NEBOSH: 5 Differences between E-learning and Classroom training

Careers By Matthew Coombes

In 1991 when ACT opened, the only option for training was face-to-face learning in a classroom. Since then, classroom learning has developed in quality and accessibility, but the core components still remain the same.

A high-quality venue, an expert tutor and face-to-face training.

We’ve always strived to provide our learners with options that work for them and their needs. In the years that have followed we’ve delivered training via Floppy Disk, CD ROM, and more recently, through live video conferencing. We’re proud to have developed an e-learning platform for easy, convenient studying for those that can’t make it to a classroom.

But, what’s the difference between e-learning and classroom?

1. How you learn

Classroom
Learning in the classroom is directed by an expert tutor with relevant experience in health and safety, and teaching NEBOSH training. This means that you have an expert on tap and ready to answer any questions, and provide you with everything that you need to pass your assessments and improve health and safety.

But that’s not all – another valuable resource available during classroom training is your fellow learners. When another learner asks a useful question that you haven’t thought of yourself, it’s a great way to deepen your understanding of a topic. In most cases, more views on a subject can add more value and more depth, and provide you with useful tips to take into your assessment and your career.

Another great thing about classroom training is the second-hand experience that you gain from the tutor and other learners. Everybody’s jobs are different, even if we have similar job titles. My day as a health and safety advisor for an office differs hugely from that of someone doing the same role in a retail setting or in manufacturing. By talking to different learners from all across the UK I’ve depended on my understanding of safety as a whole and that can only come through the sorts of discussions that you can have in a classroom.

E-Learning
With e-learning, all of the knowledge and skills that you need to develop your understanding of health and safety are contained on the online platform. They have been developed over many years and are updated in line with the NEBOSH syllabus.

With e-learning, how you learn is up to you. You can simply use the course materials as they are, or write mind maps, notes and create flash cards to test your understanding. You can learn bit by bit in hour-long chunks over weeks and months, or dedicate entire days to study, it’s completely up to you!

While you don’t gain knowledge through interaction, you gain knowledge at your own speed, and at a depth that you deem necessary. If you already know a lot about a topic, you can get through the content faster, and if you want to know more, you can just stop where you are and research in more depth.

If you get stuck, you can even contact one of our tutors for help as we’ll discuss more in 3. Support.

2. Motivation

Classroom
The classroom can be a highly motivating environment, you have your tutor to provide structure to the day and guidance if you get stuck, and your fellow learners to work with and chat to. The days that you attend are provided for you, and you just have to be there and take part.

E-learning
Learning online, you need to keep yourself motivated. We can provide you with a plan to help you get to your assessments, but we can’t log on and work through the course for you. If you get stuck, you can always ask for support, but it’s on you to put the time and effort in.

Our e-learning follows a linear format and contains exercises, activities and further reading that’s intended to break the learning up. It’s not made to be death-by-PowerPoint! There’s also a progress bar for each unit, so you can see how far you are through the course. Personally, I find that this really helps to keep me focused because I can see how I’m progressing as I go.

3. Support

Classroom
Our classroom training is designed to thoroughly prepare you for your assessments, building your health and safety knowledge and skills over a period of days. We’ve designed each of our training courses to include any necessary homework, practice papers or exercises that we think you’ll need. Your tutor is there each day to support you, and if you have any questions between the course and the exam, you can drop an email over and get some support.

E-Learning
All of our e-learning courses come with tutor support as standard, it’s built into the platform and is just a few clicks away. We also have a UK phoneline for technical support during our opening hours, in the unlikely event that you encounter issues with the platform.

4. Assessments

Both E-learning and classroom training have the same Open Book Examination for NEBOSH Certificate courses.
Classroom
Learning in a classroom is directed towards taking your assessments on a specific day. Life can get in the way, and we have had learners move their assessment date in the past, but typically it’s best to strike while the iron is hot!

NEBOSH exams are no joke, and it’s best to tackle any exam or risk assessment while everything’s fresh in your mind.

E-learning
Everyone learns at a different pace, so with our e-learning course you purchase and take your exams when you feel that you’re ready. Our learners find that this helps to split up the costs and we’re happy to provide you with guidance on upcoming exams or even create you a study plan for an exam to work towards.

5. Timeframe

Classroom courses are usually completed over the course of a month. The training is typically one day after the next, with gaps for larger courses to break up content and then you take your assessment at the next available date after the course.

E-learning typically takes between 3-6 months to complete for certificate courses, but we do have some learners use the full year.


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