Top Ten Advantages of the Teleclass Format

Teleclasses are more than just a different delivery medium (as compared to brick-and-mortar classrooms). Teleclasses are a different approach to teaching. In fact, they are more about causing change, accelerating development/evolution and producing results/change than they are about information-transfer or other traditional teaching methods.

Below, you will read about what's different -- and special -- about the Teleclass format and approach. (Note: We are comparing and contrasting the teleclass format to/with the traditional classroom environment, but we don't mean to come across critically about that format -- that format provides a high-value experience as well.)



1. Results-orientation. Traditional classrooms are about transferring information and measuring how much the student grasped, can use and/or has retained. This is also an important aspect of the teleclass format. But the teleclass approach goes farther. Many teleclasses are designed to help the student reach a goal, make a change, prove what they learned, or fix a problem during the teleclass, not just after it. This approach helps the student to learn more deeply and to assimilate the information/skills completely because they are using it, not just learning/understanding it. Big difference. When focusing on desired results, participants learn the information/skills 2-10 times faster/better/deeper (as compared to theoretical learning).

2. Increased participation and inclusion. On the teleclass, everyone is sitting in the front row and there is more "personal/experimental" talking and sharing. Because of the anonymity of the teleclass, most participants feel more confident about sharing personal stories, problems or situations because they won't be as judged and they won't run into a classmate the next time they are at the mall! People feel safer, so they take more risks. Taking risks makes the teleclass even more interesting (for both the risk-taker and the other participants).

3. Magic of meeting experienced, accomplished colleagues. In a traditional classroom, you can meet interesting people as well, but they tend to be geographically/culturally similar to you. With the national/international classroom, you have a much higher chance of meeting people who can change your life, even if you have a virtual (meaning not geographically proximate) relationship with them. The people attending teleclasses are generally successful and have a track record, so you're co-learning with people who can teach you something because they've been through it. This is different than most traditional classrooms/universities where the instructor really IS the authority and the students are just the students.

4. Fast-developing intimacy. Because of the freedom to share personal or meaningful things, participants tend to bond much more quickly in a teleclass format vs. a traditional classroom format. They are there to work together and hear/be with each other without the distractions/diversions of clothing, uncomfortable chairs, stress of driving to the classroom, opinions about another classmate's hair style, etc. teleclasses are a cleaner, more superconductive environment.

5. Precise foci possible. Thanks to the national/international nature of the telephone (vs. the geocentric limitations of the traditional classroom), it's more likely that one can tap into a group of people who have very specialized/narrow mutual interests, via phone. In other words, there may not be enough people in the same city/region to support a tightly focused traditional-classroom course, but there would be enough folks nationally to make that slice of study viable financially (for both the student and the teacher/virtual university).

6. Comfort, convenience and commitment to learning . People who take teleclasses are there because they want to learn the information and grow because of it. They are not there to get their need for physical socialization or attention getting. In addition, many people get off the learning track because they get married, get a career, have children, get busy/involved in projects, adventures and other great life stuff. "Going back to school" sounds like it would mean cutting out a part of one's life, sacrificing something. But with teleclasses, you can "fit in" an hour a week to learn something you want to learn. The time/disruption cost is minimal, the financial cost is negligible and the ripple affect from being "tapped in" to others on a similar learning track is very rewarding and beneficial. One discovers how to integrate vs. compartmentalize learning, thanks to the convenience and flexibility of the teleclass format.

7. Opportunity to affect/contribute to the class. The traditional classroom carries the power structure of "I am the teacher; you are the student." This is not nearly as true in the teleclass format. Most teleclass leaders rely on the participants to help with the class content and examples; synergy and collaboration results. This is a huge difference and increases value exponentially.

8. Higher-end discussion.
Because (theoretically, anyway) 90% of the content of a teleclass can be learned/gotten outside of the teleclass itself (via the web, e-mail, etc.), the instructor and participants have more time to focus on the specific application of the information (and brainstorming too) during the actual teleclasses. Students quickly come to expect this type of high-end, stimulating discussion from a teleclass, instead of basic information transfer. This is a radical attitudinal change compared to the "come-to-class-to-learn-the-information traditional approach." The information/instructor is the star of the traditional classroom; the students and synergy/wisdom-created is the star of the teleclass.

9. Wisdom-creation environment. Because of how the participants are set up to learn/listen/participate in a teleclass, and the fact that the instructor is in facilitation/coaching mode (vs. straight information-delivery mode), there is almost an (healthful) expectation that something terrific will be created, presenced or discovered during the teleclass itself, by everyone. In other words, wisdom can be created, instead of just information being transferred. It's a whole 'nother feeling.

10. Lifelong learning is more likely. Because of the convenience and the nature of the teleclasses, you may find yourself wanting to keep learning as a lifelong priority, instead of just taking classes when you "need to" or in order to get a degree or certification. Remember how it was during your college days? Always engaged, learning, interested? You can have that again, yet with the convenience of the teleclass format. (And without the cafeteria food, juvenile antics, etc.)

Excerpted and adapted from, "The Advantages of the Teleclass Format" Copyright 1998 by Thomas J. Leonard. May not be copied or retransmitted unless following attribution is given: thomas@teleclass.com. Be sure to visit http://www.teleclass.com.

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