When you think of hosting a training session, you might picture a bunch of people sitting in a lecture hall or a boardroom, furiously taking notes while someone flips through a boring PowerPoint presentation. Thankfully, that’s the old model of training and it’s quickly becoming obsolete. Today, some of the best training takes place on the internet.
Training should empower people
Superior training isn’t just about shoveling heaps of information at someone and hoping they can memorize it. Effective training should be designed to help people learn something new and integrate it into their lives in a practical way. Information is great, but if it can’t be used practically, then it’s not really training.
Using the internet to empower through training
There are websites dedicated to providing training for people in a wide variety of areas. One of those websites is Coursera, which, according to their website, offers people courses taught by “top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions.” Their courses provide people with video lectures, peer-reviewed assignments, and discussion forums where people can collaborate on what they’re learning.
Another online training platform includes PowerPoint presentation training from Slide Heroes – something many people desperately need. On their website, they mention that “death by PowerPoint is too common.” Instead of utilizing PowerPoint to deliver a stunning presentation that engages the audience, people use PowerPoint to display slides full of small print bulleted lists that nobody in the audience can read. And when the audience can read the slides, they desperately try to copy the information down in their notes, missing most of the presentation.
MasterClass is another online resource for training taught by well-known experts in their fields. You can learn filmmaking from Werner Herzog, writing from James Patterson, and even acting from Kevin Spacey. There’s no better way to learn these subjects than by the masters we know and love.
Even YouTube can be considered an online learning platform because there is an endless flow of people creating their own channels to express themselves and share their wisdom with the world. It may not be a structured training environment, but if you want to learn how to do something, you can find instructions on YouTube.
There are several important benefits to conducting training online including:
- Self-paced learning. When people have the ability to pause the presentation of the content they’re learning, they have time to think, absorb, take notes, and contemplate what they’re being taught. This extra time makes it easier to retain the information being learned.
- Accommodation for multiple learning styles. Online training can come in the form of video, audio, and supplementary text to allow for different types of delivery to reach people the way they learn best.
- Elimination of geographic barriers. People from all over the world can enjoy the same training without having to endure the expense and inconvenience of traveling halfway around the world.
- 24/7 access. You can make your online courses available at all times, which eliminates the inconvenience of time zones, work and school schedules, and daily life.
- Portability. People can access online courses from any device with a web browser and an internet connection. This means they can access the information and training from just about anywhere.
- Fewer resources are used. When a training is conducted in the real world, it takes manpower, paid staff, time, planning, and lots of money. When you conduct your training online, you bypass most of that because you can record the training session anywhere. If you have multiple presenters living in different areas of the world, each person can record their portion in their own home, and you can have it spliced together to create the final presentation.
- Continued use with zero extra effort. Once you’ve created your training material, you can continue to use it for years, eliminating the need to continue hosting live training sessions each time.
Online learning is becoming an absolute staple for learning, and even Randall Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T, told the New York Times that people who don’t spend 5 to 10 hours per week learning online will “obsolete themselves with technology.”
Considering the rapid rate at which technology is advancing, he just might be right.