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How Does E-learning Differ from Classroom Training?

The effectiveness of classroom training and eLearning is often debated. It is common knowledge that classroom training and eLearning are used extensively to deliver training. But, which of these media is more effective? Well, training in a classroom enables real-time interaction with the instructor. On the hand, the online training medium is highly flexible and learners can access courses anytime, anywhere. Which of the two is more effective?

Let us now look at some of the other major differences between the two learning formats.

Learning environment:

The presence of an instructor goes a long way in ensuring that learners remain focused in a classroom training session. The instructor facilitates the completion of the session, within the stipulated time-frame.

When it comes to eLearning, which is instructor-independent learners do not have the opportunity to interact with the trainer or other learners. At times, this could result in “learner isolation” and people dropping out of online courses. To overcome this problem, instructional designers use various elements such as interactivities to sustain the interest of learners.

Usage of Media:

Usually, in classrooms, the use of media is limited. Only pictures, charts or presentations can be used, and these may not be very effective in conveying the intended message effectively to the learner. However, in eLearning, a variety of media such as animations, videos, audio, text can be used. Proper use of multimedia keeps the learners engaged by making the course interesting.


In a classroom, direct interaction takes place between the learner and instructor. The instructor can clarify the doubts of the learner instantly. In the case of eLearning, the exchange of ideas among the learners takes place through online communication tools such as e-mails, chat, discussion boards, and bulletin boards. Etc.; These mimic the classroom environment and keep the learner engaged.

Duration of the Course:

Classroom training sessions are usually long and get completed within the stipulated time-frame. E-learning courses are shorter when compared to classroom training sessions. The online training medium enables people to learn at their own pace wherever and whenever they want. They don’t have to go through lengthy lectures.

Medium of Instruction:

In classroom training, the medium and language preference is set. There is no flexibility in the course delivery. If the subject needs a change, in the medium of instruction, there should be a change in the instructor as well. In some cases, the performance of the learner is linked to the language of instruction as well whereas in eLearning, with a range of online tools, Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and Content Management Systems (CMSs), translation into any language is just a matter of minutes. An online course can be translated into any language within a very short period of time, offering flexibility at the learner’s pace.

Thus, eLearning can be used to deliver very effective learning experience than classroom training. Hope this blog is helpful. Please do share if you have anything to add to this list.

The State of Learning: 2023 and Beyond