I recently read an article that implied that online learning is more effective than in-class education. While this seems to be a common idea online, unsurprisingly, and numerous companies have jumped on board, it sadly isn’t telling the whole story. 

In 2015, businesses reported that 47% of training hours conducted were delivered in an instructor led classroom. That’s huge. So why is online training recommended so often? Is it really that much better? Is the instructor-led training going the way of the dodo? In short – no.

The reality is that learning is not just about knowledge. It’s about the experience. Grasping and retaining information relies on more than just pretty colors and fonts in which training material is presented. Adult learners need in-person support and human interaction with other learners. Good trainers combine experience, teaching skills and practical coaching that e-Learning simply cannot replicate.

Don’t get me wrong, e-Learning isn’t going anywhere and it is definitely here to stay. So what is the answer? Blended Learning. What is blended learning? According to wikipedia, “Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods.” 

Although this is a hotly contested topic within schools for children, the application in the adult-learning scene is monumental for success and efficiency when it comes to training budgets. Training can be expensive and online learning is a great way to help curb those costs but it’s important to not hinder the participants learning to the point of making the online learning ineffective. 

So what can you do?

Be intentional

At Mind Surface, when we work with organizations to build a training plan, we take a look at a variety of factors such as budget, timeline, skill level of employees, age of employees and the nature of the work being conducted. Having a holistic view of what you’re trying to accomplish will help you determine what the ratio of your blended training should look like. Some organizations may have a 80/20 ratio while others may be a 20/80 ratio.

Create a training budget

There’s no way around it. Training your employees is a cost of doing business. Make sure to include this in your budget every year. All too often businesses end up in a place where they’ve identified skill gaps in their employees and don’t have the necessary budget to train those employees when they need it. Waiting until the next fiscal year to train your employees risks employee satisfaction and quality of work. So make the commitment now and you’ll thank yourself when the time comes.

Be proactive  

Training should be a part of onboarding new employees. Take the time when you first hire someone to make sure they have all the skills they need to be efficient at their jobs. 69% employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. It’s a no-brainer. There will never be a better time to train an employee then when they first start.


If you’re using G Suite for your organization, Mind Surface offers a comprehensive training program that can ensure that your employees are setup for success from day one. We offer a free 30-minute consultation to help you decide what is the best approach for your organization. Book yours today at