E-learning vs. Instructor-Led Training: Deciding what’s Right for You

A2LA WorkPlace Training now offers e-learning modules in addition to traditional instructor-led classes, covering subjects such as metrology, quality systems, ISO/IEC 17025 and more. E-learning is a convenient and cost-effective way to access professional training courses. This is an excellent option for many individuals and organizations, but for others, classroom training with an instructor remains the preferred method. These two delivery methods each serve different types of learner in different situations, and some learners will benefit more from one than from the other, so how do you decide which is appropriate for your personal needs, or the needs of your staff? 

A2LA WPT offers two types of instructor-led training: public and contract. As the name implies, public courses are open to anyone, and are scheduled at a specific date and time, usually in a major city. Contract training is done at the request of an organization, and is tailored to suit their staff, location, and schedule. In either case, A2LA WPT sends an instructor to guide the attendees through the course material, lead them in activities, answer questions, and provide insight from their own professional experience. Classroom learning is an opportunity for a focused, hands-on learning experience, where attendees can interact face-to-face with their instructor and other professionals in the classroom. The activities designed for each class also allow learners to apply what they are learning through examples and direct problem-solving. For complex topics or intensive courses, this is an especially effective way to ensure attendees gain the depth of information they need in a focused environment over relatively short period of time. 

E-learning is delivered through online modules, which include sections with the relevant topics, pre-course and post-course assessment tests, glossaries, resources, documents, and other learning tools. Once an individual or organization purchases a license for a course, they can log in anytime from anywhere in the world and move through the modules at their own pace. A2LA WPT offers e-learning modules on a variety of topics, but the majority focus on metrology and conformity to ISO/IEC 17025. E-learning is an excellent option for learners who need a more flexible experience than what a classroom setting can offer, and because e-learning is done remotely, it requires less investment of both time and money for the learner. While e-learning does not allow for full-time access to a live instructor, it does include a feature called On-the-Job Training Mentor, which allows learners to communicate with a live professional for a limited amount of time if they have questions or need concepts clarified. E-learning is available through individual, organizational, and enterprise-level licenses, so it can be an excellent tool for large organizations who need to train a significant number of employees. 

A handful of our e-learning and instructor-led learning options cover the same subject matter, allowing learners to choose which delivery method suits their needs. However, A2LA WPT has limited certain courses to one format only to ensure that they are delivered most effectively. If you need precision measurement training with specific instruments, one of our e-learning courses may cover exactly what you need, whereas if you need to learn skills such as method validation, classroom learning will allow you to gain a more complete understanding through interaction with an instructor. To view A2LA WPT’s complete instructor-led course schedule, visit a2lawpt.org/training, and to see a list of available e-learning modules, complete with sample courses, visit a2lawpt.org/e-learning