The flexible nature of online training has made it extremely popular in recent years, not least because of the fact that you can learn all manner of skills from anywhere at a time of your choosing. It stands to reason that this option is popular in this new digital world we live in, but this convenience does come at a cost to the learning process and ultimately, the student.
Firstly, online qualifications can sometimes not be worth the paper they printed on, particularly if the school they’re from is not officially accredited (which is often the case online) and the deeper learning that can be achieved from face to face teaching is lost when the student is on their own in front of a PC.
There are a number of benefits to taking a property course in an classroom based environment and we take a look at a few of those now:
Increased Focus and Engagement
When an online course is taken in a home setting, there are often other, family related things going on in the background. What this leads to is a tendency to not completely focus on the course material and this naturally means that less information is going to be absorbed by the student.
Whilst online property courses do generally contain all the relevant information that you need to know to be qualified in whatever subject you’re learning, they are usually just made up of a series of streamed videos and written articles that need your undivided attention to take in effectively.
Conversely, classroom learning automatically involves a degree of interaction between the teacher and the learner, something that e-learning can’t offer. Also, most attendance courses are structured in such a way to be encourage interaction and engagement – the two types of learning just don’t compare in focus on the job in hand.
Another aspect of face to face learning that online courses can’t compete with, is the ability to engage in discussion and debate about the subject in question. For example, if you were in a classroom on a property development course with your fellow students and either a problem arose or a mistake was made, the process of discussion would not only provide the chance of overcoming the problem, but it would also help to raise viewpoints and opinions that might otherwise have not been considered.
And then there’s the scenario of when the student doesn’t quite grasp the concept of a particular module or lesson. In a classroom setting, that student can take a moment to talk to the tutor and have things clarified and put into context, whereas at home, in front of a laptop or a PC, the best you can hope for is to wait for an email response to your query. Depending on the course, support might not even be available, which leaves you stuck and unable to move forwards.
Coming into direct contact with other business people, especially those facing the same challenges as you, is a valuable resource and a vital ingredient to a great course. Of course, there are online communities via forums and chat rooms, but it’s just not the same as talking to people face to face, swapping business cards and really getting to know people. It also gives you an initial bump start to your business network and offers a de facto support network that also shouldn’t be underplayed.
A major drawback to online learning is the rigidity of the courses that are offered. What you generally get from an internet based distance learning course is set content, set modules and you basically “get what you see”. Whilst some will be ok with this way of working, not everyone learns by the same method or at the same speed, meaning that if the online course doesn’t suit you, there’s no chance to adapt it and make it work for you.
Faced with the same problem in a classroom setting and you can talk to the educator and work with them in a way that allows you absorb the required information. This isn’t guaranteed to enable you overcome your mental block, but the chances of reaching a successful conclusion is significantly higher.
Classroom based learning may cost more and require you to set aside time out of your day to attend, but the benefits are huge. As they say, you get what you put in, so if you’re looking to learn about anything, putting the effort in and really committing to it will offer much greater rewards than the online alternative.
Learning on your own in front of a computer has its place and to some, it’s the only thing available to them due personal circumstances. However, if an attendance course suits you and is within your budget, the choice is an easy one, as e-learning is a pale imitation of the real thing.