Face-to-face training, depending upon the caliber, that has been customized with organization-specific examples is a great opportunity. If you have the option, then you should attend the workshop and start on a training project during the class. In the best cases, Facilitators provide targeted coaching to guide the launch of small-scoped projects with measurable cost or cycle time savings, although much depends on the design of the workshop.
In cases where bringing such a course “in house” is not a possibility then online training can be a great alternative. For some organizations, it’s not just the cost of hiring a facilitator. The bigger cost is the loss of their employees while they attend one to two weeks of training. In that case, the online training is not only a way to reduce costs, but it enables employees to build their Lean Six Sigma skill set on their own schedule. The Q&A built into the training as well as the Certification Exam help students to retain the learning so that they can apply it within their own world.
There is a “Third Way” which involves on-line training paired with internal Black Belts or Master Black Belts who mentor the Green Belts on their projects while they take the online training. This keeps costs low, allows Green Belts to set their own schedules while still providing project guidance.
It’s the challenges of cost and time that led to the team at GoLeanSixSigma.com to develop the free Yellow Belt training. This was a direct response to organizations who want to spread the language and culture throughout their organizations without having to require hundreds of employees to attend workshops. This, in turn, led to the demand for the Online Green Belt Training where the challenge is, as you pointed out, how to give Green Belts the tools and concepts without a live facilitator or customized examples.
Our answer was to still provide practical examples but to base them all in the Bahama Bistro. This allows the training to draw from transactional processes such as order accuracy, while including elements of manufacturing such as the process of “building” meals. The design includes lots of opportunities to interactively the apply tools, loads of practical templates for project work, and a friendly narrator to provide background and guidance throughout. Another nice aspect of the online training is that Green Belts can arrange for their own continuous “refresher” courses since the course is available to them for one full year after registration. One of the downfalls of on-site workshops is that if the participants don’t use their skills they tend to forget the material.
I hope this helps understand the difference between the two methods since they both have their place. Please let us know if we can be of any further help and good luck!