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E-learning vs the classroom - putting health and safety training to the test

26-06-2013

image of classroom trainingWhen it comes to health and safety training, it is essential that you choose a good course and that the course is delivered in the most effective way. Just a few years ago, all training was classroom led and held either on a training site or at the client's site. Today, thanks to advances in technology and the birth of the Internet, we have many more training options available. 

Health and safety in the workplace is essential for any business. Employers have a duty of care towards their employees and must ensure that the environment in which they work is safe and that employees have the knowledge required to report and deal with any potential hazards. Arranging good health and safety training will ensure compliance with health and safety regulations and that best practice procedures are performed at all times. 

E-learning - The Pros and Cons of Distance Learning

E-learning allows delegates to learn away from the classroom and at their own pace. Health and safety training modules are usually made available via a personal login and can be accessed from anywhere, including mobile phones. The beauty of this type of training is that it can be completed without causing any downtime to a business.

With e-learning, there is no need for employees to leave their place of work to go and sit in a classroom for hours, and often days on end. Most training courses also give students access to a training advisor should they need to clarify any points or have problems understanding any of the modules. 

However, e-learning training does depend heavily on the discipline of the student. They must be dedicated to their training and complete it fully. It is therefore important that all distance learning of this type is monitored closely. Many training programmes include alerts and management consoles for managers and supervisors so that they can see exactly how their employees are getting on with their training. 

Classroom Training - Old News or Just as Effective?

Whilst e-learning has taken off in a big way, sometimes classroom training can seem like the best option. For example, if your employees do not have good access to the Internet or do not feel comfortable learning online, they will learn that much better in a traditional classroom setting.

There are many advantages to attending a classroom-led course. Not only do employees get to learn alongside like-minded students, but they also receive tuition directly from a health and safety professional. Classroom training can spark debates, include role play and scenario based training, which could result in a buzz around the subject at hand. This may not be easily achievable with distance learning, thus leading to more effective approach to remembering and selective memory in relation to a learning requirement. 

Some companies choose e-learning whilst others favour traditional classroom training methods. Some employers choose to use a mixture of the two. Whichever you choose, it is imperative that you choose a course that delivers the subject effectively. In relation to a learning outcome, there is no right choice, it depends on the individual.

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I totally agree that the best form of learning is dependent on the individual. I personally learn far better in a more personal, interactive classroom scenario. However, the flexible benefits of E-learning, with the right support package is a fabulous way to go as well.

For me it's the added value of a classroom environment which outweighs the conveniance of e-learning. Shared knowledge of tutors and experience from other students add value and help develop peer networks. I've used both methods but must say the old fashioned classroom works best for me especially for those essential and valuable qualifications; e-learning for me should be left for CPD, updating knowledge etc...



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