Adapted from article by Daniel R. Tobin, PhD
When employees attend an instructor-led training session in a classroom – they are better able to focus on what is being taught compared to participating in a remote session from their workplaces. When in class, they have fewer distractions. People are not stopping by their office, their phone isn’t ringing, they are not getting signals from their PCs that they have a new mail message, etc.
Unlike on-demand or online learning which can be picked-up and put down over and over again and perhaps never be completed, the probability of participants completing their learning objectives in a timely manner while in the classroom is practically guaranteed.
MAX instructors create a safe environment for learning and instill an atmosphere of acceptance that enables collaboration and shared problem-solving without the fear of judgement. In an On-Demand, video-based class, this isn’t possible. In a Remote-Live class, participants can be leery of broaching sensitive subjects because they do not have that sense of acceptance and safety that comes with face-to-face classroom training.
It’s simple. You get what you pay for, and in the case of instructor led classroom training, you get better results in a condensed, shorter time frame as compared to self-study where people often start and stop their training, resulting in lower retention. Studies show that people retain more of their new knowledge and skills when learning from an instructor in the room with them following a continuous flow of information. Students who are ready to put their new knowledge and skills into action immediately following their training is financially cost-effective for any organization.
While better online learning programs provide opportunities for practice of new skills via simulation exercises, they cannot duplicate having students in a classroom practice their newly-acquired skills with the instructor and each other there to assist with troubleshooting, problem-solving or simple constructive feedback.
At the start of each class MAX instructors ask participants if there are any specific areas where they are experiencing trouble. Instructors take notes so they can address those concerns when they get to those modules and let the participant know when that subject will be covered. Sometimes our instructor will be able to skip a module if the entire class is already proficient in that area, which leaves more time to go deeper in areas where they are still developing their skills and understanding.
If our instructor notices one or more participants is having specific problems, either in understanding some topic or in applying the learning to their particular situation, he/she will offer to help during breaks or after class. Unfortunately, instructors can’t read these types of body-language signs from participants who are remotely attending the class.
With On-Demand video-based learning there is no opportunity to ask questions of an instructor. Even with Remote-Live, participants may ask a question of the instructor, but there is less opportunity to ask a follow-up question or to establish any type of dialogue with the instructor or with other participants. In many face-to-face classes, these types of dialogues, when they take place, can add a huge value to the participants by being able to dig deeply into a subject that interests the participants.
Informal interaction with other participants, during the class, at breaks, or over lunch is often invaluable. While on-line discussion groups can offer opportunities for informal interaction, they cannot match the experience of interacting face-to-face.
It is virtually impossible to build a personal relationship with an instructor or other program participants outside of the classroom, but it happens all the time with face-to-face instructor-led training. These relationships can lead to sharing experiences, personal coaching, and reinforcement as two or more people try out what they have learned on the job.
Getting people from different departments and functional groups together in a classroom can help to break down the silos that inhibit cross-unit dialog and cooperation. Problems are solved more quickly thanks to personal interaction, relationship building and a new shared understanding.
Building a Personal Network
This is an adjunct to the previous advantages of breaking down silos and building personal relationships. Just having the opportunity to build a collaborative network with other participants can be worth the company’s investment in bringing them together for several days.
Daniel R. Tobin PhD, Learn Your Way To Success
Face-to-face training is still the better choice over digital lessons
Training Evolution. The current and future state of corporate learning modalities
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