Virtual Training VS Online Courses: The Differences and What’s Right for You

Virtual Training VS Online Courses: The Differences and What’s Right for You

Online learning has never been so popular. More and more people prefer online learning over traditional one due to lots of benefits it offers. 

There are many variations of learning content, including coaching programs, virtual training, online courses, and so on. Yet, throughout this article, we will particularly focus on two and compare every aspect of Virtual Learning Vs. Online Courses to understand which one will work best for you. 

So, if you are ready, let’s start! 

What is virtual training?

So, first of all, let’s start with virtual training.

Training is a process of the development of certain skills aimed at increasing the performance of individuals in a specific area/industry. For instance, sales or marketing training aims to increase sales teams’ performance by equipping them with vital and up-to-date industry knowledge & skills. 

Virtual training vizualization

Essentially virtual training is the same as traditional training, with one big difference it is hosted online. Plus, instead of physical equipment, including projectors and whiteboards, virtual trailers use online whiteboards and screen share apps for sharing the presentations. 

What are online courses?

Alright, we are clear on virtual training, but what are online courses, then?

Online courses are pre-recorded content filled with quizzes and other learning materials that make up a wholesome course. They aim to teach students theoretical knowledge on a subject and equip them with practical skills on it as well. The same sales training can be in the format of an online course. 

It allows for passive income generation and a balanced work-life routine. 

Main differences and what to consider: 

The target difference between virtual training and online courses is that one is hosted live while the other is off-the-shelf content. Off-the-shelf content means pre-recorded courses. Online courses are great for providing micro or nano learning experiences. However, you can still design and pre-record longer sessions of a more complex program.

Another target difference is that online courses allow you to make a course once and keep reselling it, making passive income. Meanwhile, virtual training requires your presence in each session. 

Let's also review the differences in the main aspects that these formats of learning deal with. 

Interaction level

With online courses, interaction level struggles. First of all, in pre-recorded classes, students are not joining live training. So, they cannot ask the instructor questions and get instant answers or feedback. 

Meanwhile, the interaction level between students and the instructor is greater during virtual training.  Especially interaction level will be good if you, as an instructor, incorporate various collaborative learning techniques into training sessions. Unlike online courses, virtual training allows doing so. 

Assignments

Assignments are similar for both types of eLearning. 

You can assign homework, quizzes & other activities throughout the live training session or afterward. In online courses, you can add quizzes & exercises as part of the course content/materials after sessions you find necessary. 

Girl learning via virtual training

Quizzes & assignments will help track students’ progress and keep students engaged and motivated. The only difference is that in live training, you can provide instant feedback, unlike in online courses. 

Schedule and learning pace

Online courses allow for self-paced learning, unlike virtual training, which requires sticking to a certain schedule. Plus, virtual training is more time-consuming in terms of designing a schedule that fits, adjusting it, etc. 

Meanwhile, off-the-shelf learning allows students to join the session whenever they want and learn how much they want. Self-paced learning requires strong motivation, yet it can be quite efficient if the course is engaging and the student knows how to commit. Self-paced learning allows for more productive learning. 

Efficiency

In terms of efficiency, there is no definite answer, as it all depends on the instructor and the participants. 

Online courses can be as efficient if the student is committed, motivated, and actively engages in the learning process. Meanwhile, virtual training that seems to be more efficient from first sight can fail if the student is not engaged, misses sessions, etc. 

To ensure the efficiency of both:

  1. Create a course or training that is valuable.
  2. Deliver materials in an engaging manner.
  3. Pay attention to your voice, body language, and appearance, and have good visuals for infographics and presentations. 

Student's perspective

Live training provides a synchronous learning experience for students, while online courses offer an asynchronous learning experience. Each student’s perspective varies related to which one is better. 

Generally, the Pros and Cons from students’ perspectives are presented down below. 

Pros & Cons of Online Courses 

First, let’s review the pros and cons of online courses. 

Pros 

  • Allows for self-paced learning 
  • Time flexibility allows joining whenever they want 
  • Costs less than live training 

Cons

  • Requires strong motivation & commitment that can be hard 
  • Easier to get distracted and lose the sense of responsibility 
Girl trying to make a decision

Pros & Cons of Virtual Training 

Now, let’s look at the most common pros & cons students mention in various forums related to virtual training.  

Pros 

  • More engaging & real-time interaction possibilities 
  • Fast feedback that allows for more productive improvement & learning 
  • A better learning experience in terms of collaborative learning 

Cons 

  • Scheduling issues 
  • Costs a lot more than a pre-recorded course 

Virtual training offers more common treats of a traditional classroom, with one difference the classroom setting is online. 

Prices

Online courses cost far less than virtual training. First of all, instructors on es create a course and can sell it making passive income over and over again. You can find such courses on Udemy and Skillshare. The price ranges between $15 to $150 depending on the complexity of the course & topic. It does not require much time commitment after publishing besides marketing efforts and answering questions students might have. 

Meanwhile, virtual training costs more and allows for better income potential. However, it requires more time commitment. Depending on the topic, length, and your expertise as a trainer, virtual training prices range between $20 - $40 per session. The approximate length of programs can vary, yet they approximate lasts around 15 sessions. So, you can make $300 to $600 per individual. If you gather a group of 5 participants, then anywhere between $1500 - $9000 per group. 

These are approximate market estimations; it greatly varies depending on many factors. 

Learning platform

What are the main differences in terms of learning platforms? 

Well, luckily, many LMS platforms offer the opportunity to have both online courses and virtual training. 

If you choose Uteach, Skillshare, or a platform like that, they are exclusively for course creators. Yet, if you want to work independently, even as a course creator, we suggest Uteach or Thinkific. These platforms will allow you to build & customize potent websites, automate teaching processes, and scale. 

Plus, with platforms such as Uteach, you can also sell virtual training, live coaching sessions, and anything related to eLearning, including online & offline webinars, ebooks & podcasts. 

Blended learning

Blended learning is not just about combining online and offline sessions. It combines different learning formats, such as virtual training and pre-recorded online courses. 

For instance, you can offer a few training sessions as pre-recorded videos and have a discussion forum where students can ask you/each other questions related to the topic. 

You can offer pre-recoded short videos summarizing the upcoming live session as homework assignments to ensure students are better aware of upcoming material and will acquire knowledge more productively. 

There are many ways you can combine these two and offer a blended learning experience for your students. Plus, you will get the advantages of both worlds. 

Pros and cons

Let’s review the Pros and Cons of offering blended learning. 

Pros 

  • Can help to enhance the student learning experience 
  • If pre-recorded videos are offered as class summaries or next-class preparation videos, it will contribute to better knowledge acquirement and retention rate.

Cons

  • It is harder to design as, besides learning materials, you also will need pre-recorded sessions 
  • Harder to organize into overall content; which sessions should be pre-recorded and which ones live? 
Team working on planning an online training

At the end of the day, if blended learning is harder to design, you can offer these two learning formats separately.  For instance, create 3-5 courses and market them, sell those and make passive income. While also offering training programs regularly and working with students one-on-one. 

Start your teaching journey with Uteach today

Uteach is an incredible platform that offers all the necessary features for virtual trainers and online course creators. You will be able to:

  • BuildCustomize a powerful white-labeled website with an easy-to-use dragdrop website editor 
  • Choose from a variety of themes and pre-made templates to save time in building 
  • Utilize potent course builder to design & host the best courses and virtual training programs
  • Enjoy the power of built-in SEO features & better SEO-optimize your website for higher rankings on SERPs
  • Take control over every aspect of your website, including payments and marketing, from one single dashboard 
  • Save timeincrease ROI rate with automation features 
  • Many more

So, if you are looking for an affordable yet high-value platform to establish and expand your online teaching business, Uteach is the perfect choice for you.

Start for FREE

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Published 26 Jan 2023
Updated at 17 Feb 2024
8 min read
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Article by Nelli Gevorgyan

Content writer

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