Face-to-face training or online education?

The internet has revolutionised our world in countless ways, breaking down traditional geographic borders and giving people access to untold riches of information and educational resources.

In recent years, the popularity of internet courses has exploded as some people opt for the convenience and accessibility of online education over practical, in-person training options.

However, just how beneficial are online education options? Do they really deliver similar results to face-to-face training? Are internet courses a practical option for people considering IT project management training?

While studies generally agree that online training can be an effective learning tool, this comes with a number of important considerations. In order to be truly effective, eLearning courses need to offer blended learning options that combine digital resources with practical, tangible activities.  

Alternatively, individuals who choose to undertake classroom-based learning have the advantage of access to trained professionals and physical resources that enable them to engage with subject matter on a number of levels. 

The US Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University has examined this topic in-depth, and discovered that students generally prefer face-to-face traing when it comes to learning difficult information. 

"The study suggests that overall, many students feel they don't learn course material as well online, and that this deficit is due to reduced teacher explanation and interaction in online courses," read a press release issued by the CCRC in 2013.

Research such as this highlights why the online medium often falls short when it comes to providing comprehensive education on detailed and complex subject matters – such as management and IT governance frameworks like ITIL and COBIT 5.

At the end of the day, deciding between face-to-face or online training courses will depend largely on your personal preferences. 

However, it's important to remember that despite the convenience aspect of online education, there is often simply no replacement for practical instruction with a knowledgeable tutor who has experience in the subject matter at hand.