Subject Area: Online Training
The world has changed rapidly in the past few weeks. The Covid-19 virus has stopped supply chains, closed borders, and almost eliminated air travel.
It is clear that you do not have to contract the virus to feel its impact.
We also know that it is at times like these that we need to be at our most innovative. When our standard options appear to be limited, we try things that we might not otherwise have considered. We think differently.
So, what would you consider doing now that previously had seemed excessive or unwarranted?
One Thing That You Might Consider is Online Training
As a result of the virus outbreak, training events and conferences are being cancelled world-wide. Public gatherings of people are being banned. Private gatherings are discouraged. If you were hoping to extend your skill set through in-person classroom training, then that is just not going to happen.
Fortunately, these days, there are lots of online options for training. However, many people are still reluctant to try them due to the myth that they are not as effective as classroom events. This could not be further from the truth.
In fact, even the prestigious Purdue University published links to a study finding that students doing an online course achieved more than their classroom-based counterparts. Wow!
Another myth is that people don’t finish online courses. However, our own experience is that 90% of the people who start one of our courses don’t just finish, they achieve the certificate.
Online training also has clear advantages over classroom training, including that there is no need to travel. (Another is the flexibility to study when it suits you.)
One definition of innovation is to try a new method of doing something. It doesn’t have to be new to the whole world. It just needs to be new to you.
Maybe this crisis will lead you to innovate your training by experiencing the convenience and benefits of online training.
Four Considerations for Choosing the Right Course
Assuming that you know which topics you want to pursue and that you have validated the source of the material, here are some issues to consider when choosing a course.
- What level of support is there?
- What do you need to do to get a certificate?
- How flexible is the study program?
- How is the content delivered?
By their very nature training courses introduce you to new ideas or ways of looking at things. (Otherwise, what’s the point?) It is normal then that you will have questions or need some other clarification. Therefore, study support is critical for success. Unfortunately, there are some courses where you are on your own, no support at all. Avoid these. Look for courses that provide timely and specific support to help you with your study efforts. (We provide coaching support for all of our courses.)
All courses are likely to provide some form of acknowledgement of completion; however, the real issue is what do you need to do to get that? If you get the certificate simply for registering or for ‘turning up’, then the course will also most likely be of little value. If you need to demonstrate your know-how through an exam or quizzes, then you will be required to really learn the content and the certificate will be of greater value. (We have quizzes for all certificates.)
With online training, flexibility is key. A rigid program will defeat the benefit of flexibility. Even weekly online classes can be a problem if the timing is not quite right for you or that is the main way to get access to the content. Look for courses that provide on-demand access and delivery that is available at a time that suits you. This might be backed up with scheduled ‘tutorials’ but the main content access must be flexible. (All of our courses are on-demand.)
Of course, the content will be delivered online however you need to check the ‘consume-ability’ of the content. Some courses are based on long videos and volumes of books to read, which might look impressive in the curriculum document, but it also makes it much harder to study. Depending on when you intend to study you may also want to check that the content works on a mobile device rather than just on a desktop computer. Look out for courses that provide information in small, ‘bite-sized’ chunks as this is less daunting to work through and easier to absorb. (We use small bite-sized elements.)
Now is the time for online training
While the COVID-19 virus outbreak is a dreadful event, it is also true that innovation loves a crisis. Constrained by the circumstance, perhaps now is the time to try something that you would not otherwise have considered. Now is the time for online training.
For information on our spare parts management online training options please visit our Training Options Page.
Author: Phillip Slater