What exactly is "online training"?

Lyn Lavery There’s a growing trend towards training courses being offered in online formats. Here at Academic Consulting, we prefer face-to-face training (we like to see your smiling faces!), but the reality is that busy researchers often don’t have the time to attend face-to-face courses.

When I mention that most of our training is now online, I’m usually greeted with horrified expressions. Being a curious researcher, I’ve been interested to understand why, and as a result I’m increasingly aware of the different views people have about online learning. So, I decided to dispel a few of the myths for you...

Myth #1: I won’t be able to ask questions

Online training often refers to pre-recorded content that can be watched at your own pace, but this isn’t always this case. For example, some online training provides the capacity for you to ask questions in an asynchronous format. Sure, you don’t get an answer right away, but you can still ask! In an Academic Consulting training course, you can do both – our sessions are presented live and the facilitator answers submitted questions as they come in. Sometimes the best questions don’t occur to you until after the training though – you’re welcome to email these through to us when they come to mind.

Myth #2 & #3: My technical skills aren’t good enough/I can’t attend as I don’t know what to do

The system we use is incredibly user-friendly. If you’re new to the format, check out the YouTube video we’ve created for newbies – this shows you how to connect, what the platform looks like etc.

Not sure you’ve got the right equipment to take part? All you need is an internet connected device and speakers (headphones might be useful if you share an office). You can be using a desktop, laptop, or mobile device – it doesn’t matter. Not sure your machine has what it takes? GoToWebinar will automatically check whether you meet the system requirements if you visit: https://care.citrixonline.com/gotowebinar/get-ready.

If you’re unsure about the technical side of things – you can “try before you buy”. We have a number of free, one-hour webinars that you can attend to see how you find the experience. Details of upcoming webinars can be viewed on our training schedule

Myth #4: I won’t be able to keep up

No worries – we record all our sessions, and you’ll have access to the recording for two weeks after the training. If you need the content later on, just email us to ask and we’ll grant you access again. For our software workshops, having a recording to practise with makes for an ideal learning experience – if you can’t keep up in the live session you can watch again, and press pause whenever you need to.

Myth #5: I won’t get training notes

As part of your registration fee for our online sessions, you’ll receive training notes and/or copies of Powerpoint slides. We send these beforehand so that you can print them off to take notes during the session if you want to - just like being in a face-to-face class. Speaking of which...

Myth #6: I won’t feel part of a ‘class’

It certainly won’t be exactly the same experience, but you’ll get to hear other attendees’ questions, and take part in quizzes and other interactive exercises. We put a lot of effort into ensuring our online courses are as similar to face-to-face classes as possible, so while you won’t be able to “see” fellow attendees, you’ll get a feel for who else is online with you.

If you still have concerns or are not sure which course is right for you, then don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss. I look forward to “seeing” you online!