This essay was entered in the lifesaveressay contest in 2017.
I experienced both face to face learning and online learning as a student and as a teacher. I use online learning mostly as a student, because its more handy for me due to time limitation. But if the subject is big enough and I would like to use it as an entrepreneur, in work or in life big time I would dedicate also time to face to face learning.
Theory is learnt by me faster if I learn it in an online course, because I can do this in my own pace without the nagging of other people around me. But if the subject interests me enough I would go for a face to face to get more out of the subject it gives you more insight and perspectives from different people which you can combine with your own view in a unique end view. Sometimes I have to confess I don’t follow this rule. I go for the workshop where I can get acquainted with the subject that is totally new to me, before diving into it online or in a specialized course.
As a teacher I am specialized in giving these starters groups. These starters groups are mostly cheap and can help you determine if this subject is something you want to invest in or not. Also it’s the way to build a network and get the new work. This last one is a fact for most of the people going to these introduction courses also called network meetings. In these meetings you talk to different kind of people and the interaction is the learning experience you need on this subject to bring this in practice or walk away from the subject. But you can get also an overload on information at these meetings which can make you blindsided on if these subject is something you want or not. It all depend on your mood and the other people you interact with. Sometimes the subject is yours, but the people working in the field are not bringing the best in you on the surface. This is something to consider before going further in learning this subject or in your choice in learning face to face or online learning.
As a follow up on these introduction courses you can follow a face to face or online course depending on the time in hand at that moment. For example if the introduction course got you new work, depending on the knowledge you already have and the time you have to do the new project. If you have enough time go for the long face to face course, but if you have little time and know nothing about the subject go to a short face to face. In this short follow up course you got the headlines in which you have to look in to do the work. Finish the learning on this subject for this project with diving into online learning for the specifications. Although this face to face learning is time consuming and very tiring. You get the most of it to use in practice.
So the factors you should take into consideration when choosing between face to face and online learning are: the time you have, are you willing to interact with people during the course, do you have time to travel to the course location and the kind of course.
If you have enough time. You should go for face to face. It’s a short investment, you get to spend time with a teacher and a group, which can give you a new inside on how the subject you are studying is used in practice. But with less time go for online learning. You can choose your own time and take your time to learn the subject.
Are you a peoples peoples, please don’t go for an online course, you would be bored and stop. It will only cost you money. Peoples, peoples will enjoy the dynamic of the group and learn the subject faster. Another option is to use the online course to learn the theory and follow a workshop or discussion group to get the practice inside. Best is to bring in cases used on this subject in practice. When discussing these cases with each other you get insight on developing yourself or your work further.
If you are free and have time to travel, why not join a face to face course. It’s the dynamic of talking to people which brings you further in learning. Although online learning has discussion groups and social media today, which can help the discussion grow even further if the discussions are open to others and interactive.
Kind of course
Some courses aren’t available online or can’t be taught online, like presenting and communication. These are best followed face to face to get practice in doing it. This is something which is not possible online, at least not the practice part. The theory part is
So on face to face VS online learning, you should use both depending on time, location, the kind of course you are doing and the kind of person you are. I wouldn’t say the one is better or worse than the other. It all depends on yourself, the materials and the teacher. Are you willing to learn the subject? Are you willing to invest time? Are you willing to go into discussion with others on this subject? Every time you go for a course take your time in deciding between face to face and online course using the factors: time, location, kind of course, kind of person and your goal with the course.