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5 Reasons it’s Time to Convert Your In-Person Training to an Online Course

Online course examples: math, beauty, IT, and coffee

If you currently offer in-person trainings to employees, clients, or students, you know it’s a lot of work. There are schedules to coordinate, logistics to figure out, and materials to assemble.

Even though the effort is high, we usually rate the experience as worthwhile because the value provided to the attendees is also high. But what if you could upend that calculation, building something more durable and versatile for less long-term cost?

Here are 5 reasons to offer your in-person trainings as an online course.

An online course reaches more students.

An in-person training requires the trainer and the trainees to be together at the same time and in the same place. An online course is unconstrained by time, location, or the number of trainers.

An online course has the potential to reach a larger number of students and to reach students who might previously have been unattainable due to costs, time zones, or busy schedules.

An online course gives you more than one way to reach students.

Offering only in-person trainings requires health, travel, and schedules to all align. A well-planned, in-person training can fail for multiple reasons. A student or trainer may get sick, a global pandemic may hit, travel may get delayed, or a schedule conflict may arise.

Does an online course need to replace in-person training? Not at all. Having a second delivery method gives a backup option when things aren’t going well and a new avenue to reach people when things are.

An online course gives students a flexible learning experience.

During an in-person training, the schedule is set, both when the training will occur and how much time will be devoted to each topic. There is little room for accommodating students.

In an online course, students can go through the material whenever they want, as many times as they want, and at their own pace. They can pause when needed to take care of something else. They can go back through an earlier section as a review. They can skip ahead through an already-familiar topic. The learning experience is flexible to the learner’s needs.

The flexibility is similar to watching a movie at home. Need to use the bathroom, rewatch your favorite scene, or refill your popcorn bowl? No problem!

An online course delivers high quality content, consistently.

An online course is an opportunity to put forward the best of your best. While the quality of an in-person training varies, such as from the experience level of the trainer or someone having an off day, you have greater control over the quality of your online course.

Similar to a travel brochure showing curated photos, you get to select who will present the material and in what format. For example, your most experienced subject matter expert can author the content, you can feature your most charismatic trainer in a video, and you can have a highly in-demand person (think company president, university provost, or brand spokesperson) make a cameo.

An online course is cost effective.

In-person trainings are expensive to coordinate and offer. Online courses don’t have to be. When you build an online course, you get to decide what features matter the most to you and devote the most resources there. And while it takes concerted effort to build the course initially, once the course launches, it moves into maintenance mode where the effort is lower.

Best of all, you can offer the course to as many people as you want, greatly reducing the production cost per student.

Next Steps

If you’re nervous about an online course being too "passive” compared to an in-person learning experience, fear not. Today’s course-building tools allow for customization, gamification, and scenario-based learning to keep students engaged.

As an example, we invite you to check out an interactive wine tasting we built. Notice how the student is guided by a wine expert while tasting the wine and evaluating its qualities. That’s a tasty way to learn!


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