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Self-Paced Courses or Virtual Live Classes: What Should You Pick?

By Nidarshana Sharma posted 08-03-2021 08:51


Last week, a customer of ours talked to us about her experience using Zuora University. During our conversation, she mentioned that she preferred to learn in a classroom environment wherein you find an instructor/teacher and peers/students. She was mildly surprised that several hundred students do our self-paced courses every day and find them very helpful. According to her, the best learning environment is when there is someone to guide you in real-time and correct you if you’re going wrong. That got us thinking. What if some of our customers are doing the wrong format of courses? So, we put together this quick guide for you to decide which type of content you should consume. 

Availability of time 

Often, the people who do self-paced courses, in general, have the time to keep aside for their training. These could be part-time employees, new employees who are still ramping up, or even students. Typically, full-time employees who are already busy might not be able to put in the hours needed to complete some of the coursework. Of course, there are always exceptions who catch up over the weekends or after work hours. 

On the other hand, if you’re busy- first with your work, and then with household chores, chances are that you’re pretty tired by the end of the day to even think about anything else. In such cases, it might be better to try a live class where you spend the entire day or a couple of hours in a day with a trainer. It is scheduled into your day, so you have more motivation, so you might end up making time to attend the class. 

Type of learning 

Some people prefer to learn at their own pace. They go through topics on their own, do their research, and understand concepts all by themselves. Such people might be few but they do exist. Self-paced courses are ideal for them. 

Some other people like the idea of being connected online with other people and an instructor- who goes through several concepts, who explains these concepts in a manner that is easy to understand and then clarifies any questions that the participants might raise. This atmosphere is motivating to those people, keeps them attentive, and sometimes even brings out a competitive side to them- all of which boost learning. 


Now this one might be a little difficult to take in but self-paced courses do require some discipline. Since there is nobody to ask you questions or check in on you (unless you decide to have someone do that), the onus is on you to finish what you started. With the many distractions in our lives, sometimes, we might end up putting the course on the back burner or forgetting all about it. Most of us are guilty of having done this at some point. But, if you find yourself doing this more often than you’d like to, then virtual classes are perfect for you.

Explore the Zuora University course catalog here!