Face-to-face training is not dead; it just needs a 21st century technology make-over

ltsf14With the advent of e-learning, the death knell of face-to-face training was sounded, and yet as we know, it has survived and indeed it is flourishing. In fact it appears that many people prefer face-to-face learning over e-learning for a number of reasons, for example

  • If  they want to concentrate on learning about something, it is often best to do it well away from the distractions of the workplace.
  • They are not keen on being forced to click through screenfuls of online content.
  • A group of people can interact and learn from one another in a more genuinely natural way, unlike some of the (en)forced social interactions that are required in online courses.

However, face-to-face training is long overdue for a technology make-over!

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Whilst a huge amount of effort has been placed on converting face-to-face training into e-learning, very little attention has been paid to how to incorporate technology in the training room. In fact, on the contrary, laptops and particularly mobile phones are usually banned from the room – in the mistaken believe that trainees will actually focus better!

And yet smartphones are ubiquitous. There can be very few people who don’t have one in their pocket, and research shows that people check their smartphone more than 100 times each day.  People have become used to having their phones on them, and to use them in all kinds of ways (for working and learning) during the course of the day – so  to be deprived of them (particularly in a learning situation) is not a pleasant experience.

School classrooms around the world are making fabulous use of smartphones and tablets.  In conferences, delegates are using mobile devices to take pictures and videos, make notes and participate in a backchannel.  I try and include interaction that involves the use of smartphones or tablets in my conference presentations – as I did yesterday a the LT Summer Forum in London (as the picture top right shows). So it’s possible with groups of all sizes and all types of room configuration.

Corporate training is missing a huge opportunity in not making more use of technology to engage people in f2f training.

So how might you do so? Join the next online workshop: Integrating the use of smartphones and tablets into face-to-face training.

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Jane Hart

Founder at C4LPT
Jane Hart is an independent workplace learning advisor, writer and international speaker. She is the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. Her recent book Modern Workplace Learning: A Resource Book for L&D is now available, which she supports with a range of online workshops. Find out more about Jane at JaneHart.com.

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4 thoughts on “Face-to-face training is not dead; it just needs a 21st century technology make-over

  1. Tessa Hilson-Greener

    Agree fully companies are too quick to swap all face to face training to elearning in a cost reduction activity it can be a false economy if it is at the expense of good quality learning. Great article thank you for sharing.

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