Training to become a coach through live, virtual courses, such as those conducted over Zoom, has become the norm. However, occasionally we are asked if we are going back to in-person training and why someone should choose to train online.
We’ve been on both sides of the aisle when it comes to training online and in-person.
From 2008 to 2020, we were an in-person training school with students travelling to venues in London, Edinburgh and Berlin.
As a result of the 2020 pandemic, however, we shifted to live, online training.
At the time, we thought it would be a temporary move and that we would switch back to in-person once the crisis was over.
However, it’s been four years and we have no intention of returning to in-person.
Now, you might be wondering why.
Well, we found that “going virtual” transformed both the school and, more importantly, the experience of those who joined our coaching course.
Quite honestly, going back to in-person would feel like a retrograde step for multiple reasons.
It was only when we were asked this again recently, that we thought it might be useful to share the reasons why we aren’t going back and why people now like to choose a live, online coaching course over an in-person coaching course.
Of course, nothing is perfect and so, in the interests of fairness, we’ll also share 3 ways in-person is better.
Online coaching courses offer the flexibility to learn from anywhere, allowing students to fit their learning around their lifestyle and commitments. This is particularly beneficial for those who are working or have family responsibilities.
Online coach training makes coaching education accessible to people who live far from training centres or have mobility issues. This means a wider range of people can pursue coaching certification. Back in 2019, you were just as unlikely to train with Animas if you were from Plymouth, Devon as you were if you were from Plymouth, Massachusetts! Now, anyone can train with Animas wherever they are.
A huge challenge for students with in-person training was the cost of travelling to and from the training and, for many people, the need to stay in a hotel for multiple nights over the course of the coaching programme. Online training can be done from the comfort of one’s own home or workplace with no need for additional expenses.
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4. Diverse Learning Resources
Online training often incorporates a variety of learning materials, including videos, downloads, and interactive sessions, catering to different learning styles.
5. Networking Opportunities
With participants joining from across the globe, online courses provide excellent networking opportunities that might not be as diverse in a physical classroom. Whilst the in-person training might allow for closer connections over a coffee or lunch, the virtual environment expands who you might meet.
6. Customised Learning Experience
Online platforms often allow learners to progress at their own pace, revisit materials as needed, and focus on areas of personal interest or need. For instance, all of our training sessions are recorded and shared in a cohort’s private group so they can watch again if needed.
7. Real-time Feedback
Many online platforms offer real-time feedback on quizzes and assignments, facilitating a faster learning process.
8. Innovative Learning Technologies
The use of advanced educational technologies can enhance the learning experience, making it more interactive and engaging. Breakout rooms, whiteboards, video facilities and so on allow for a rich learning experience.
9. Equality of Learner Space
An unexpected outcome of the virtual environment for us was how each participant occupies the same space in the training room. In-person training almost invariably leads to some learners taking a more prime spot. Some participants may find themselves at the back of the room others thrust unwillingly into the limelight! Virtual learning environments are great equalisers.
10. Safety and Comfort
In times of health crises or for individuals concerned about personal safety, learning from the safety and comfort of one’s home is a significant advantage. There is no more need to catch a cold or flu from another participant, sit in a cold room or struggle through hours of sitting on a hard seat. You create your own environment for the virtual experience.
Disadvantages Compared to In-Person Training
1. Lack of Physical Interaction
The absence of face-to-face interaction can limit the development of interpersonal skills and reduce the depth of personal connections between peers and mentors. We have not found this to be a problem with virtual coach training but we can’t deny the difference.
2. Technology Dependence
Online learning heavily depends on having a reliable internet connection and appropriate devices. Technical issues can hinder the learning experience.
3. Self-Discipline Requirements
Online learning requires a high level of self-motivation and discipline. Without the structure of a physical classroom, some learners may find it challenging to keep up with their studies. At Animas, we counter that through the use of fixed cohorts which mean you travel through the course together at a fixed pace rather than relying on your own discipline.
While online live courses offer numerous advantages, making them an attractive option for many aspiring coaches, the choice between online and in-person training ultimately depends on individual learning styles, personal circumstances, and professional goals.
We are true converts to live, online learning with its ability to help us reach more of the world with our coach training and the experience it provides our learners.
If you’d like to book a call with one of our course consultants head along to our calendar here or click the following course name to find out more about our Accredited Diploma in Transformative Coaching.