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Is It Better to Learn at Your Own Pace or in a Structured Environment?

For employers looking to equip their staff with new information, is it better to set aside office time for team training activities or to take advantage of digital technology, allowing everyone to learn at the their own pace and in their own time? Workplace leader Janet Pogue, who studies how people use office space, says letting people take online tutorials with their mobile devices is a great idea in theory. Since scheduling people to be in the same room at the same time has become increasingly difficult, remote learning offers a possible solution. 

But the effectiveness of these programs may ultimately depend on how new and challenging is the information. If a personal instructor is not available to answer your questions as they come up, digital education programs leave their students little recourse. MOOCs, which stands for massive open online courses, were once hailed as the future of education. Unfortunately, the dropout rate of these online courses stands about about 90%. If you're asking your employees to brush up on a little information they already have a grasp on, however, self-guided study is likely to be more effective.

Employers should note, says Pogue, that failing to schedule time at the office for certain tasks implies they are not important enough to merit the attention of management, sapping motivation for employees to do them on their own time. As edX President Anant Agarwal discusses, self-motivation has definite limits, so basic courses like college prerequisites may experience particular success online.

Read more at Fast Company

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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