The benefits of in-person learning

benefits of in-person learning

Here at Care Business Associates, we run both online and in-person healthcare training sessions. Whilst the convenience of our online training sessions is invaluable to many, our in-person sessions still offer delegates a wealth of advantages and are sometimes the most suitable option.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, when we were all told to stay at home to save lives, society has become more accustomed to carrying out tasks remotely rather than in person. Many training providers adapted during the pandemic to offer their clients Covid-safe ways to learn. For many, this new way of working was not just safer, but also more convenient and comfortable, and many training providers have continued to offer a full range of remote training courses post-lockdown.

Whilst we have worked hard here at CBAT to ensure that our online courses use the most advanced digital classroom technology to provide an interactive and engaging learning experience, sometimes, nothing does the job like good old-fashioned in-person learning.

In this article, we will take a look at the advantages of in-person training and discuss the circumstances in which this type of training may provide a better learning experience.

Why did training providers move away from in-person learning?

Online training services have been steadily increasing since 2020. With a 900% global growth rate, e-learning is the fastest-growing market in the education industry. This statistic shows that the popularity of online learning was growing even before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of the key reasons why so many training providers have come to embrace e-learning and move away from in-person learning over recent years include:

The Covid-19 pandemic

Whilst the pandemic did not begin the e-learning trend, it certainly sped up the transition from face-to-face to online. During the pandemic, society was encouraged to avoid unnecessary mixing between people and stay at home where possible to prevent the spread of the virus. Online training courses became an invaluable way for businesses to keep progressing their employee’s development safely and continue to access essential training materials and services.

Reduce expenses

Carrying out online training rather than in-person training can reduce expenses for both the training provider and those attending the course. It is much cheaper to both run and attend a training session that is being hosted on Zoom or Teams over the internet rather than paying travel expenses to attend a venue in person. For training providers, further savings are made on classroom costs, overheads, and printing costs.

Provide a more convenient service

E-learning is easily accessible to everyone, allowing training providers to provide a service to a larger pool of people and potentially make more money. When there is no requirement to travel for training, training providers make it simpler, more convenient, accessible, and affordable for a wide range of different people to access their courses. According to, 42% of training providers have experienced an increase in income since introducing e-learning to their services. Online learning is also said to increase retention rates, from 8-10% for face-to-face learning to 60% for e-learning.

Larger classroom sizes

Moving training online also allows trainers to increase the number of people that attend each session as they are no longer restricted by the size of the classroom that they are teaching in.

Whilst many training providers, including our team here at CBAT, have now adapted to offer e-learning as part of their services, we believe that e-learning should by no means completely replace face-to-face learning. Both styles of learning have their place, depending on the subject matter and the student’s location and individual circumstances. Professional face-to-face training is often a training provider’s bread and butter, with e-learning courses acting as a convenient, complementary service.

Reasons in-person training is still valuable

Whilst a lot of subject matter can be taught equally as well online as it can in person, certain subjects lend themselves better to practical, in-person training.

Here at Care Business Associate Training, we run several professional healthcare training courses that require in-person training. Courses where we deem in-person training to be very important include CPR, first aid, and manual handling training. This is because these courses require both theory and practical hands-on training and demonstrations.

During these types of training courses, training equipment like manikins and medical equipment may be used to give practical demonstrations and participants are required to practice the skills and techniques that they learn during practical tasks and assessments. This hands-on approach helps to better prepare participants for using the skills and knowledge they are learning in real-life situations.

It’s not just those learning practical skills that can benefit from in-person training though, there are plenty of benefits of choosing in-person training over e-learning which prompts many people to still opt for face-to-face training when given the option.

Benefits of in-person training

In-person training has just as many merits as online training. What in-person training may lack in convenience, you will find that it often more than makes up for in quality.

Many people feel that they receive a more personal touch when they meet their trainer face-to-face, rather than through a screen. For others, learning in a classroom helps them to focus better as it provides a neutral place to learn, away from distractions.

It’s important to remember as well, that not everyone is tech-savvy or confident using the internet, so e-learning may not be everyone’s preference.

Here at CBAT, although we have seen a sharp increase in the number of people requesting online training over recent years, our professional face-to-face training sessions are still popular with many.

Here are just some of the benefits of choosing in-person training over online training.

Gain hands-on experience

Face-to-face training top trumps e-learning every single time when it comes to offering students practical, hands-on experience with the skills and techniques that they are learning. The importance of practical experience varies depending on the subject matter, and the effectiveness of learning through hands-on activities may vary from one individual to another, as everyone has their own preferred learning style. It is, however, generally agreed that hands-on or ‘active’ learning can be very beneficial to students, improving engagement during training sessions and helping individuals to retain knowledge.

A scientific study titled ‘measuring actual learning versus feeling of learning in response to being actively engaged in the classroom’ found that students believed that they were learning more during passive lectures than during active learning, but the opposite was actually proved to be true. The study stated that ‘Students learn more when they are actively engaged in the classroom than they do in a passive lecture environment’ and ‘research also shows that active teaching strategies increase lecture attendance, engagement, and students’ acquisition of expert attitudes toward the discipline.’

This research suggests that it is more beneficial to choose face-to-face learning wherever it is practical to do so.

Easily communicate and interact with the trainer and other students

Whilst virtual classroom technology is now very advanced and equips trainers with the tools they need to interact effectively with students and even carry out group activities online, it remains more impersonal than good old-fashioned, face-to-face communication and interaction.

It can sometimes be difficult to make your voice heard when typing or talking over the internet. Face-to-face communication in a classroom setting tends to flow better and is easier for the trainer to direct. In-person communication also makes it easier for both attendees and trainers to build a good rapport with each other and even allows for valuable networking opportunities that would be more difficult in a virtual classroom.

Fewer distractions

When attending a classroom-based training session, there are usually fewer distractions than there would be if you were listening online from your own home or workplace. People attending a course remotely may find they are easily distracted by their phones, emails, or the people around them. Face-to-face learning allows individuals to immerse themselves in the training in a neutral setting, away from distractions.


In real-life classrooms, it is easier for the trainer to read the mood of the class and adapt the training accordingly to help attendees to get more from the session. This is because communication is often clearer in classroom settings, allowing students to ask more questions and let the trainer know when they do not understand something. The trainer can also easily pick up on more subtle signals from the class about how engaged they are or how much they are understanding by picking up on their energy levels and body language.

Less reliance on technology

Technology is incredible, but let’s face it, it’s not always reliable. Carrying out training face-to-face means there is no need to worry about whether your internet connection is going to let you down or whether attendees are going to face technical difficulties. Troubleshooting technical problems can be frustrating, waste time for both trainers and students, and negatively impact the learning experience for everyone on the course.

Peer learning

There is plenty of research supporting the benefits of peer learning, where students learn or are inspired by their peers during active discussions, debates, or team-based activities. Whilst virtual classrooms do allow students to interact at times, they are no replacement for face-to-face communication which allows students to build more of a rapport with each other and participate in more lively and personal discussions or debates.

Whilst virtual classrooms definitely have their benefits, they are unlikely to ever render face-to-face learning obsolete. There are many advantages to in-person training, and in many circumstances, it remains the most effective and engaging type of training.

Individuals and employers searching for the right training provider and service for their needs should consider a variety of different factors when deciding whether online or in-person training is the right choice for them.

Some important factors that should be considered include:

  • The style of learning that the subject matter lends itself best to.
  • Location of the training provider.
  • Willingness and time available to travel.
  • Budget.
  • The individual’s preferred learning style.

Training courses that require attendees to learn practical skills and techniques are usually best attended in-person to allow individuals to gain valuable hands-on experience. Theory-based training may be just as effective whether it is taught in-person or online, leaving it up to the individual and/or employer to decide which option is most suited to their circumstances.

Here at Care Business Associates, we offer a wide range of different healthcare training courses, both in-person and online, to individuals and organisations across the UK and Ireland.

For more information about the range of courses we have available, give our friendly team a call by calling us on 01772 816922 or emailing