The Key Differences Between Online Learning and Offline Learning

The Key Differences Between Online Learning and Offline Learning

31 Jul 2018

CPD News Team

News & updates from CPD News Team

View Profile

As technology has developed, so too has the way we learn new skills. Thanks to the internet, those interested in boosting their knowledge and skills now have a wide range of options open to them.

Learners and employers can now choose to take advantage of online, as well as offline, training. When it comes to Continuing Professional Development (CPD), there are pros and cons to both online and offline learning. To help you decide which is better for your learners, below you’ll discover the key differences between them.

Online learning vs offline learning

The main difference between online and offline learning is location. With offline learning, participants are required to travel to the training location, typically a lecture hall, college or classroom. With online learning, on the other hand, the training can be conducted from practically anywhere in the world. Participants simply need to log on to the internet from their home, work or even their local coffee shop.

Another difference is the flexibility offered. Online learning usually has a more flexible timescale. As a trainer, you can offer your support via email or through an online chat system. With offline learning, it is typically carried out between office hours and doesn’t offer as much flexibility to the learner or the trainer. Besides these two differences, the benefits of learning online or offline are practically the same. Online qualifications are just as internationally recognised as offline ones and the standards of learning are also identical.

What are the benefits of online vs offline learning?

Although online learning has become the preferred method for the majority of learners, it’s important not to dismiss the benefits of offline training too. With online training courses, you and the course attendees benefit from a more casual, flexible approach. Being unrestricted in regard to location and times means every learner can benefit from the courses.

With offline learning, it’s easier to ensure attendees are paying attention to the training. Some learners also find it easier to retain the knowledge and skills they’ve learnt through offline training than they do with online training. As there are benefits to both learning options, it makes sense to offer a combined online and offline learning approach as a trainer.

Online vs Offline learning

The CPD trainer

As a CPD trainer, it’s vital you stay ahead of the sector. You need to ensure you are providing the most relevant and up-to-date training methods. Offering online training courses is therefore crucial to your success.

There has been a huge shift from offline to online learning is recent years. While offline training does remain popular with the younger generation, the majority of learners may prefer a blended online and offline approach. It is more convenient and more flexible; something which benefits both the learner and you as a trainer.

Preferred methods of delivering training

When it comes to delivering CPD training, it is typically best to use numerous methods. If you are opting to provide online learning courses, you’re going to need to ensure they’re well structured.

The best online study CPD courses consist of multiple learning resources including:

  • eBooks
  • videos
  • additional online resources

Although the majority of the training can be conducted online, it is still a good idea to provide some offline resources such as books or further reading notes. That way, the learner can read and discover additional information away from a screen in their own time. Videos are also a useful online learning tool. You could offer DVD versions of the videos you create for learners who would prefer them. However, most will be happy to watch the video tutorials online. Other online resources can also be used such as blogs, articles and podcasts. When combined together, all of these learning sources provide comprehensive and effective CPD training. 

The above are the key differences between online learning and offline learning. Attendees may want to record and log their training for any ongoing Continuing Professional Development requirements. The myCPD Portal is a free CPD record tool where learners can set annual CPD targets, store CPD certificates of attendance, and track learning progress in one simple place.

If you are interested in offering CPD online training courses, you may want to consider becoming CPD accredited. The CPD Certification Service can ensure your online training materials meet the necessary standards for Continuing Professional Development. Our team can help support you to attract more potential learners by ensuring your training conforms to a recognised quality standard of learning. Contact our team today to learn more.

Related Articles

CPD News Team

For more information from CPD News Team, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

Want to learn more?

View Profile

Get industry-related content straight to your inbox

By signing up to our site you are agreeing to our privacy policy