Training Methods

Bridging The Gap – On Line Tutorial – Part Three

Which method you choose will normally depend upon a number of actors including;

  1. The topic and content of the course.
  2. The skill level of the learner.
  3. The number of learners.
  4. How quickly your company needs the new skill.
  5. Available budget.

You are probably familiar with these four methods of learning and we can look at each method to decide where and when is most appropriate.

  1. Tutor led learning
  2. Blended learning
  3. Computer based learning
  4. In process learning

Tutor Led Learning

The first, tutor led learning, is probably the most familiar to us as at some time we all have been in a class room at some time. This type of learning is appropriate for school and college students however in a working environment tutor led learning is often the least effective (and always the most expensive). Let’s look at some of the differences between a school learner and a member of you staff attending a training course.

  1. It is the school learner’s primary function to learn, where your staff have a full time job which is there primary purpose. Your staff will enter the class room thinking “did I return that phone call?”. “I am late submitting that report..” etc.
  2. In school the tutor is an expert in his/her field where often in vocational training the course material is pre-prepared and delivered by a presenter, turning a training course into “death by PowerPoint”
  3. Students are used to being in a class room environment; your staff may not have been inside a classroom for many years.

There are also some major disadvantages of tutor led training including;

  1. The progress of the course is dependant upon the majority of the learners.
  2. It will require an entire team to be out of the office at the same time.

For these reasons I will be spending most of the time looking at the other three methods which fall into the general category of e-Learning.

Before we leave tutor led training let us look at some of the major benefits we should also look at some of the benefits.

  1. The learner has a group of their piers learning at the same time who can act a support group.
  2. There is someone on hand – The Tutor, who can immediately clarify any misunderstandings.

When we start any e-learning strategy we need to make sure that there is the ability to cover the above two points built into the program.

Blended Learning

Blended Learning uses a combination of Computer based training and tutor led training, this is a very useful method of learning for your staff who are not completely confident in using a computer. (Or of course if the training you are giving them is on “how to use a computer”). The tutor led part can have a number of roles in a blended learning course, it could be an introduction to the subject, then the learners use Computer Based Learning for the remainder of the course, it could be that the instructor uses a Computer based training course and steps the learners through each module and an additional explanation to each step.

Computer Based Learning

For clarification, sometimes the term Computer Based Learning (CBL) is used for using computers in a classroom, and Computer Based Training (CBT) is used for individual learning on a computer. I am using CBL to mean both types.
This is the fastest growing sector for the delivery of vocational training and this is where you will be able to bring to your company fast and cost efficient skills training. There are millions of ready made CBT course available covering every topic I will be spending a lot of time looking at CBT and CBL over the next few sections of this guide.

In Process Training

This is a method of delivering the required training material to your staff at the time they need it. The easiest way to explain this is with an example. If a bank has just released a new product, a new loan type for example, then the branch clerk will have to complete an application form for a prospective new customer of this loan. By using an intelligent electronic form then the learning system can check the criteria of this product, applicant age and earnings etc. and prompt the clerk to ask the correct questions of the applicant to make sure they are being sold an appropriate product.

I will be explaining this concept in detail later in this guide.

In the next section of the guide we will be looking at e-Learning content.