After a couple of years of pandemic closures and restrictions, many organizations are now moving back toward in-person meetings and work. Online options for continuing education continue to be offered and often seem like they are expanding; for classes that are mostly theoretical or that cover business and other non-clinical-practicum topics, online offerings have a growing number of benefits. But in-person class offerings are also open. If you have a choice, which format should you choose?
A Note About COVID-19
Keep in mind that in-person classes will likely be indoors. If you're concerned about COVID-19 transmission, contact the organization about how they've handled ventilation and whether masking will be required. An in-person class can be close quarters, and you want to ensure you're not the only person responsible for your safety. Luckily, organizations have been taking the continuing COVID-19 threat seriously.
In-Person Mingling and Networking
One big advantage to attending a class in person is you have more chances to network during breaks and to meet colleagues. Unless an online class specifically arranges for times when the online meeting room will be open, allowing everyone to chat (which could be difficult if many people are trying to take the class), you won't get the mingling and networking with online continuing education.
Why Deal With Traffic?
However, so many topics can be covered online now that spending the time and gas to commute to the class site in person, not to mention dealing with the traffic, seems like a very strange thing to do. If you're more concerned about fulfilling continuing-education requirements than expanding your nationwide network of business cards, an online class may be a better version for you.
Classes From Anywhere
Of course, with online classes, you can take classes from anywhere in the nation as long as they fulfill the requirements for your education. This allows you to choose from among a bigger pool. With in-person classes, you're kind of limited to just whatever the schools in your area have decided to offer, which might not be to your liking.
New Techniques Are an Exception
The one exception where you'd absolutely want an in-person class is if new techniques were being taught. When you're learning something that requires touch, just mimicking it over a video conferencing platform may not be enough to help you learn the technique.
Start looking at class options early to ensure you know what the registration requirements are. You'll also find more variety when you're looking before classes fill up.
For more information, contact an education program you're interested in, such as a continuing education program for massage therapy.