‘Distance’ learning no substitute for ‘real’ interaction, CICM warns

Learners studying in a real or virtual class are three-times more likely to gain CICM professional qualification than distance learners

Short-cuts in learning and development ultimately hold employees back, and there is no substitute for hard work and classroom interaction, according to the world’s largest professional body for the credit community.

New research from the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) suggest that while distance learning has its place, face-to-face education, in a real or virtual classroom, delivers three-times better results.

Debbie Tuckwood, CICM Head of Education and Professional Development, is concerned that while some learners may be happy with distance learning, they miss out on the interaction with their peers and teacher: “People generally learn better from each other,” she explains.

“Discussion between learners contextualises concepts and deepens knowledge and understanding. Learners are more likely to become emotionally invested in their learning and the level and intensity of their learning soars.’

Debbie points to recent CICM examination results in support of her view: “Learners studying for example at college or through a virtual class are three times more likely to pass CICM qualifications than learners who have studied by distance learning. Also, they are more likely to gain a good pass and progress their studies to the stage where they enter an exam or assignment for assessment.”

Debbie is not surprised by the results: “CICM qualification programmes are demanding and so investment in high quality tuition delivers a large return in terms of skills growth, confidence and progression. This is very different to a quick e-learning module or recorded webinar which you might access to improve a particular skill or keep up-to-date with a new regulation.”

She says that only a few, highly-motivated and self-sufficient learners seem to cope with long programmes of study by unsupported distance learning: “Companies persuaded to economise on qualification course fees should think about the return on investment,” she concludes.

New CICM Level 3 and Level 5 Diploma programmes start in January. To find out more about study options, go to the CICM website or email professionalqualifications@cicm.com.


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