Training The Next Generation

“Is there an App for this somewhere?”

“Can I download this information online?”

“Are these online courses accessible from my phone?”

“Is there a way to integrate the training towards a more interactive structure?”

If these are some of the questions that you encounter while trying to train your next batch, you’re definitely training the next generation!

Training originally progressed from the age old custom wherein there was a great deal attributed towards the passing of knowledge and the development of the relationship between the pupil and the ‘teacher’, ‘swami’, ‘guru’ or ‘master’. However, as the years passed and knowledge evolved, the need to address teaching using new and improved methods had also increased.

It all started with the simple means of teaching student’s concepts and enabling them to understand these concepts enough to pass an examination or test. In this process, students rarely retained the information long enough to utilise later in life. It was purely to move up in the grading structure and ‘pass the class’. Years later, in the corporate world this form of teaching was referred to as ‘Training’.

Training is a very commonly used word, but learning is in many ways a better way to think of the subject, because learning ‘belongs’ to the learner, whereas training traditionally ‘belongs’ to the trainer or the organization. ‘Training’ suggests putting stuff into people, when actually we should be developing people from the inside out – so they achieve their own individual potential – what they love and enjoy, what they are most capable of, and strong at doing, rather than what we try to make them be. ‘Learning’ far better expresses this than ‘training’.

In an attempt to move towards a more productive style of training, organisations started to utilise a method classified as ‘Facilitator-Led Training’. This style incorporated a structure wherein the class was led by a ‘facilitator’ who encouraged participants to share their learnings with the group and this tended to strengthen the overall learning experience. Students walked away with a more rounded approach towards the subject matter being discussed and were able to retain more. It was here that class was more led by the students and the direction that the topic was taking during the class, than the strict manner that a teacher or trainer would incorporate otherwise.

However, with technology constantly being improved it was only natural that learning styles changed and in accordance so did ‘teaching styles’. More and more institutions and organisations gravitated towards an ‘adult style’ of learning or better referred to as ‘Experiential Learning’. This process is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing” and involved a more blended approach. Here, learners are able to:

–        Experience the situation or seek challenges open-mindedly

–        Reflect or ‘stand back’ and gather data, analyse the situation before reaching conclusions

–        Theorise and think things through the logical steps and rationalise objectively

–        And finally, plan the next step by trying out new ideas; engage in problem solving and effective decision making.

But something was still missing …

As I’m sure you know, learners have a variety of learning styles. This has been broadly classified under the VARK Learning styles

V – Visual

A – Aural (auditory)

R – Reading and Writing

K – Kinesthetic

And some of these styles may tend to get compromised even while using the ‘Facilitator-led’ approach to training. This is where technology comes in and bridges the gap in training.

Now with Web Based Training (WBT) and forums, learners are able to utilise all the above learning styles.

V – Visual

Online modules provide a wide range of options for graphics and visually attractive methods

A – Aural (auditory)

Online modules provide options for narrator specifics (with the oppoutunity to select your language of preference). Also lesson plans can be played back multiple times to enforce better understanding

R – Reading and Writing

Online modules allow for huge volumes of reading materials and storage space for documentation of observations or learning. Here other learners can also share their experiences and thereby learn off each other

K – Kinesthetic

With online modules, learners are able to use simulators and virtual reality tools to practise and perfect their skills in a controlled training environment, thus reducing risks to themselves and others. Understand the technicalities of the processes and gain effective feedback with options to review for themselves their personal performances.

WBT’s are now accessible on a large variety of mediums – personal computers, laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc. With learning effectively on-the –go, it eliminates the need for learners to be restricted to a classroom and ultimately increasing the opportunities to train the Next Generation.

Diahann, author of the e-book “Training the Prism: My Spectracular Journey” has over 7 years of training experience in both India and the UAE. This ranges from Customer Service, Soft Skills, Speech Enhancement, Voice & Accent, Behavioural and Leadership training. As a trainer, her key points of focus are Communication and overall presentation in any situation. Diahann has also worked closely in training content design and development, in addition to mentoring, feedback and coaching.

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