Distance training: these pitfalls to avoid

Distance training these pitfalls to avoid

Who has never thought about giving up everything to change careers? Sometimes suffered, often chosen, retraining has never bothered the French so much, especially after the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19. To give meaning to their daily lives, earn a better living or simply get a change of scenery. Here are the keys to succeeding in this vital turning point. Distance learning can be a wise choice.

Presented by some as the philosopher’s stone of professional retraining, capable of transforming the unemployed into workers and the unmotivated into enthusiasts, distance learning is crowned with numerous virtues. A sign of the dynamism of the sector, several trade fairs are dedicated to it. Learning Technologies closed its doors in January, Innovative Learning will open them from March 19 to 21 in Paris. The event – around a hundred exhibitors this year, when there were 28 in 2001 – will give pride of place to innovations in the service of learning “outside the walls”. The stars of the Porte de Versailles will be the digital, L’immersive, L’adaptive, THE social or even the fast learning. All these training methods, some boosted by artificial intelligence, aim to maintain the attractiveness of distance learning. However, for the first time since 2020, its popularity is stalling, falling by four points. The 2024 barometer from the ISTF, the institute of professions of digital learning, specifies: “By taking four points from distance learning, face-to-face once again becomes the most standard of educational devices.”

Courage to start from scratch

This would not surprise Sylvain Tillon, the co-founder of Bahut. This school, with a fine reputation, trains ddigital learning managers (hear distance training designers)… face-to-face. A paradox ? No, obvious for the entrepreneur. “Our retraining students are 35 years old on average. At this age, it takes a lot of courage to change your life and start from scratch. Those who undertake this process may do so following a personal or professional problem – toxic management, misunderstood dismissals… Throughout their journey, they will have moments of doubt, sometimes fearing drowning. We are there to fish them out, give them confidence. And, to achieve this, nothing beats face-to-face. ” Le Bahut strives to create synergy within its promotions. Jérôme Lacquemant, a veteran, testifies: “We started the training by visiting Lyon and a escape game. In one week, despite my introverted nature, the group spirit was there.”

Flexible, but not simple

The isolation of the learner remains the Achilles heel of 100% distance learning. France Travail, however, urges us not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, recalling that 43% of the 25,700 job seekers who followed distance training in 2022 found a job within six months. Personalities who are sufficiently confident, autonomous and persevering to complete their journey despite the absence of peer interactions. Distance learning centers are trying to create virtual communities, with Workplace or Slack for example. But exchanges between learners can quickly be limited to the bare minimum if there is no real community leader. An alternative to breaking isolation is to set up tutoring. A system encouraged by the ISTF, whose barometer specifies that 53% of non-tutored programs are followed to completion by less than 20% of learners.

Finally, another pitfall of distance learning is that it does not always allow you to develop your professional network, unless you opt for work-study or for training including internship. The National Center for Distance Education (Cned), a historic player in the sector, has systematized in-company training periods. For Lionel Madec, its director of business development and marketing, it is “a determining factor in employability”. A criterion that must be checked before committing.