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Top Training blogs in the year 2009

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As we are entering into a new year, I thought of having quick review of the most appreciated blogs in the year 2009. The list represents some of the most interesting and active learning topics.

Training Needs Analysis: To Skip or Not to Skip is the Question

Usually, training needs are identified during an annual performance appraisal done by HRD. These needs are handed over to corporate training to initiate involvement to address them. The needs are classified and collated; training calendars drawn; training budgets projected and so on. Most line managers want the training to be delivered yesterday! There is always a dearth of time, resources and money, which makes us think twice before we jump into a full-fledged analysis. So, the question is when can we skip and when can we not?

How can you learn, unlearn and relearn?

There is so much we unlearn without much effort. Knowledge not often revised, skills not regularly practiced and beliefs shattered by contradictory experience are all day-to-day examples of unlearning. But what about a situation where person’s knowledge, skills and beliefs serve him well and is therefore reinforced? How can he unlearn them in the face of a superior learning, which will serve him better?

Singular delivery environment for instruction (i.e. class-room only) versus a blended delivery instructional environment – when to use them?

In today’s technology and availability of multiple delivery media days, we are tempted to use a blended approach (more than one medium of delivery) to deliver training. In corporate training, many a times, singular delivery method is enough to do the job. Before we zero down on the criteria for selecting a delivery environment, let us know more about the typical singular and blended learning environments.

Sage on the Stage or Guide on the Side?

A leader motivates, envisions, inspires, communicates, cajoles, reprimands… so does a teacher. A leader is driven by his ego. Who among us can deny the thrill of self-gratification when we stand in front of a group and lead them? So, why belittle the ‘sage’ in us? On the other hand, how much of empathy does trainer need to relate to his flock? Does being a ‘guide by the side’ depend upon the kind of learners, the trainer is dealing with? Or are we just donning the role of ‘guide’ only to mollify the egos of learners? What exactly we mean by ‘facilitating’ learning?

Learning Styles and Instructional Design: Do they go hand in hand?

Kolb’s learning theory introduces us to four distinct learning styles (or preferences), which are based on a four-stage learning cycle – learning by feeling, watching, thinking and doing. My question is how practicable or feasible it is to try and accommodate various learning styles while designing a course, be it classroom or online?

How much of ‘Entertaining’ is advisable in Training?

We know the humor is an extremely powerful force, sometimes even life saving (Anatomy of an Illness, Norman Cousins).We tend to agree with Elliott Massie when he says that every great classroom-based class that he had attended contained humor and laughter. Off hand, we agree that positive humor will help establish a climate conducive to learning, reduce stress, aids retention of information, breaks down barriers between facilitators and learners, and foster cohesiveness. But the question is how?

Sales Training in a Classroom or Online?

Sales Training can comprise product knowledge, sales procedures & reports and selling skills. We have been developing sales training courses for automobile major in Europe, with market presence in Europe and Asia. During the development, we realized that this client company is using a blended approach by addressing certain aspects of training via online delivery and certain others in the classroom. What do you think? Is eLearning or online mode of delivery suitable for selling skills training?

Software Product Simulation – Captivate or Flash?

Software product training using authoring tools like Captivate or Adobe Flash is an effective mode of eLearning. Screenshots of the software acts as a raw content for developing an online course. The learner is taught on how to use the software by creating a simulated environment. The effectiveness of learning can be enhanced by using audio. Both Captivate and Flash can impart training. Let’s see, which one is more suitable.

What Are The Real Elearning Standards?

In the eLearning field, we usually come across SCORM/AICC as the standards to which the courseware should adhere to. But how far are these standards learner-centric? Are these standards impeding learning?

How to market social media as a learning tool?

How do we ‘market’ the use of social media as a new tool or avatar of learning? First, are we sold on it? Many of us have mixed experiences and opinions about using social media in an organizational setting to learn and improve workplace performance. I think I find blogging and LinkedIn more useful than Face book or Twitter. I am sure many of you have opposing views.

Wishing all a Happy, Prosperous and Peaceful New Year!

RK Prasad

CEO

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