PRINCE2 – Online vs. Classroom

Stacie Jansen van Vuren
Updated on

The costs of classroom training for the PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner courses have dropped significantly over the past few years. Although this may seem like a positive occurrence, it does cause speculation over whether this means that the quality of PRINCE2® training has decreased to accommodate these lower prices.

A worrying trend seems to have emerged amongst some training providers in the manner in which the training is being delivered during classroom courses. It appears that the emphasis is being placed on coaching students simply to pass their PRINCE2® examinations instead of actually teaching them to be productive PRINCE2® practitioners.

This has had an effect on the job market. There may be a higher number of certified PRINCE2® practitioners who have passed their exams, but they are not all capable of functioning as efficient PRINCE2® Project Managers. Learning the material “parrot fashion” does not provide a good understanding of the method and how to apply it to a real-life project.

It is not realistic to believe that employers will be looking for PRINCE2® Project Managers who have been coached to pass their exams instead of certified PRINCE2® Practitioners who can effectively manage projects using the method appropriately.

This trend can also be distressing for those students who are truly serious about a long-term career in Project Management. They do not necessarily just want to add a superficial certification to their CV and they are being cheated out of the quality education that they have paid for.

This is one of the many reasons that students are turning their attention to the option of studying for their PRINCE2® certifications online.

It was once true that online PRINCE2® courses were perceived as a cheap, low quality study option. This has changed dramatically with the introduction of high quality, interactive multimedia courses. These courses are affordable and designed to make studying fun, engaging and highly effective.

There are numerous advantages to studying the PRINCE2® courses online. Students have the freedom and convenience to study anywhere and at any time – at their own pace. A lot of research, time and effort are going into the development of online courses as their popularity increases. The smart training companies are breaking their courses down into smaller sections which are easier to manage and have been shown to aid in memory retention. These online courses also enable the student to go back and review the material as often as needed. This is a key difference between studying online and in a classroom setting.

The student is in control of the pace at which they study and can move through the material at a speed which suits them and allows for easier absorption of the course content. There are also other stresses that are eliminated when studying online. There is no concern over a tutor not being present at some point in the duration of the course – the online material is available whenever the student is available to study it. There is also the issue of “information overload” in a classroom setting, which does not occur when studying online as the student controls the pace. Online course material is now being held to a very high standard and has to go through extensive quality control and editing before being approved and accredited. Experienced tutors are employed to deliver the training videos and because these are not live, they can be edited and checked to ensure that only the best is retained in the course content. These factors result in the tuition being near perfect by the time it reaches the student.

Good quality online courses also often provide the student with exam simulators. These will assist the student to prepare for the exams with confidence. Exam simulators have proven to be immensely effective and the pass rate for students who have had access to them is higher than for those who have not. It is recommended that the student practices on the simulators until such time as they are constantly achieving high marks and this will then be an indicator that they are ready to book their exams. This assists in eradicating the fear that they may be writing an exam that they are not fully prepared for.

With excellent quality courses, expert course tutors, control over study methods and ample exam preparation, online PRINCE2® courses are allowing students to pass their certification exams with ease and ensuring that they properly understand the PRINCE2® methodology and how to apply it effectively once they are working in a Project Management role.

It is important, however, to keep in mind that not all classroom training options are guilty of decreasing their quality to reduce costs. There are many reputable classroom training providers that take pride in delivering a worthy education to their students. There is no disputing that people have different needs and online studying may not be suitable for everyone. There are many people that find that the traditional classroom environment aids them in achieving their “study mode” and this makes it the perfect choice for them. Although more and more people are moving towards studying online, it is beneficial that both options are available for students to choose from. Deciding whether to study PRINCE2® online or in a classroom remains a personal choice based on several factors. The most important thing is that students receive a good quality education and that after passing the PRINCE2® certification exams, they are fully prepared to become productive and capable members of a PRINCE2® Project Management team.