industry, be pushing for more personal interaction, like Marissa, by mandating classroom training?

After some thought, I came to the same conclusion found in the New York Times Editorial.  They summed it up nicely:

“The doyens of Silicon Valley who have made this always-connected world possible should be the first to realize that the workplace of the future will not be easy to define.”

Basically, it depends.  When it comes to training, the instructor-led classroom environment is the best environment for learning.  In the classroom setting, learners are focused, able to interact with peers, and have direct access to the subject matter expert.  Unfortunately, not everyone has the time, budget, or ability to attend a live classroom based training program.  For these people and organizations, they need to consider options beyond live instructor-led classroom training.

Although eliminating the option to work from home for Yahoo may be the best decision for them, it may not be the best decision for everyone.  Every organization is different and these differences dictate the best approach for where employees work and for how employees train.

When it comes to choosing the best training option for your organization, there are some best practices we have discovered over our 25 years of providing training here at National Seminars.  Click here is you are interested in learning more.



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