VOL. 22 September ISSUE YEAR 2021

From Editor's Desk

in Vol. 22 - September Issue - Year 2021
MFN Online Training?
Andrzej Wojtas

Andrzej Wojtas

To offer online training was a serious topic for the MFN Education Division even before there was Covid-19, but the decision to carry it out or not was always postponed. Now, during this pandemic, we have had no choice but to do so.

At first sight, the advantages seem to be overwhelming. Greater flexibility, plenty of well-tested software like ZOOM, TEAMS, SKYPE and so forth. Furthermore, a small group of trainers can do online teaching around the globe. There are no travel costs and expenses, no loss of time to go somewhere for trainer and trainee, and so it is much cheaper for the customer. So what an incredibly great idea if there were a thing called "reality" ...  
The reality, which we had to face after carrying out several online training courses, is, that at least in our segment of education, online training can simply not be compared with classroom or workshop training. For valid different reasons such as: 
Concentration: Following a training on-screen requires a much higher degree of concentration compared to classroom training. Online one-to-one training is already tiring, but in a group of 10 to 20 people and to do that for 8 hours a day is quite impossible. It will never show the same learning results. To hope that there will be a healthy group dynamic and that participants can interact with each other equally successfully is just wishful thinking. Humans are very social beings that use a lot of body language and non-verbal signals. None of this is at all possible doing training online.
Hands-on Training: In classroom training, not even mentioning practical training, there is often much small equipment passed around and people have to operate it or literately get a "feel" for it. How to do that online? Yes, you can show a film, but it is not the same.
Networking: Our participants are all working for different companies that are mostly coming from the same industry. Very often, the most important part of a training for a company happens when the lesson stops and the break starts ...
Networking among the participants, sharing work experiences and talking about technical problems and possible solutions compensates easily for the cost generated by the employee education. 
Again, how to implement such a "break" and "after-work" networking online?  
MFN's conclusion was clear: We offer online training if there is no choice, such as during a pandemic, but as soon as there is a choice, it is “off the table“ ...

Andrzej Wojtas (Ph.D.), Chief Editor 
of MFN, E-mail: andrzej@mfn.li