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Comparing the effectiveness of online and in-person workshops


September 16, 2021

An evaluation comparison study showed online and in-person workshops both deliver effective learning outcomes.

When Blueprint for Learning launched online workshops in 2020, one of our goals was to ensure they offered the same high-quality and effective learning experience as an in-person workshop. To ensure we achieved this goal we looked at the effectiveness of an MH101® online workshop and compared the results to an MH101® in-person workshop.

Results of workshop effectiveness

Overall, feedback from people attending an online workshop or an in-person workshop is similar.

From January to June 2021, 488 people attended an MH101® online workshop and 332 attended an MH101® in-person workshop. After completing the workshop, participants filled in an evaluation survey.

The survey results found that participants gave both the online workshop and in-person workshop an overall rating1 of 95 per cent or more. Similarly, ratings for both facilitation and usefulness of activities were very high for both, with only small differences between the types of programme delivery (see table below).

Ratings for online and in-person workshops

Online workshop In-person workshop
Overall rating 95% 96%
Facilitation 97% 98%
Usefulness of the activities 92% 94%

Confidence ratings

People also rated their confidence on ten measures before and after the online or in-person workshop.

Overall, confidence2 across all ten measures more than doubled following the online workshop (2.2x increase) and the in-person workshops (2.3x increase). When the results are compared, only small differences (five per cent or less) in confidence are found.

The results demonstrate both types of programme delivery are well-received and people attending leave with similar confidence rates.

Two of these confidence measures are shown below.

Are confident to respond to mental distress amongst people in their workplace and/or community.

0% online workshop

0% in-person workshop

Are confident to recognise signs of positive mental health and mental distress.

0 online workshop

0 in-person workshop

1 All ratings are combined ‘good’, ‘very good’, or ‘excellent’, measured on a 5-point Likert scale.
2 Confidence is combined ‘confident’ and ‘very confident’, measured on a 5-point Likert scale.

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