Pros and Cons of Online Training: Part 1

With the advent of the Internet and progress of technology, online training has become a preferred option for many people, who would otherwise not have had an opportunity to educate themselves. This training could be in any sphere, ranging from fitness, diet consultation to proper academic courses in various fields, or corporate education. Online training may not be the ideal option for everyone though, as it depends on how well one adapts to this distance learning model. There are pros and cons to every utility and online training is no exception.

Pros of Online Training

Flexibility. This is obviously a huge plus point, as it means that learning can be done at one’s own convenience and not any set schedule or routine. While synchronous training involves greater coordination, asynchronous models make education courses available on-demand, so students can adjust their coursework to meet their own needs and priorities.

Access. Education can be accessible to many, who due to constraints have not had the opportunity due to time constraints or geographic restrictions. Online teaching for example, has become a powerful tool to carry education to a very broad audience in many third-world and emerging nations. This has opened up education to groups and sectors that had till now no access to it, due to restraints of schedule, physical location or social disadvantage. Teachers of excellence are no longer limited by location or expense, as online teaching gives them an opportunity to involve themselves wherever they may be needed. Social aspects like class, race, gender or appearance become irrelevant, which builds confidence and improves performance.

Expenditure. Normal education and teaching infrastructures involve great expense. Online courses on the other hand can be set up with minimal cost, and once one particular course is authorized, the same structural type can be duplicated without great additional expense. Travel and venue expenditures are drastically reduced, as IT facilities are now available at most colleges and other institutions. Software is available as freeware and customized packages are very reasonably priced.

Quality. Since expenditures are reduced, the best people can be hired as teachers for the online course. Location does not matter, so the faculty can be accessed both nationally and internationally according to their field of expertise. The teaching faculty are already trained and much of the information is readily accessible online, thereby enabling direct tutorial style interaction and ongoing research.

Learning. Online teaching is proving to be a method where the quality of learning is high, with strong cooperation from faculty and good peer support, leading to a very high degree of student satisfaction. Unlike the conventional learning experience, the online delivery lowers social and other obstacles to education and students grow in their sense of pride and confidence. E-mail, chat, online discussion forums and other tools offer rapid feedback.

Cons of Online Training

The flexibility inherent in online training can work against this method of teaching, as teachers and trainers may take time off without prior notice and may not be accessible at critical times. It becomes a much more difficult task to keep students motivated and interested, as the remote nature of virtual training may well reduce their sense of involvement.

The success of online training hinges a great deal on the orientation of both the students and faculty. Unless a good trainer can help to transform the existing courses into suitably effective online delivery material, online training would not be of any use. Teachers have to be trained and course material developed in a manner which would excite and involve students, otherwise the online courses would remain very unsatisfactory and would fail to achieve the desired results.

Even in today’s wired world, there are many who view technology with anxiety and a certain hesitation. This could well work against the success of online training, unless this technophobia is removed through effective orientation programs.


It must be emphasized here that despite the apparent drawbacks, online training is a marvelous alternative to traditional education. There are so many advantages and positive aspects in this method, that the few negative factors can be overlooked or mitigated with proper strategy.


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