Navigating the new world of training delivery channels can be confusing in today’s environment. Do you bring everybody in for a class? Build some eLearning? Deliver the information via a Mobile app?
The reality is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Your best solution depends on WHO your learners are, WHEN they will need the information most, and WHAT resources you have available.
Here are some guidelines to help you make the best decision.
You’ve probably heard the statistic “learners only retain 10% of the information delivered through live training” right? While that number can prove true for a “death by PowerPoint” class it can also be dead wrong for a well-designed live interaction. When we say well designed, we mean a consistent, well-constructed workshop type environment in which learners get to practice and learn from each other. The facilitator plays the role of sage on the side, NOT the sage on the stage. You can also create this type of environment virtually with any number of tools. Here are some guidelines for when to consider the live medium.
Consider LIVE training when:
- Information is complex and requires the building of cognitive skills.
- The skill is a core competency which may impact multiple areas of performance.
- The students can easily access the location or the technology to attend.
- The benefit of the training far outweighs any potential cost.
- You have experienced or engaging facilitators.
- You have an environment where learners can concentrate on the target material.
Why LIVE training fails:
- Poor design. Presentation vs. Workshop, Inconsistent delivery, Inadequate learner collateral
- Not cost effective. The training doesn’t impact performance.
- Inaccessible. Scheduling and location doesn’t consider the learner’s obligations.
- Poor facilitator. Inexperience, lack of guidance (facilitator guide), unprepared.
- Inconsistency. The information is different depending on the facilitator or contradicts other learning interactions.
Computer Based Training (CBTs) as they used to be called, looked radically different today even from just four or five years ago. The ability to design and develop interactive online environments for your learners has drastically improved. Advances have drastically increased capabilities, while decreasing development costs. Here are some guidelines:
DESIGN is the most critical component of any online interaction.
While technology tools have made development easier, DESIGN is the key to success. Just as is the case with live training, you will experience higher rates of success if you start with WHO your learner is and WHAT you’d like the results to be. Here are some guidelines to help you in your design process.
Classic eLearning (PC/Mobile/Tablet)
- The learner has the technology to easily access the information.
- The learners are spread out over a wide geographic area.
- The information needs to be translated into multiple languages.
- The learner can easily access the information at the moment of need.
- There is a learning plan when building a knowledge base.
- The interaction models behavior and allows for practice in a safe environment.
- The information needs to be available 24/7/365.
- The information won’t change often or can easily be updated.
- The learners progress needs to be tracked to determine ROI.
Mobile or Just-In-Time Training
- There is a wealth of information to develop over time to support the learner on the job.
- The training interaction can be integrated into the learner workflow.
- Reinforcement of information previously delivered in another more formal environment.
- The training is an update or change to a previously learned process.
- The learner will likely need “hints” until they’ve mastered the knowledge, skill or ability.
- The device will not detract from performance.
AR/VR/ Performance Support Solutions
- A myriad of processes or procedures must be mastered to have success in the field.
- Scenarios and responses are predictable and consistent.
- Virtual guides will drastically increase performance.
Here’s where online solutions often fail:
- The learner can’t access or find the information at the moment of need.
- The design detracts from the result, diminishing the value for the learner.
- The learner receives no recognition for their progress or accomplishments.
Which choice is best for you?
Let your learner and your desired results be your guide. It’s not rocket science, but it’s easy to do wrong. Get your learners involved in the process early and share results throughout the initiative. Remember, there are very few people who wake up hoping to do a poor job at work today. It’s your job to ensure they have the right tools for success.