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Why the days of face-to-face training might be over

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Learning and development | 06 Apr 2017, 11:55 AM Agree 0
Learning budgets are under increasing pressure, forcing organisations to find solutions that are impactful and scalable. L&D Professional investigates
  • Mike Symonds | 06 Apr 2017, 02:53 PM Agree 0
    I find this really hard to believe. Everyone is totally different and each of us require a multitude of environments for effective learning.

    Where he says “Sharing ideas, debating, disagreeing and having fun are powerful learning techniques but often difficult to do in traditional classrooms.” Any good trainer will actively create an environment which encourages and supports these elements. Working face to face allows us to not only share, debate and have fun, but also forces us to deal with 'uncomfortable' situations and social interactions face to face - holding us accountable for our actions.

    It provides us the opportunity to practice (not just discuss and intellectualize) a new skill in a safe environment before putting it to the test.

    My experience is we are so hung up on 'streamlining' training because of time and money constraints that we will lose sight of the real benefits of meeting together in person - to connect, form real relationships and feel a real sense of belonging. You can speak to someone over the phone everyday, but there'll always be an over driving urge to meet them face to face.

    Face to face training should always have a place, however the real value comes when use additional training methodologies to re-inforce the face to face content.
  • Brian Allen | 07 Apr 2017, 09:23 AM Agree 0
    I must agree with Mike on this. The idea that face to face learning will (must?) diasappear not only seems misguided but also essentially a sad reflection on changing perceptions of what really constitutes human interaction.

    I can't help but believe that the real debate must be around the appropriate balance of learning intervention design. Of course there is a vast panoroma of subject matter that can be serviced through the virtual world. But, to my mind, there are key areas of learning that absultely need direct face to face interaction under the guidance of talented and passionate facilitators. An obvious example would be leadership development. I would agree that qualititaive learning of this type could and should be supported through social learning and networking but, after 40 years of involvement I am convinced that the real 'electricity' of learning in these key areas occurs at the level of direct interaction and real relationship building.

    I would certainly agree that the days of the 'traditional classroom' are over - they were over a long time ago. Nevertheless, as a New Zealander, I find myself guided by the Maori tradition of 'kanohi ki te kanohi' i.e. if this is important you will come and talk with me face to face.

    As Mike point out, orgaisational learning delivery must be multi-dimensional and targeted according to significance and priority. Face to face will always be more expensive but when properly aligned will always provide a justifiable RO!.
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