How does studying online compare to in person classes?Share+
We asked one of our graduate coaches how, having experienced our face to face and virtual classrooms, how they thought the methods compared.
Q: Margaret, which Full Circle training courses have you undertaken?
A: I did Certificate of Professional Coaching Practice, Certificate in Team Coaching Practice, Certificate in Coaching for Wellness and Certificate in Advanced Coaching Practice Part I in face-to-face classrooms. I did Certificate in Executive Coaching Practice in a virtual classroom, and am now doing Spring into Wellness, Virtual Meditation, Lunch n Learn and the ICF New Competency Masterclasses online.
- I found – for me - the virtual classroom format for the certificate courses significantly more efficient, effective, and focused. I personally prefer to work this way although I can see how it may feel somewhat more intense because of the singular online focus. The material being taught is rather ‘intense’ anyway so it makes sense to be focused.
- I had to travel up to London and to say overnight for the days of my face-to-face classroom courses so the virtual classroom cuts all these out for me!
- The delivery of content was similar, i.e. in slides. I found it very much easier to take notes to maintain a study record of the classes virtually.
- The delivery environment was obviously different – being more diffused with movement in face-to-face classrooms, compared to being more focussed and concentrated sitting in front of a computer screen online.
- There were breakout sessions for one-on-one coaching as well as discussions online. The course tutor can be seen to be looking and listening into each breakout session online.
- The time-keeping online was very good. The lunch break was a little shorter.
- Question and answer sessions were more structured online.
- The one possible disadvantage is possibly the contact opportunities in a face-to-face classroom which are made possible during the short coffee and lunch breaks BUT this can be easily solved if participants prepare a lunch to be eaten with other students online so that we can chat to each other if we want to.
Other online lessons:
- From my point of view, it is impossible to beat the efficiency, effectiveness of studying these one-hour, 1.5 hours, or two-hour lessons online.
- No travelling time, no transportation and logistical matters to deal with.
- I would not have systematically done as many lessons if I had to go to face-to-face classes.
- What I value particularly is the ability to listen to recordings of some of these sessions because I learn even more listening to the recordings again. This is a very strong positive for virtual learning which can be recorded. It also allows me to listen more during the lesson instead of spending time taking notes.
Q: Using Zoom as the online platform, how easy was it for you and the trainers to access, navigate and communicate using its features?
A: It took me a bit of time to get to grips with Zoom and GoToMeeting when I started my coaching training but they work really well now. These two platforms seem very well suited – particularly with the recording facility which meant that I never miss a class even when I am unable to attend or have a clash appointment.
Q: If potential students are worried about their skillset and ability to use the system, is that not too much to take on whilst training to become a coach?
A: Trust me on this. If I can do it, anyone can. Really.
Q: How did you find the breakout coaching practice sessions?
A: It was a little unfamiliar the very first time around but this unfamiliarity disappeared the next time around. It was really not a problem.
Q: Was it easy to ask the trainer questions?
A: Yes, very easy. Raise your hand. The trainer sees you on her screens as do your fellow participants. The two-day executive coaching training, however, was intensive and Naomi covered a lot of material so she kept a tight timetable with specified allocations for questions and answers so there was less interruption. However, she acknowledged and allowed questions when any of us raised our hands.