A final statement on the much debated issue if in depth guidance can be delivered using the internet
Would you expect to do with a bicycle the same things that you usually do with a car? Of course not. Bicycle are designed in a different way than cars. But, can a bicycle be used for the same purpose of the car? Yes, it can, but in evaluating how to use a bicycle for mobility you have first to take note of its features.
So would you expect to use some of the tools that are based on the Internet (namely sites web, forum on WebPages, mailing lists and email messages 1:1, please be always specific because the different tools under the general term ‘internet’ are very different, and at moment also Voip telephone is included) for doing exactly the same things you do on the face to face interview? Of course not. For example websites are very good for retrieving and disseminating information. This is a very important possibility, because we now a large part of careers guidance activity consists in this. Forum on webpages, mailing lists, chat and email messages 1:1 are very good for delivering information to people at a distance. This too is a very important possibility, because a large part of people goes to careers guidance services to ask for information.
But, this said, we want to tackle with the question: can in depth guidance be delivered at a distance? It depends what you mean with in depth guidance. Lets define ‘informing’ as ‘delivering information with no or limited examination of the client’s circumstances.’ Lets instead define ‘delivering in depth guidance’ as ‘delivering information and advice after a thorough examination of the client circumstances.’
This said, can in depth guidance be delivered using a telephone?. Yes. For most clients there are no problems in thoroughly examining client circumstances by telephone.
Can it be done using internet based videoconference 1:1? Yes. For most clients there are no problems in thoroughly examining client circumstances using videoconference.
Can it be done using a forum on a webpage, email messages or chat? (or: can you reach with a bicycle a far away destination you usually reach by car?). Yes if you have time and willingness to do it. One of the most important features of forums, chat and 1:1 email messages is that questions and answers have to be written. To write is much more tiring and requires more time than speaking. For this reason the communication at a distance with forum and 1:1 email messages is typically is limited to 1 question and 1 answer only, or, in the chat, to very short sentences.
With clients who are able to formulate their initial question in a clear and exhaustive way in depth guidance (as we have defined it) can be easily delivered. If the question of the client is not clear and to understand the client’s situation requires several questions and answers it can again be done but is more ‘economical’ a face to face session or, if the in depth guidance has to be delivered at a distance, a phone call or a internet based videoconference.