The latest trends in training: from the face-to-face model to the online model

Nov 25, 2020

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The latest trends in training: from the face-to-face model to the online model

Since the coronavirus crisis began in practically the whole world, one of the sectors that have been most affected in this regard has been training . Overnight, thousands of teachers and trainers have had to change their routines, methodologies and tools without having a prior idea of ​​what all this supposes and entails.

Since approximately 1995, when the first online university in the world, the UOC, appeared, the debate about what type of training is appropriate has always been present and close to all teachers. Many have ventured into teaching online; others, rather suspiciously, have preferred to stick with the traditional format without any intention of making the change.

However, today it is inevitable to think about what will happen from now on, what new direction are language teachers going to have to take because we do not see these new ways of doing our work viable, at least in every way. But we must take into account all the factors and prepare to be able to continue with our profession, despite the fact that sometimes it is difficult for us to think about a daily routine through the screen. It may be a matter of prejudice or a reality, but what is evident is that distance training is here to stay and we have to be aware of all that we can get positive and what things we will have to lose from the face-to-face method or try to recover them also through new methodologies.


Advantages of online training

  • It is clear that distance training allows much more flexibility than face-to-face training. Both teachers and students, if the classes are well adapted to achieve this, they can connect at any time they want, from the place they want. Everything is much more comfortable. Now you can obtain an official certificate of a foreign language practically without leaving home, and that is something that we should value.
  • access to knowledge is always available, open. The Internet has brought the possibility of obtaining constant information from very different and varied sources, which allows us to be learning 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If the virtual classroom is well adapted , the students, in the same way, will be able to learn for as long as they want, uninterruptedly, what each one needs.
  • We also know that working from home saves time, quite a bit. We do not need to travel every day to distances sometimes interprovincial to carry out our work, and that means a lot of savings, which is truly valuable.
  • A virtual class has the peculiarity of only being effective if the groups of students who receive it and participate are small. So this is also something to take into account and value, since the large groups with which we previously worked required a lot of effort and energy that exhausted us, in addition to being an impediment for the students themselves due to lack of attention individualized.
  • In online training we are in contact with the students much of the time as well, we are close despite the distance and we can communicate without losing the human part that terrifies us so much.
  • technology gives us a lot of play, it is possible to prepare very playful, concrete classes and put aside the traditional master classes. In this way, the student becomes the true protagonist and learns while creating, playing, exploring and investigating.
  • many more people have access to the training offer thanks to the possibility of adapting it to their possibilities, compared to the previous restrictions due to incompatibility of schedules.


The possible drawbacks of distance training

  • If left unchecked, the teacher can be in front of the screen all day; therefore, it is necessary to establish schedules with the groups or students and not dedicate more than the established time.
  • Do our students and teachers lose motivation if we are not around? Remember that we are still close, that we continue to see each other, that we can continue to motivate ourselves, but since it is a different format, this motivation must also be different. This requires a change of mentality , a new way of doing, to which you have to dedicate time, make an effort and think from another perspective.
  • If the information is always available and we can adapt it to our circumstances, it is possible to lose the routine and that our life has a certain lack of control that is neither healthy nor advisable. Online training brings this with it. As we have said before, it will be necessary to set limits , take care of the times.
  • In order to develop our work in this new way, it is necessary to train or research a lot about methodology , technology in general and perhaps the latter does not motivate us too much. Yes, you have to make an effort and catch up, you also have to dedicate time to things that are beyond our classes.
  • What about the exams? Is the remote model ready to evaluate in the same way? This is one of the great unknowns, which with practice we will discover and see if it is possible to maintain this same way of evaluating or we will have to look for new options. In any case, we currently have a large number of platforms enabled for this purpose.
  • students have no peers: lack of social interaction, also for teachers. It is impossible like this the talks with the companions between class and lessons, the coffee break. Although we can always do it through the screen, it is not the same.



The debate is still open, as of today more alive than ever. Now they are all unknowns, nothing is clear. Little by little, with time, practice, successes and mistakes, we can really see if online training is really an alternative that can overcome face-to-face training. It is about two ways of doing, two realities, each with its peculiarities, not all of which can be comparable. And as in any election, if we take one or the other we will lose things but we will gain others.

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