Enhance Training Results with the Power of "And"
Say "training" and you automatically envision a room full of participants, with an instructor or facilitator at the front of the room.
Of course, these days, your next thought might be "distance learning", where the training comes to participants at their desks. Webinars are the most common format, but conference calls can also be an effective tool in enhancing training impact.
Which is better, in-person or webinar-based training? What are the trade-offs?
- Webinars can save you travel costs, for the instructor and for the participants.
- In-person training can handle larger topics at a time. It is hard to go more than 90 minutes in a webinar. Is it less disruptive to have participants take 4-5 webinars spaced days or weeks apart, or to spend a single day covering the material in a classroom?
- Webinars are great for overviews, context, awareness-building at a reasonable cost. But topics that benefit from participants working together rarely do as well in this format.
- In-class sessions take participants away from their desks, eliminating many distractions and conditions that reinforce practices you are trying to change.
There are many factors in decisions about training delivery, and the best path is to consult with me about your needs, your constraints, and your training goals.
The Power of "And"
When you start thinking about delivery formats, consider this:
Instead of choosing either classroom or webinar, joining classroom and webinar formats often produces optimal results
For instance, webinars can be used to introduce the topic and to lay the background. They can also be used, say, to set out a case study or other homework. Then a classroom meeting can be a powerful way to share participants' work, opinions, and remaining questions.
Combinations of that kind can offer:
- More for your training dollar. With the reduction in travel expenses and time away from desk, you can afford to do a better job of laying out the topic or dealing with important issues that sometimes get squeezed out of, say, a one-day seminar.
- More effective timing. Doing some of the training at their desks makes it easier to work in stages, to give participants time to apply what they are learning to their real-world situations, and to assign and review a series of homework activities. Instead of squeezing everything into a day or a week, training can be spread over weeks and months to ensure everyone learns to apply what they are taught.
- More impact from the classroom component. When classroom time is saved for the material that really demands that kind of interaction, participants are more focused and engaged in the interactions that can make such a difference to learning.
- More easily customized. A more modular approach to training opens the door to customization to fit your institution (learn more on my Custom Training page). Won't your employees become more productive, faster, if they can use their own forms and processes during training, if assignments reflect their actual working environment?
I will work with you to find the format, or combination of formats, that makes the most sense for the training topic, your goals for training outcomes, your education practices and your budget.