Training is the ultimate Catch-22: So much to learn, so little time. The value that training can bring, especially when it is focused and organized, is undeniable. But for users and trainers alike, there is also no denying that training can be viewed as a giant game of Beat the Clock. (For those of you that aren’t up on your game-show trivia, Beat the Clock was a popular show that aired in the 50’s, but I digress...)
The very idea of training immediately brings to mind a to-do list, which includes allocating hours, reserving available physical spaces, and ensuring that everyone’s schedules align. There also needs to be plenty of time for practicing, feedback, and testing. With all the time necessary for planning, how does one predict the effectiveness of the training session’s outcome?
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Eduardo Salas, a director at the University of Central Florida Institute for Simulation and Training, identified which practices are the most important for effective training. These recommended practices include setting up future situations to practice the new skills and creating assessments. Speaking to this, research suggests that training sessions that lacked meaningful assessments led to 90% of new skills eroding over the span of a year.
In addition to live sessions, training is getting a major boost with the rollout of online, self-paced training programs. Instead of adjusting your schedule around rigid cram sessions, you can be the boss. Train early in the morning before you start your work day, or train at night after putting the kids to bed. You can train at any time around-the-clock.
According to MindFlash, an organization that offers eLearning and online training tools and capabilities, self-paced training’s flexibility is a major advantage to workers that are constantly in and out of the office. It’s also a better way to keep large user groups engaged and on track to meet their deadlines. On the flip side, if the same courses are scheduled through live training, they could take much longer to complete based on schedule conflicts and retraining that needs to take place.
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