Top 10 tips for flexible and tailored learning
Allan Pettman gives his top 10 tips on how to use Web 2.0 tools to go 'beyond the classroom'.
1. Embed practical applications within the course design
2. Combine traditional (classroom-based) teaching methods with self-guided learning
3. Make learning interesting – use Web 2.0 tools (video tutorials, technical papers online, remote trainers on IM)
4. Follow up the training course with practical tricks and tips
5. Offer training at a time and place that suits the delegate
6. Raise IT training to the business level – tie it into the organisation’s learning and development programme
Getting sign-off on training budgets is getting harder and harder as organisations find it difficult to demonstrate a real return on investment. To make this easier, training vendors need to help establish learning and development programmes and show an understanding of the bigger picture – not just a one-off training course to fill one accreditation gap. Look ahead to where the industry is going and start advising your customers on how to implement learning and development and career progression programmes.
7. Training shouldn’t start and finish on the day
Start preparing delegates for a training course with information both in advance and after the course. Whether online, sending packs with relevant course materials through the post, or giving them a problem and seeing how they'd solve it during the course. This will help engage the delegate before they go on the course and hopefully show a better return on investment in the long run.
8. Ask the delegates what kind of training they want, and explain what training they get
9. Ensure the course can be evaluated so companies and delegates can measure its benefit and value
Often training is treated as a tick-box exercise instead of an output. It can be seen as a business driver, leading to competitive advantage and improved efficiency but it's just about how to make those links. Both companies and delegates need to be able to justify the money they've spent on the course. A company needs to reap the benefits through staff retention or increased efficiency. There’s no doubt that the lifelong learning agenda will continue. But its success depends on the options provided and how people consume them, whether via an instructor or self-taught. What is certain is that organisations are looking to measure return on investment, so the costs and benefits must add up.
10. Know the customer and what will add value for them so you can advise them what’s best
Allan Pettman is the UK managing director of Global Knowledge. The company recently won the Innovation in Training Services Award at the IT Training Awards for the company's 'Collaborative Learning Programme'. For more information please visit www.globalknowledge.co.uk