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
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.
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?'
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 Sololearning.com.