Pros and Cons of Classroom learning
In today’s fast-paced 24/7 world taking time out to attend a class-room course may seem a bit of a luxury, especially when there are so many eLearning, webinars and You Tube options available, not to mention all of the books and other publications. So isn’t class-room learning now old-hat / had its day?
We don’t think so; there are pros and cons of every learning method, so let’s examine them for classroom learning.
Some ‘Pros’ of Classroom learning:
- The ‘Human Touch’ – having a trainer and other learners in the room often really helps to bring the subject ‘alive’, and having a trainer in the room can help you relate the subject to your own experiences. Also, being in the classroom means that a trainer can give on-the-spot help, over and above the standard course curriculum
- Immediate Feedback – especially important if you are struggling to ‘get’ something and want to ask questions. Although eLearning will often have a mechanism to contact someone for help, you will not usually get an immediate response.
- Interaction with other Learners – don’t underestimate the usefulness of this one! Sharing experiences and ideas with other learners on a course can be invaluable, especially if the subject is a complicated one, or requires
- Catering for Different Learning Styles – there are several different learning styles, for example some people are kinaesthetic learners which means they like to be able to practice what they are learning. Although good eLearning courses do try to cater for different learning styles, there aren’t as many options for doing so.
- More Scope for Varied Exercises – whilst most eLearning courses will include quizzes and inter-active exercises some types of exercise to embed learnings are only possible in a class room, for example role-play.
- Focus / Removal of Distractions – when you are in a classroom generally phones are on silent and learners aren’t distracted by work emails and social media. This makes it easier to become immersed in the training / subject and focus. Furthermore, when learning at home it’s also easy to get distracted by chores, the doorbell and family / pets.
- Team Building – taking a team away on the same learning event can be a good way for the team to get to know each other a bit better away from the workplace
- Tailored Training – classroom training can be private events, delivered for a particular organization and can therefore be tailored specifically to the organization’s requirements
To be balanced let’s now consider the ‘Cons’:
- Expense – there’s no getting away from it – classroom training usually costs more, there’s a training room and equipment to be paid for in addition to the trainers time. This is one of the main ‘cons’ – but if you can afford it, then generally the classroom is considered the ‘Rolls Royce’ of training.
- Travel – of course there is a need to travel to wherever the training is being delivered, but most of us are to some kind of journey to work. However, the home bound travel time can be helpful time to reflect on what has been learnt during the day.
- Pace of learning – in a classroom the trainer needs to try and ensure that everyone is ‘getting it’, which generally means (within reason) going at a pace that ensures those who are slower in picking things up don’t get left behind. This might not be the optimum pace for you
- During Work Hours – although sometimes you may be able to find classroom learning during evenings or week-ends – it’s rare. Generally classroom learning will therefore be done in work hours, and depending on the pressure of your job, it might be difficult to find the time to get away.
Of course here is no ‘right or wrong’ regarding which type of learning you should ‘go for, you just need to select the option that best fulfils your requirements at a particular point in time.