May 23, 2018

It’s been said before, but a single learning approach isn’t going to work well for everyone. Goals, objectives, and training needs vary widely between individuals and every industry. Learning styles are different for each learner, and some industries attract certain types of learners more than others.

In the homebuilding and renovation world, there is a whole realm of understanding that can only happen through site-based, hands-on learning. People whose jobs are mainly constructing and installing things need to practice and ask questions to get it right, before they head out into the field. They need to learn kinesthetically, through their bodies, as well as through spoken or written words.

At the same time, there’s foundational knowledge that can be delivered through a variety of alternative approaches, often with better results than traditional classroom learning. Classroom learning is a great way to collaborate and network with peers, but the need for a physical location limits the number of people who can attend in several ways, like classroom size limits, training budgets, and travel/accommodation costs.

There are alternatives to Instructor Led Training (ILT) that can be stand-alone or used in combination with other training methods for higher success rates. As a provider of online training, Blue House Energy gets a lot of ‘oh, ya, online training, you mean like a webinar.’



Not at all.

So here’s a nice infographic, inspired by a flow chart from www.managementconcepts.com of what types of training ‘modalities’ are out there.

Learning styles and training modalities


Modality? That describes the way that training is delivered...


A quick rundown on a list of modalities:


Classroom Training: traditional face-to-face sessions at a physical location; this is traditional Instructor Led Training (ILT).

Online University/College Course: online course that takes place over a semester or other time period. Typically, the instructor is available via email and discussion boards, with no live teaching. Students submit online assignments and have to hit deadlines.

Remote/Distance Learning: learners can see live classroom and interact with instructor and other learners via 2-way audio.

Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT): learners collaborate and interact with instructor in real-time, virtual reality environment.

E-learning: on-demand (asynchronous) self-paced, interactive modules of learning, with no live instruction.


As you can see from the list above, online training comes in two modes: live or on-demand.

Live (‘synchronous’) online training is just that. Real-time interaction with an instructor. Just like face-to-face training, this mode gives the learner the opportunity to ask questions, explore various options and clarify concepts as they are being presented. It also helps the instructor gauge how well learners are understanding the content, and allows for modification of course content to suit the needs of specific groups.What’s the difference?

On-demand (‘asynchronous’) is produced or pre-recorded so the learner can access the training and the resources on their own schedule, usually for a certain period of time. Good e-learning takes advantage of the computer environment and specialized course authoring tools. The format and presentation is tailored to the mode in which the training is delivered. Learners have the opportunity to go through the course and review unfamiliar material at their own pace, without the pressure of keeping up with the instructor or other members of the class. Tailoring content delivery to the computer environment can also create a better learning experience for those who are not book learners. This is the type of online training that we offer here at Blue House Energy.

Where’s the Webinar?

What you don’t see on this list is webinars. Webinars are a way to tell people about something, rather than teach people something. They are a very successful and popular mode of information transfer. But webinars have extremely limited value as a training tool, mainly because learning happens best over a period of a few days, with repetition.

Digesting information at a rate of 40 slides in an hour does not give the human adult brain enough scope to learn. In fact, between 50 and 80 per cent of new information is forgotten within a few days of a single learning event. To improve the level of recall, it has been proven that multiple sessions over time, with repetition of content can improve long-term retention by 200 per cent.


At Blue House Energy, we’re working with partners to boost the signal on better success rates from blended learning programs.


Drop us a line if you want to know more about interactive online learning and how it can benefit your training plan. 

Contact us today to find out more about interactive online learning from Blue House Energy.


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  • If you are planning a house build or renovation, understanding Building Science is important to avoid repetitive heating costs and possible water damage later. Shawna and her team know their stuff.

    K.W., General Manager, Halifax, NS
  • Studies over the last 20 years have shown a worrying energy performance gap – where buildings are consistently found to use more heating energy than designers had predicted and Energy Performance Certificates indicate.

    Oliver Drerup, Former Head of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation - International
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    Duncan Hill, P. Eng., Acting Director, Sustainable Housing and Communities Policy and Research Policy, Research and Planning, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  • Over the last 20+ years I have been speaking to and training thousands of new home builders and renovators across North America.

    Gord Cooke, Air Solutions
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    Gregory A. Pedrick, C.E.M., Project Manager, New York State Energy Efficiency Agency
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    Dan Drummond, Training Director, Canada Wood China
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    Michelle Harding, Professional Builders Institute of BC
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