Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog

Thursday

The Continuing Debate: ILT or WBT?

The October issue of Chief Learning Officer contains some great articles (as always), starting with the Editor's Letter at the front of the magazine. The Editor in Chief at www.CLOmedia.com is Norm Kamikow, and in his October issue letter he raises the on-going, sometimes heated, and often controversial debate over whether traditional classroom learning or online learning is the better method of education. These two options are so steeped in variables, such as the quality of the course and the materials, the opportunities to practice (such as exercises and interactivities), the instructor's skills and experience and knowledge, the learner's background and knowledge and desire to learn - to name just a few.

Norm shares some interesting findings from a study conducted by Drexel e-Learning and Philadelphia University. Adult learners answered survey questions about their traditional classroom vs. online learning education experiences - split about half and half into the two categories. Norm wrote, "The results were fascinating..." so let's take a look, shall we?


"The key conclusions were that both traditional and online adult students have similar expectations, similar academic experiences, and similar results."

Other findings include:

"Online students are nearly twice as likely to view web-based programs as less intrusive on personal and professional schedules."

"Traditional students are more likely to view their experiences with exams and group projects as hard than online students were."

"Both online and traditional students feel satisfied with their degree program and chosen learning method."

"Both groups also had similar expectations in terms of study time, self-discipline, and determination."

"Regardless of the program type, most adult students spend the evening and weekend studying."

"A higher percentage of online students begin their studies after establishing careers and families, while a larger number of traditional students get going before these milestones in life."

Norm ended his Editor's Letter talking about blended learning. So it seems that the answer (or answers) to the question in the title of this post (ILT or WBT?) can be "Either or both!"

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