8 Myths About Online Leadership Development

Myth 1: Online Leadership Development Programs Are Low Quality

Fact: Many online leadership development programs are university-certified and go through a rigorous design and review process that could take months, if not several years to complete. When evaluating an online program ask your vendor about how their program design process to ensure their education content is high-quality.

Myth 2: Online Learning Is Less Effective Than In-Person Learning

Fact: Research shows that online learning is as effective or more so than in-person learning. Organizations measure the effectiveness of their programs in several ways. One of the most common is to compare employee skill immediately before and after a program.

Myth 3: You Have to be a Technology Expert

Fact: You don’t need to be a technology expert to participate in an online leadership development program. You do, however, need basic computer skills. Most online programs, including ExecOnline’s, are designed to be intuitive and simple to access.

Myth 4: Online Programs Aren’t Engaging

Fact: High-quality, online leadership development programs are designed to generate maximum participant engagement. One way to do this is by including diverse content throughout the experience such as short learning videos and live virtual sessions with peers.

Myth 5: Online Programs Are Impersonal

Fact: Online initiatives spur collaboration and build professional relationships, resulting from a focus on peer support initiatives. For example, ExecOnline incorporates virtual “breakout sessions” into our programs in which leaders meet each other and share ideas. We also encourage ExecOnline alumni to join our extensive Alumni Network, where they can continue to learn from each other.

Myth 6: Online Programs Are Only for Low Level Training

Fact: Online leadership development is for all organizational levels. The value of online leadership development programs is tied to the content. High-quality content is beneficial no matter an employee’s level or function.

Myth 7: Online Programs Have a Low Completion Rate

Fact: Custom high-impact online programs achieve a 85% completion rate or higher. For example, ExecOnline’s completion rate is 92%. Concerns about completion rates stem from massive open online courses (MOOCs), which have a completion rate of below 7%. Custom high-impact programs, achieve greater completion rates through more rigorous development, and a focus on virtual interactions with peers and faculty, and other engagement methods.

Myth 8: Online Programs Have Low ROI

Fact: Online programs have high ROI; however, not all organizations and vendors accurately measure returns. For example, the industry standard for evaluating L&D is the Kirkpatrick-Phillips evaluation model. The model consists of five levels, with ROI as the highest level. However, only 18% of companies measure level 5. ExecOnline measures all levels and round our corporate partners see a 102x ROI.

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