Training is a great way to educate employees, customers, and partners about your company’s products or processes. The subject matter, the training environment, and the learning styles of your target audience must all be taken into consideration, along with other resources and constraints, such as budget and availability of live trainers.
Fortunately, there are many training methods and course formats, each offering different advantages and limitations. The challenge is to understand what methods work best in your specific training situation.
You know you need training, but what method will you use? Classroom training? eLearning? On-the-job training (OJT)? Selecting the training method best suited for your audience, your content, and your organization is key to ensuring that your investment in training delivers the desired results — learners engaging in the training, absorbing the information, and applying it to their activities. Assessing the benefits, barriers, and development process for each training method will help you find the right training method for your team and your budget.
As you consider what training method to pursue, keep in mind that a mix of training media, i.e. “blended learning,” typically yields the best outcomes. Imagine a training experience that involves a pre-classroom eLearning tutorial, activity-based classroom training that builds on the tutorial, follow-up OJT that reinforces classroom topics and tests mastery, and online collaborative tools (wikis, blogs, etc.) that allow learners to share their ideas and challenges.
The possibilities are endless — and the results? Engaged learners, significant behavior change, increased productivity — in a nutshell, improved performance.
The most traditional type of instruction is in-person, face-to-face classroom training, led by a trainer who relies on lecture followed by test questions to ensure competency. However, in recent years, training professionals have used technology to integrate more opportunities for interaction, including discussions, problem solving tasks, case studies, and hands-on practice. Learners are immersed in the training experience as they are asked not only to absorb, but also to perform, along with trainers who may or may not be experts in the subject matter. As a result, this type of training is typically referred to as “Instructor-Led” or even “Facilitator-Led Training.”
With Instructor-Led Training, learners have opportunities to practice hands- on skills and receive immediate, customized feedback.
Face-to-face, synchronous training is recommended for training engagements that require a high amount of trainer/trainee interaction. Examples are complex procedures that require on- site demonstration and practice, abstract skills that benefit from immediate feedback and discussion, or new hire training designed to build a team.