Live Training vs eLearning: A Comparison


“How much material can be covered in an eLearning module?”

We’re asked this question a lot. Many clients come to us with existing live training they’re considering converting to eLearning and need to understand how that would work.

Folks are often amazed at the time savings you get from doing a training in an on-demand format. It’s a fraction of the time it takes to do a live training, but the question is, what is that number?

We’ve found a simple formula you can use to estimate live-training-to-eLearning conversions. Here it is:

½ day of live training = 20 minutes of eLearning

Wondering how that’s possible? Here’s how are we able to compress four hours down to twenty minutes:

  • Eliminate distractions, allowing learners to view training where and when they are ready. They aren’t forced into it when they’d rather be doing something else.
  • Eliminate the added commentary, tangents and questions that always come with a live, classroom-style session.
  • Delivery becomes more concise and concepts can be explained more succinctly.
  • The pace is faster because learners can singly focus on what’s in front of them.
  • Repetition is built in because you have multiple learning modes at once and users can repeat sections as they wish.
  • No coffee breaks or bathroom breaks! These can take a lot time and it’s tough to get everyone reassembled and focused.

Something that would take employees out of their jobs for a week could essentially be taught in half a day, and they would have the option of viewing everything at once or breaking it up over the period of time that works best for them. Which is a better use of their time and your organization’s resources?

But Is It Effective?

Without a doubt. Not only is there a sizable cost savings over time—which we can help you calculate—but the flexibility and concise delivery leads to better retention.

In fact, we’ve spilled a lot of words on this blog explaining why eLearning is the best choice for training and knowledge sharing, so we don’t want to rehash too much. Instead, take a gander at a recently published infographic with compelling statistics favoring eLearning over other types of training delivery methods.

A Word of Caution - Condensed Content Has to Be Good

Not only is eLearning more efficient and cost-effective, employees appreciate the added flexibility and time saving, however, it’s unwise to assume that condensed training alone will improve buy-in and participation. Even a twenty minute training piece must be engaging and interactive. Audiences can be lost in five minutes without expert instructional design and high quality production effects.

Check out one of our work samples to see how we not only condensed material into an easily-consumable piece, but made it interactive and engaging.

If you're interested, check out ExpandShare's eLearning Services to see how your program can be an epic success.

Will Holland