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On-Line Training FAQ

(For answers to your questions about on-site training, visit our On-Site Training FAQ.)

Why is web-based training useful?
Web-based training is another tool to use for training your staff. At the moment, it is not going to be the only tool you use, and probably never will be, but it does have some advantages over conventional training:

  • Availability: training material is available 24/7.
  • Convenience: you don't need to reserve the conference room, or bring in a TV/VCR. You just need a computer, and some people may be able to take the course away from their office/lab.
  • Reduced Staffing Needs: training staff can be diverted to more important activities, since most web-based training is self-contained, and does not require additional support.

Who can benefit from web-based training?
Anyone who needs to learn any new job skills can benefit from training, whether on-line, or one-on-one. Both the employee and the employer benefit when the employee learns new skills. The key is whether or not the training actually helps the employee. You should evaluate all your training programs to make sure that they are filling these needs. Training just for the sake of training benefits no one.

Is Web-Based Training Cost Effective?
Yes, in certain situations. If you are currently using a senior scientist to train your junior staff, you are probably spending at least $75 - 100/hour on senior staff time. If there is any additional preparation required (lecture, notes, slides, etc.), that time should also be factored into your training costs. For example, it can take 10 hours or more of preparation time to prepare one hour of quality lecture material. If you train in large groups, the cost per trainee goes down, but at the expense of flexibility in scheduling.

On the other hand, you could spend $75 to get about one hour of instruction for a staff member through web-based training, and your senior scientist would be available for other tasks. For selected topics that often don't require extensive question and answer sessions, the web-based option would be cheaper.

We already have an extensive training program. Why should we switch to web-based training?
If you are completely happy with your current training program, and the resources required to run it, then web-based training may not offer anything better. However, if your senior staff and training staff are already busy, and you want to increase your staffing, this is another tool to have available. Web-based training is not capacity limited. There are a number of topics that can easily be adapted to web-based training, which frees up your staff to focus on the more complex training issues.

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