The entire world is learning via eLearning more than ever.

In fact, eLearning as an industry has increased 900% just since 2020! What caused the rapid progression away from in-person to online training? How are these changes impacting education and training in the stone restoration industry? And most importantly, can the education needed to truly learn how to restore stone be delivered as effectively with eLearning as with hands-on training?

Obstacles to training

Historically, there have always been two big challenges to overcome with in-person training for stone restoration. First, students must find a significant chunk of time to get away from work and home responsibilities. Second, students must budget not only for the course itself, but also for the additional costs associated with in-person training, such as hotel, air fare, and car rental. When COVID happened, a third major obstacle to in-person training quickly appeared. Travel became impossible for a while, and even when travel restrictions were lifted, social distancing restrictions were implemented.

So the demand for eLearning kicked up … a LOT!

Suddenly, the requests for eLearning skyrocketed. SurpHaces, the parent company of The Stone and Tile School, had already been strategizing and developing the groundwork for an eLearning platform for quite some time, but with the urgent and overwhelming need, accommodating this enormous demand for eLearning quickly became a hot priority.

But seriously, what about the hands-on aspect?

As an entity concerned with excellence in the stone and tile restoration training, SurpHaces took a long hard look at whether students could learn as well listening to the instructor remotely, watching video demonstrations, self-assessments, referencing resources, etc. as they would in a face to face, hands-on setting. The school had extraordinary subject matter experts as instructors and course curriculums that were proven to equip the student for success, but the big question remained. Could the education needed to perform stone restoration be delivered as effectively with eLearning as with hands-on training?

As it turns out, eLearning is absolutely as effective. Maybe even better.

The more time, evaluation, testing and feedback we put into it, the more we concluded that the advantages of eLearning actually outweighed the advantages of in person training. The decision to fully embrace eLearning was virtually a no-brainer. And if there was a need for supplemental hands-on lab time. Well, that was figured out too.

Advantages of eLearning

The numerous advantages of eLearning include:

  • Substantially reduced overall costs compared to face to face, hands-on courses
  • No need to spend days and days away from home and work. Even if you add optional hands-on lab time, you’ll only be away from home and work for one or two days instead of eight or ten
  • No travel costs – air fare, hotel, car rental, etc.
  • Students can circle back to review material, as needed, even weeks or months later
  • Students can log in and out any time, regardless of time zone, from their computer, tablet or
  • Learn when it is most convenient, even if it is 20 minutes here and 45 minutes there
  • Use the lessons to train and support technicians
  • Get notifications when courses are updated with additional learning modules or resources

Supplemental lab time

Some students who take eLearning courses may want to build their confidence in a hands-on setting by scheduling a supplemental hands-on lab day. Students can roll up their sleeves and put into practice what they learned on-line with minimal time away from home and work.

The bottom line…

SurpHaces has reimagined the way people learn the skill and business of stone restoration. Our dream team of subject matter experts, including Fred Hueston, Doug Nelson, John Freitag, Deborah Nelson, and others have carefully considered every facet of delivering excellent training to prepare the student for the real world.

We invite and encourage anyone who is interested in learning the skills related to surface restoration to visit or to learn more. And be sure to check out the other courses available on topics including sales and marketing, business growth, how to become an expert witness, historic preservation, and more.