Training: face-to-face vs Online Learning

Written by SeekLMS Correspondent on 25 October 2021

online learning vs face to face learning in the new normal

We live in a world where the effects of the demographic explosion, globalization, and accelerated technological advances have led to strong competition between the various economic actors.

In this context, continuous training, in its different areas, has become an indispensable development tool, both at an organizational and individual level. This training, (which is basically the learning, development, or updating of knowledge in an extracurricular way), was traditionally carried out in a face-to-face way. Now, and for some years ago, it is also carried out remotely, that is, online.

The effects of the Covid 19 coronavirus pandemic during 2020 forced humanity into isolation and, with it, the need for communication by electronic means. In such a way, that distance training also became more relevant, revealing its virtues to us. The pandemic, then, has marked a watershed between both schemes: Face-to-face Vs Distance.

Face-to-face Learning:

This system, as its name implies, requires that both the exhibitor and the students are gathered in the same space to interact with each other. And it can occur in two ways: One of them is that both the speaker and the participants go to a specific venue. The other is in which only the speaker goes to the facilities of the company that hired the service, and is known as "In Company".

Looking back a bit at the dynamics of face-to-face courses, it may be difficult for us to escape nostalgia. Why? Well, because the human being is, by nature, a social being. And this need for a meeting between each other,

leads us to reflect on everything that being together entailed, that is, advantages and disadvantages, of which I will mention some:



Having the opportunity to change the environment or leave the confinement has an advantage, and that is psychological because it breaks with the routine.

Being able to participate in a class, in a beautiful and well-adapted place, makes us feel good, makes us feel happy, causes us happiness; contributing, on the other hand, to forget, for a moment, one or another little problem that we could come dragging around.

Human warmth:

During these meetings, it is conducive to meet people with similar tastes and interests who, often, can become great friends or translate into important prospects for the exchange of information, and even, and it is worth the comment, the birth of one or another romance for there.

Exchange of views:

Another advantage of being in the presence of other participants is the possibility of exchanging ideas or points of view related to the class between each other. Or, the resolution of some other doubt or confusion that arose during it, asking the next person. Generating, in this way, an atmosphere of good camaraderie.


Undoubtedly, person-to-person contact has great potential for contribution, since, in these meetings, it is possible to generate “contacts” that, in the end, can become business opportunities.


I have already talked about the advantages of participating in a face-to-face event, however, things do not always go as one would like, and this is the other side of the coin.


To begin with, taking training in a place other than our work entails moving from one place to another (with all that this may imply), that is traffic, crowds in public transport, transportation costs, stress by the times, discomfort, etc.

On the other hand, if the trainer is not known, we could get the unpleasant surprise that the facilities are not the most adequate at all; or that the audio and video are not of good quality. Amen to say about bad service in the attention to the participants.


The rental of the facilities or the maintenance of their own, by the trainers, affects the cost of the event directly or indirectly. To this must be added the expenses in hiring hostesses, printing materials for the participants, food and beverages, rental of audio and video services, parking, etc. In such a way, that the price of a face-to-face course will always be higher than that of an online course.

Date and time of the events:

On the other hand, the possibility of another more urgent commitment being crossed on the same date and time of the event is always latent, making it impossible to take it at that time, losing the investment and the learning opportunity.

However, this also applies, both in the face-to-face courses and the "online" courses in the "live" mode.

On the other hand, it should be noted that, in online training, in which the courses are prerecorded, (as in the “e-learning” system, for example), this problem does not occur.

Human warmth:

Or rather the opposite. And it is that in human relationships we can also find ourselves in coexistence situations with unpleasant or uncomfortable nuances. It is nothing that is strange to us, however, it is worth the comment.

The health issue:

Before the pandemic, we did not pay attention to this aspect. Now, the perspective that we had of being surrounded by other people in a closed environment has surely changed; And even in the future, even having overcome this health crisis, it will undoubtedly be different.

Remote system:

In this regard, I have to mention that there are several modalities, of which I will expose the most relevant:

  1. LMS System (Learning Management System), our Learning Management System.
  2. Video-Transmission, in real-time, of a live event.
  3. VOD (Video On Demand), or video on demand of pre-recorded events.


The LMS system, also known as “e-Learning”, presents us with a structured learning style, with self-assessments, prerecorded images, and video. However, you do not have the ability to interact with a teacher or instructor. It has the advantage that people can go back, pause, or fast-forward the video as many times as required, or even watch it several times, for a better understanding of the subject. You can avoid distracting elements, and you can study anywhere on the planet that has an internet signal, when and when you want; that is, schedule your training.


It is about the live transmission (streaming) of a course that is being carried out in person. Here, there is the possibility of interacting with the instructor, via “chat”, with its inherent drawbacks, because not everyone is given the ability to express their ideas in writing, in a clear and structured way, sometimes distorting, the meaning of the question. It has the advantage that you can take the class from anywhere because it is online, and even see it in a group for the same cost.


In the VOD, you have the opportunity to select how many prerecorded courses you want to study. However, in this scheme, you do not have the advice of a teacher or instructor.

On the other hand, it has the advantage that you can organize and decide when and where to take the training; and watch the video, multiple times.

The investment is attractive, considering that group learning sessions can also be held for the same cost.

Usually, they are pre-recorded videos of live events, although they can also be recorded videos, ex-professional, in the studio, or on location.

Webinars :

Also called “video conferencing”, they have been a true revelation during this pandemic, to such an extent that they have become “the ideal solution”, and fashionable, for distance learning. Although it is not something new, this system has allowed teacher-student interaction, thanks to its audio and video tools, electronic whiteboard, sharing of documents and information from the computer desktop, etc.

In this scheme, it is possible to ask the instructor questions live and in real-time, which allows enriching the sessions and giving them dynamism. Or, if you prefer, you can also do them in writing in chat. It has a relatively low cost and is accessible to anyone. From my point of view, this modality fuses the dynamics of face-to-face and online courses, in a virtual way.

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