The Training Rut

The Training Rut Simple Solutions, Big Impact by Steve Throneberry I concluded many years ago that our methods of imparting knowledge, the much maligned term training has failed us repeatedly. Even after trying to break the mold most organizations will, by default, revert back to classroom training having a sincere desire of success. Alas, it will never come. I have encountered a number of students coming to classes only for a interruption from their hectic schedules. Even the best professional trainers cannot grasp your attention for an entire day. Virtually all instructor led events conform to the standard model; sign in, listen/watch/practice, break, and repeat till everyone is tired or the end of the manual is reached. The only question becomes what subject will be addressed today. Online learning - once the great hope - has been passed to the back burner. I have personally spoken with hundreds of managing director level and corporate representatives about the rewards of online learning. The response is the same: twenty percent of the individuals like it, 80 percent do not. We have been pupils of the instructor-led model from kindergarten. Put differently, we have been conditioned to distinguish classrooms and consequently instructor-led training as THE training method. Our conditioned responses cannot be shifted overnight. So where does that leave us? An annual study of how training dollars are spent can be quite revealing. Seventy percent of formal training was inside the classroom using live teachers. Five years earlier a prediction was established by numerous learning professionals that the absolute majority of all training events would become conducted online! In reality, the overall delivery percentages of how learning is delivered have moved very little over this time period. Conclusion...a new model is needed. The New Model As a learning professional, this statement will sound familiar, "Good class, however, a good deal of the information didn't apply to me." I have heard and read this statement, to the degree of it being a tendency, repeatedly. Imagine wasting away a day to pick up two or three very useful features or even worse, review something that you already knew. The question becomes, how do we provide learners with just those two or three valuable features, short of utilizing an army of mentors? The idea of the quick reference card (QRC) has been around for many years. Particular chunks of information, specific to a requested topic, organized in an at-a-glance style document. The problem with most pre-existing QRCs is they try to include too much data, therefore yielding them hard to use and losing the moniker of QUICK. Our Solution Solo Learning first began experimenting with QRCs as a feasible delivery model in 2002. We were seeking for a manner to reduce hard class time and also costs associated with course materials. The concept of capturing and supplying the most mission critical information points is at the heart of our model. It would be wonderful to know all the features of a software application, but realistically, I just really need to understand the functions I require to execute my job. Let me take you to the overview of the event-based learner - 'when do I have time?' Success! We have utilized the QRC model for a variety of very high profile and successful learning cases with some of the largest businesses in the world. Remarks from attenders include 'finest training I ever attended!' How come? It maps back to our need as an adult learner first and foremost... what is in it for me. Short, sweet and to the point. That was everthing I really wanted to understand. That will fit into my week! For more information about learning online, visit