Why do online self-paced courses cost the same as instructor-led courses?

Our online self-paced MIM Foundation and MIM Advanced courses are getting rave reviews. In addition to being able to study in their own time, and being able to pause and repeat sections, labs, videos, quizzes as often as they like, students love the fact that they have access to virtual machines, plus the support of a dedicated tutor by email (and, if necessary, by Skype), for 28 days rather than just 4!

The training materials were professional and clear. When you are able to take an online course and not think about the mechanics of the delivery until after the course, when you’re asked for an evaluation – that’s a good indicator of quality.

But occasionally we are asked: “why do online courses cost the same as classroom courses?” Here’s why!

Live instructor-led courses have some obvious costs – for example the tutor, the venue and refreshments. But online courses have ‘hidden’ running costs that instructor-led courses don’t.

Course content and materials

There are differences when it comes to updating the content of online self-paced courses and live instructor-led courses. When software updates occur or there’s new thinking to incorporate our instructors teaching live can effortlessly adapt their presentation of each module. That’s not so easy on online self-paced courses where modules are presented as videos. To include updates to these we must (and we do) re-record new videos frequently, and upload them to our learning portal. This takes our team time to do.

“I started by working my way through the written manual and lab course material. After a couple of modules I decided to check out the videos, and I am very happy I did. The rest of the course I watched all the videoed lessons. I also starting watching the lab videos which gave a much richer explanation of the labs compared to the written lab instructions.”


In a live instructor-led course you’ll have a tutor with you for 4 days. When you take an online self-paced course you get access to expert support for 28 days! If you need guidance or advice, you can contact your tutor any time. Our MIM tutors are usually the people who wrote the course and students regularly tell us they are amazed at the speed and quality of response to questions!

“Thanks, Hugh, for patiently responding to my questions. I appreciated the quick turnaround and thoughtful responses!”

“I am impressed by your quick response times on all types of requests. I requested lab access late at night on a Sunday, to have it ready the next morning, but to my astonishment, it was ready an hour later. Way to go!”


A live instructor-led course takes 4 days during which a student gets access to a virtual machine (VM). VMs cost money, and students taking online self-paced courses get 28 days’ access to their VMs. These are integral to the thorough understanding of the material, and online students have this luxury for 4 weeks! And online, self-paced students also get 4 weeks’ access to online lectures, quizzes and demos, which are all regularly reviewed and updated.

“It was good to pause the video to take notes, ponder and look at my production. The training videos and courseware are exquisite pieces of work, in themselves worth the price of admission.”

So is online, self-paced the right mode of study for you? It could be! Discover what you will learn on your MIM course.

All the people on the OCG Learning team were extremely helpful and knowledgeable.