Structured training is a great way to educate your employees and customers about your company’s products, processes, and software applications. Your content, your audience, your company environment, and your resources weigh into the decision to use one training method over another. It can be overwhelming; however, the Orbis team is experienced at determining the best training solution for your needs, budget, and business objectives.
eLearning provides on-demand training to any location with an Internet connection. With the right planning and an interactive and engaging design, it can, in many cases, be just as effective as face-to-face instruction. eLearning is a great option for learners in multiple locations with busy schedules. eLearning works best for information that does not need frequent updating.
Multiple development tools and digital teaching devices are available for use with eLearning, such as animations, audio voiceover explanations, activities that require the user to make decisions and receive feedback, and embedded videos. Even though it can be a larger up-front investment than other types of training (such as classroom training), eLearning pays off over time as you can train learners anytime, anyplace, without the recurring expense of instructor time.
The most traditional type of instruction is in-person, face-to-face classroom training, led by a trainer who relies on lectures, followed by test questions to ensure competency. However, experience has taught us that increased interaction, including discussions, problem-solving tasks, case studies, and hands-on practice, will yield better outcomes. In a well-designed course, learners are immersed in the training experience as they are asked not only to absorb but also to perform, along with trainers who may or may not be experts in the subject matter.
This type of training is typically referred to as “Instructor-Led Training” (ILT) or “Facilitator-Led Training.”
Face-to-face, synchronous training is recommended for training engagements that require a high amount of trainer/trainee interaction, such as complex procedures that require on-site demonstration and practice, abstract skills that benefit from immediate feedback and discussion, or training multiple new employees to promote team-building.
Structured on-the-job training (OJT) is especially effective for companies that need to ramp up new team members quickly and who have strong trainers to teach new employees, and where people can come onsite to a central location for the training. OJT gives learners an opportunity to observe their trainers in their regular work environment, which yields powerful training results.
Often, OJT is unstructured and can produce inconsistent results. Learners receive different levels of training based on the trainer, the questions the learner asks, the number of distractions, and the current company environment. However, by implementing structured OJT with training guides, job aids, assessments, and other concrete materials, you can achieve more consistent results and better-trained employees.
With self-paced training, learners receive a training manual that they read and work through on their own to learn about a specific topic. Learners answer questions throughout each topic to help them consider and apply the concepts and then complete a series of questions at the end of each section to validate their knowledge.
This training style can be effective for material that learners need to reference frequently and for straightforward procedures. This method is particularly effective when combined with other types of training. Learners can read through the material and practice the procedures directly in their work environments at their own pace.
Distance learning is where learners and facilitators in different locations connect over the Internet in live sessions. Distance learning combines the personal interaction of classroom training with some of the convenience of eLearning, making it an excellent option when learners are in different locations but need immediate feedback and live explanations.
Although it does not provide the same level of personal interaction as classroom training, distance learning does allow for discussion, group work, and synchronous feedback, combining many of the benefits of classroom training and eLearning.