Saturday, May 30, 2009

Corporate Training....from a Learner's Perspective

This post is not about my new found knowledge about some eLearning tool or a new learning theory that I have come across. This post is on behalf of all those people who have to undergo some kind of training to upgrade their skills. Please note that I've made use of the word "have” i.e. it is mandatory for them in order to get into projects.

Well at a personal level I feel training sessions are a must. People without the right kind of skills or domain knowledge will fail to handle tasks involved in a project. In such a situation training sessions (formal or OJT) help lay a foundation for any upcoming projects. So it is always better to gather as much knowledge as possible before one gets started.

Although training sessions aim to improve one’s skill set and knowledge, however few learners/resources feel that these training sessions are taking away the innovation out of them? The fact that when a certain resource is asked to undergo any type of training they feel that they are taking these kind of courses and assessment just to save their jobs or to get into projects.

Well I didn’t carry out a survey of any sort hence I cannot claim what these handful of people are saying is true or not; but I would definitely say that when a learner is not motivated enough to take a course or training session, no matter how many strategies one applies it simply doesn’t work.

My question is that as an instructional designer how we can help these people who hate to be a part of any training curriculum to take up such sessions wholeheartedly. What are the possible ways whereby training sessions can be made more interesting?

Assessments that aim to clarify the misconceptions of learners become a threat when it is scored. The moment an assessment is scored so as to enable a resource to become a certified professional in ABC isn’t the whole purpose of the training purpose defeated. If we are focussing on enhancing the skill set why do we need to score a course/training session? Why can’t we assess the resource on the job, while reviewing their work, so on and so forth?

I believe that few things like trimming down the seat time of a course, breaking vast lessons into smaller chunks, and/or making assessments a bit easier can help a long way to build confidence amongst the learners.

I leave it at that; because I don’t see an end to it. Nevertheless, I would like to know how to create curiosity and sustain it throughout a course without making learners/resources famished.


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everoptimistic said...

Hi Mousumi,
It was good to read your thought provoking post. Your views are in line with the age old issue of making any learning session enjoyable yet effective. I am not an ID but I often test e-learning solutions developed for a varied audience. I feel for any learning module to be effective especially an e-learning one, it is very important that the course is interactive. Unless the user is actively made to interact and prompted for inputs within the course, interest is bound to decline. Secondly, as you mentioned " they feel that they are taking these kind of courses and assessment just to save their jobs or to get into projects..." is an apt example for the failure of any corporate training. Now, here lies a catch I think. Is it possible to motivate someone if one is not at all interested towards it? I think it's very difficult. You can impart a decent learning session but that won't be of any help unless the intended audience is ready to imbibe it! So, its important that we choose the right people for the right training. Unfortunately, we end up trying to train people who do not qualify for the training itself! This is a major issue I feel. Nevertheless, the aim is to trudge along aiming for the best.

Do write such posts often.

Mousumi Ghosh said...

Thanks for the comment Abhishek.
You are absolutely correct that a course has to be highly interactive to sustain the attention of the learners.

However, there are few who are demotivated, as you have mentioned, no matter how hard you try to make a course interesting.

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EJ said...

It all depends on the trainee's motivation. All the great corporate learning solutions will not compensate for the fact that the learner is not interested.

Ashish Shandilya said...

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Regards,Ashish Corporate Training