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Face-to-Face Learning is Still Best Choice

Article Courtesy of: Training Choice, an international training company

In today’s digital age, everything is being done virtually. Although the advantages of digital learning cannot be denied—it makes communication instantaneous, cheaper, and more convenient—it’s important to remember that before all the advancements in science and technology, people used to interact more.

Why is this? Because of the fundamental reality that humans are social beings. The young and an increasing number of adults now find themselves active on social media, but their search for connections show that people crave human interaction. According to Ray Williams, a contributing writer for Psychology Today, human interaction is fundamental to one’s life and is one of the defining human characteristics that separate us from the rest of the species in the animal kingdom.

Physical interaction is the best way to learn, communicate, and attain memories. It’s a fact that all meaningful relationships are developed through personal interactions, with the strongest connections made when there is time spent together.

When it comes to continuing education, distance or virtual education has become an increasingly common alternative to classroom-based learning. The digital learning environment proves to have several advantages, such as the minimization of spatial barriers and increased flexibility. However, there also are concerns raised regarding the quality of education and the overall learning experience. Many researchers have found that virtual training and education are perceived to be less effective than the traditional face-to-face method of learning. Experts have indicated that, among some of the most popular and successful companies globally, the most preferred form of training delivery is still face-to-face.


One of the key elements of the learning process is the dynamic relationship shared between a student and fellow students, and a student and the instructor. Face-to-face learning fosters these relationships; such dynamism may be minimized or lost when training is undertaken on a distance or virtual format.

Richness of information and memorable experiences are deduced through behavior and body language, including one’s mannerisms, gestures, tone, language, and volume of voice. Face-to-face communication allows the entire experience to not only be heard but also seen and felt.

Face-to-face training also adds a personal element to a workshop as opposed to computer-based education. Responses, connections, and reactions are prevalent during in-person training.

Distance education may adversely affect the quality of the training given because there are barriers to achieving the full extent of teacher-student interaction, thus making some learning objectives impossible to acquire.

Virtual training creates a blanket of anonymity that enables learners to participate disingenuously. Without physical stimulation, they are limited to learning through watching and typing. In some cases, the online course is reduced to learners basically reading a book off the computer; no added value is received.

There are more instances of miscommunication and misinterpretation in virtual training sessions than those done face-to-face. It is difficult to properly convey emotion in a chat or email; in terms of receiving the message, it can be over- or under-appreciated.

There is no doubt that digital education is valuable, but when it comes to continuing education, face-to-face time remains incredibly vital. By actively seeing a trainer or expert convey passion about a topic, it ignites the same passion, better interest due to lack of distractions, and an increase in the likelihood of retention.

Not only will these training sessions ensure a better understanding and recall of the lessons and its content, the face-to-face element adds an opportunity for colleagues to bond, interact with one another, and increase their camaraderie. The in-person interaction includes the added value of being able to gain insight from other people and develop social linkages.

By retaining the physical face-to-face method of training, both companies and individuals will be able to take more from the experience both in terms of social skills and interaction, in addition to educational know-how.