5 benefits of online learning

Derek Robertson.jpg

Derek Robertson , CEO

(Chartered FCIPD, MCMI, MInstLM, NLP Practitioner and Coach) 

4 min read


Online learning is here to stay.  In this post I’d like to talk directly to decision makers.  Those who seek value from training not ‘Tick the box’.  I’ll address five areas, each one for your review and actions in pursuit of meaningful training.  My aim is to help you be a hero in your boardroom.

What is online learning?

I’m allergic to mind numbing, page clicking computer training and the Zoom talking head masquerading as training.  So I best clarify.

I mean online sessions as part of a training blend, run by experts in three enabling pillars of genuine learning:

  1. Coaching prowess to help the adults create their own learning
  2. Mastery of the technology MS Teams, Zoom and so on
  3. Subject expertise that’s held in reserve and not front and centre.

It’s important to get this online learning descriptor because:

  • If you are commissioning what I’m allergic to: change your training partner
  • If you want your online learning to deliver meaningful results, know that the five benefits I set out here work already for our ambitious clients.

Five benefits to make sure you're getting

#1 Great fit with adult learning

Online learning gives straightforward opportunities to offer the right balance to advance activities, the virtual sessions and the momentum for action.

Properly designed online sessions enable what adults do best:

  • Share
  • Discuss
  • Problem solve
  • Create and commit to actions​​​​​

#2 Supercharge the experience

Online makes it super easy for expert designers to enrich the learner’s experience.  Here are no brainers for you:

  • The ease of getting guests, internal or industry
  • Enliven activities such as interactive quizzes
  • Playing video clips ranging from internal to movies

#3 Expanding learner preferences

I won’t share last week’s example of a participant with her infant on her lap most of the morning.

Channelling Honey and Mumford learning styles1

  1. Activists get to be active
  2. Reflectors can observe
  3. Theorists can have what they need sent in real time
  4. Pragmatists can probe the facilitator for real life results

Not to mentioned the opportunities to ‘flex’ in real time because the facilitator as their whole resource library a screenshare away.

#4 Greater cross-fertilisation

The mixing of ideas, customs, etc. of different places

or groups, to produce a better result2

I hate the word 'cross-fertilisation' but the online learning environment enables this with ease.

Think for a moment.  In a physical workshop world participants in a sales training programme would meet geographically.  That means the same sales people meeting the same sales people.  Result:  Saved travel expenses 1 :  Cross-fertilisation 0.

Virtually, you can mix people up, generating a host of unintended benefits for the training and business results.  Just some examples are sharing ideas and practice, relationship building and expanding internal networks.  What’s not to like?

#5 The vital momentum and results

Unless you have great managers, keeping up momentum for workplace action is a solo activity for your learners.  That risks eroding the post training enthusiasm as fast as the Maldives coastline.

Online training is an ideal counter to that.  In our case, we bring the participants back after three months to:

  • Share actions
  • Celebrate successes
  • Coach through blockages
  • And create more actions.

Don’t roll the dice on results.

Call to action

Here is our approach to online training.  It keeps the conversation about value and away from, “It’s online so what’s the reduced rate”.  Whatever your approach, take a moment or two to look beyond simply  'workshop to online'.  Insert a middle step and ask, "What advantages can we squeeze from the transition?"

Download our, Five traps to avoid wasting your training budget as a next step for you.


  1. Honey and Mumford Learning styles
  2. Cambridge dictionary

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