With the vaccines currently being distributed around the country, the end of the pandemic. But until this happens, companies have to upskill their employees through online training. While online training has many advantages, especially with the current situation, there are also some disadvantages.
Here are some pros and cons of training personnel online.
Online training offers many advantages aside from keeping the trainees safe from the virus since they’re staying at home during the training.
Anywhere and Anytime
Among the most significant advantages of training online is it allows training anywhere at any time. The trainer and the trainee can live in separate states, but the training can continue as long as both have internet access and a device to access the internet.
It also gives physically-challenged trainees the chance to join and participate in the training. The company can conduct live training, or the trainers and trainee go online at the same time. Or it can opt to allow the trainees to access the training materials any time. This is similar to online classes offered by colleges and universities around the world.
These training materials can include recorded videos of the trainer, training documents uploaded online, and exercises to test the trainee’s level of knowledge. In this situation, the trainee can access the materials and learn at their own pace, but the company can set a deadline for the trainee to finish individual training modules.
Centered on the Trainee
In live training sessions, the trainees can interact with the trainer and fellow-trainees. The interaction is based on the training materials provided by the trainer. Even as the trainee responds to the trainer’s inquiries, he will also interact with fellow trainees, especially when they’re working on team activities.
The online video-conferencing app they are using allows trainees to interact with each other through these apps’ small group interaction feature. One such example is the breakout room feature on Zoom. This feature allows the trainee to join smaller group discussions with the option of returning to the main group discussion.
The chat function also encourages high-quality discussions among trainees. For instance, if they are tasked to evaluate a real estate mobile app, each trainee has time to read his fellow trainees’ comment and think about a suitable answer before giving it. In comparison, face-to-face training doesn’t usually give them the time to think since they’re supposed to respond immediately, or they’ll lose the chance to do so.
Even as online training offers several advantages, there are also some disadvantages to this method of training.
Access to Technology
While many trainees have a device that can access the internet, others might not be so lucky. This is the biggest disadvantage when companies opt to use online training for their employees. Additionally, even if they have a device that allows them to access the internet, they might not have the internet connection they need for the training.
Some areas of the United States don’t have internet access at all. These areas are some rural areas in the country. This makes it challenging for the trainee to join the training. Their only option is to move to a place where internet access isn’t an issue,
Another issue with using online training in training employees of a company is the limitations of technology. While technology these days are considered top-notch, they are not 100 percent reliable. There are instances when they fail in inopportune moments.
Breakdowns in the system happen sometimes. These breakdowns include internet issues, hardware issues, and even issues with the videoconferencing app. In these instances, training can halt until the issue is resolved. If the problem is on the trainee’s side, the trainee will miss some parts of the training.
Computer literacy is another disadvantage when it comes to the use of online training. A Pew Research Center report showed that only 40 percent of adult Americans answered questions about technology correctly. This shows that computer literacy is far from perfect in the country.
Due to this, patience is a virtue the trainers should have while conducting online training. They should explain or provide step-by-step instructions to the trainees if they cannot follow the instructions properly due to insufficient computer literacy.
Some do not even have an email address in the first place. This makes it difficult for the trainer to link to the online training the employee has to attend. In this case, the trainer will have to walk the employee through creating an email address over the phone.
Online training is similar to remote learning, and both have advantages and disadvantages. While it can be challenging at the start, once the disadvantages are sufficiently taken care of, it will allow trainees to learn even if they’re staying in the comfort of their homes.