Having just finished a distance learning version of the Business Architecture training I thought it was worth talking about the delivery process and technology.
Being it was 121 facilitated via VOIP and screen sharing I was pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of teaching like this. The learning management system provided bespoke material to the learner and made an easy place to leave material to be browsed securely whilst between sessions.
The Skype worked well as the new version 5 seems to be bug free and didn't have any of the disappointments of the previous versions ; no video freezes or issues whilst flicking from video to screen share. Whether I would use this for larger groups is another question but some of the more familiar commercial versions of web conferencing are a bit pricey for low casual use like this.
Upsides are substantially lower delivery costs and therefore lower pricing for the client, no travel costs no venue charges, overnight accommodation or travel time to be billed. A classroom event needs a minimum number of people to make it financially fly; so this is ideal for individuals particularly those who are self funding.
The other upside was it fitted the clients time scheduling an hour session once a week - well we often over ran in reality but that was OK - as long as value was perceived I am happy with that.
Downsides are you loose the flow and ebb of group discussion facilitated by social interaction over a more traditional residential delivery model. Kinaesthetic exercises obviously are not so clever and neither is syndicate work for obvious reasons; syndicates with one member aren't that effective!
Overall from a trainers point of view this approach has some merits and we will be pursuing it further as part of the mix of offering.