Instructor-led Training is Best

Instructor-led Training is Best

Instructor-led training, e-learning, micro learning, mobile learning, blended learning, on the job training, hope and pray…

Which type of training do you predominately use? Which one is the most effective? Which one is the least? How do you decide which one to use? Who makes that decision?

I graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Secondary Education and started my professional working life teaching US History to 16 and 17 year-old public high school students. As we all know, life works in mysterious ways. I ended up working for many years in the brokerage and investing industry as a licensed stockbroker. Recently, I transitioned back into the learning & development field. The reason for this brief synopsis of my career is to give you an understanding of where my thoughts have developed.

Looking at the training and development industry, there seems to be an overwhelming majority who use e-Learning or computer-based training as the main driver of their training programs.

I say they are wrong.

In the investing world, there is technical analysis theory called the Odd Lot[1] Theory. The theory assumes that the small individual investor is usually wrong and if you do the opposite of the individual investor you will be successful. The reasoning is that individual investors will buy at the top of the market and sell at the bottom.

People more likely heard the same concept through their parents as, “If everyone jumps off a bridge, would you?” Parents are trying to teach their kids arguably the most important idea for people to learn. Think for yourself and don’t blindly follow others.

Instructor-led training is the most effective way to train your employees.

It creates a personal environment that will facilitate greater learning. The instructor can pace the instruction to the specific needs of the class, there is a greater focus on the training by the participants and distractions can be removed. It gives the participants the feeling that their company is investing in them. The classroom environment should be filled with blended learning. It may be a computer-based exercise to show that a concept is understood or it is a role play or whatever learning achievement you want. Instructor-led training allows the participants to interact with their peers and learn from each other as well as building a camaraderie with each other.

E-Learning, on the other hand, is about impersonal as it gets.

Instead of feeling like your company is investing in you, it creates the feeling of marking a check that training has been completed. Get these modules done during the day that you still need to complete your day to day responsibilities. This is how you end up running the e-learning module while you do other parts of your job and flip back and forth to continue to click “continue”. Or you have a group of people who each agree to do one of the modules and send all the answers to each other so that you can still meet your sales quotas. Companies trying to sell employees that e-learning or now mobile learning will allow you to take these training sessions while you are at home or on the train commuting to work is sacrilegious.

If there is training that needs to be completed for your job, make it a priority and PAY your employees to take it.

I am not against learning online, but it should be a supplemental piece that accentuates what was taught in the classroom. How training should be presented should be decided by the teachers, trainers, instructional designers and most importantly by the training material itself not by the accountant, politician or the mob. Let’s make training instructor-led again.

[1] Stocks trade in lots of 100 shares, a purchase of anything less than 100 is an odd lot.

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