There are many benefits of online teaching as opposed to traditional classroom teaching in-person and in this post, I will explain 10 key benefits!
It is useful first though to explain the two different types of online teaching, as there are definite differences for you as a teacher or trainer teaching online.
Two Types of Online Teaching
Real-time Teaching (Synchronous Teaching)
Using web conferencing services such as Zoom, MS Teams, and Skype, you can teach classes online quite easily. The lessons take place in real-time just like in a classroom, but online and using equipment such as your computer/laptop, a webcam, and a microphone.
So when talking about online teaching, this synchronous (real-time) style is what most people tend to think of and this is a great way to teach but then it is time-restricted in that the students must be online at the exact same time as you the teacher.
The advantage though is that you get that real-time interactivity with your students, i.e. that instant communication where they can, for example, ask or be asked questions and you can instantly answer and help them.
Asynchronous Teaching Online
The other type of teaching online is asynchronous teaching. This means that you put courses online on a platform such as Teachable and then the student can do that course anytime they want 24/7.
So with asynchronous teaching online, there is no real limit to who you can teach as they can study at any time of the day and from anywhere and without the worry or hassle of setting up a webcam to learn online. They can just log-in and start doing your course.
You can see an example of an asynchronous course here with the Starting a blog online course.
1. Geographic and Borderless Reach as an Online Teacher
Without question, one of the incredible benefits as a freelance trainer online is the ability literally to reach and teach people from every corner of the world.
Okay, you will need to speak their language or they’ll need to speak yours but the potential audience is simply massive.
One thing you will need to study and gain an understanding of though is how to market yourself as an online teacher or online trainer, to reach this worldwide audience. How do you actually reach these people to get them to study with you online?
You might want to read this post we previous did about How to market yourself as an online trainer.
2. Time Flexibility and 24/7 Tutorials
Teaching online also provides you with the opportunity to provide lessons 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People can do your workshops whilst you yourself are sleeping or lying on a beach reading a book.
Typically, you design this type of course with videos, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, and whatever you wish to include, and you upload the lessons to the platform Teachable.
A person can sign up at any time to buy your course and they will immediately then have access to study your course whenever they wish to and they can normally log in from anywhere worldwide.
You can also include drip-fed content on the course and what this means is that for parts of the course, if you wish to, you can make it so that users have access to some lessons at certain dates, i.e. one week after they start the course.
3. Makes Teaching More Affordable as a Teacher or Trainer
It is not always cheap to rent a venue, especially if you are working as a freelance trainer as I know many of you do. Working online means saving a tonne of money if you are a freelance trainer who has to take the cost of hiring a venue out of the profits from the training you provide.
There are, of course, extra costs you will actually incur from teaching online and these are from equipment costs and you can read about these costs here on our recent post all about What Equipment you will need for teaching online here.
Like the savings from venue hire, savings on travel costs can also be a significant saving you make by teaching online. The cost to drive, or get a taxi, or to fly (for workshops taking place far from home) can really add up as a trainer.
Despite the cost of needing a decent HD webcam and microphone etc, teaching online, I think you will agree, is far cheaper cost-wise than teaching in person, in a classroom or training room offline.
4. Great for Employee Training and Saving Time
Time Management is something that many of us struggle with and as a corporate trainer or teacher life can certainly be hectic time-wise.
A great thing about online teaching is the sheer amount of time you can save versus traditional classroom or training room teaching.
Okay, there is, I will admit, a learning curve when you first start teaching online and this in itself can be time-consuming. Once you get over the learning curve of teaching online though, you save time on:
- traveling to/from the training location
- printing materials manually (as with online teaching digital documents are much easier to distribute)
- dealing with issues such as locked classrooms or double-booked rooms etc that can sometimes occur
Overall, teaching online is great for your own time management as a trainer, so do be patient when first learning to get used to the likes of Zoom, Skype, or MS Teams at the beginning.
5. Information Sharing Made Easier and Greener
I have touched on this point above regards time management but it is a key benefit that I want to further expand on a little here in relation to information sharing.
In traditional teaching in person, it is typical to print out a bunch of handouts for the students. With online teaching, you can send them the same documents as digital documents i.e. as PDFs sent by email and this has the benefit of:
- Being more environmentally friendly
- Means documents can easily be updated as needed up until the class starts
- Saved print costs and time
6. You can Work from Anywhere as an Online Teacher or Trainer
Whilst you might not decide to teach from a beach (but there is absolutely no reason why you can’t as long as you have a decent internet connection). you can choose to work from anywhere worldwide.
Every city has co-working spaces that include meeting rooms that you can use as a quiet space for providing online teaching. Likewise, you might want to teach online part-time for a few months whilst renting a villa in Greece and spending the afternoons going for leisurely walks. The option is there!
As an online trainer, you really can literally work from anywhere in the world, as long as you have the most basic equipment you will need to teach online.
7. A Chance as a Teacher or Trainer to Develop and Master IT Key Skills
As touched on before, there is admittedly, a learning curve at the very start when you start teaching online.
You might have to get familiar, for example, with how to use online digital whiteboards, or how to use breakout rooms, and get familiar with using a microphone and webcam. Likewise, getting the lighting right can take a bit of getting used to at the start.
Alas, these skills that you will learn from teaching online, such as using the equipment and software involved, are actually great skills that will bring you into the modern era.
Web-conferencing is here to stay and now permeates our lives. Web conferencing is the future for many business meetings, online training workshops, video calls with friends and family, and so on, so it is certainly not a bad thing if you are pushed towards having to embrace these technologies.
8. New Job Opportunities for Online Teachers
Given the geographic barrierless opportunities to find teaching work worldwide from your own living room (or beach-hut if you so desire), there is of course competition globally.
If you are a specialist though, in a certain niche, perhaps DDA for example, you can build a clientele that matches your teaching expertise.
Online teaching, without a doubt, gives you more freedom and along with it, some very interesting teaching opportunities.
9. More Equal Opportunities for Learners With Access Issues and Disabilities
A very important consideration, when it comes to teaching online, is the opportunity it also provides for those who find accessibility more of an issue.
A wheelchair user might find it sometimes quite challenging to get to certain venues or locations, based on the lack of transportation, facilities and guidance (i.e. signage for wheelchair routes into a building).
An incredibly positive thing about online teaching is that it provides users who have accessibility challenges with the same opportunities to attend training.
In other words, online teaching provides greater equality and diversity opportunities for those not only with disabilities and access problems, but those from disadvantaged backgrounds. and who might, for example, struggle to finance paying to travel to a venue every day because of the financial cost.
10. Saves Time, Money & Benefits Mental Health: Benefits of Online Teaching for Students
There are also benefits for the students themselves from online teaching.
Online teaching provides potential students, whatever their age, with a greater opportunity to study a wide range of subjects. CPD (Continuing Professional Development) is something that benefits those also in their 50s, 60s and beyond and brings learning to us all.
Online learning makes education a far more practical possibility for many in terms of time and cost.
Dr Paul Symonds
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