Training for learning and real-world application

By William Seidman

I’m working in two settings now where there’s a tension between traditional classroom instruction and experiential learning.

Most training organizations like to train, which means classrooms, instructors, and – sometimes -elearning.

Most people prefer to learn, and they learn better when they can immediately apply what they’ve learned.

The art of training is to make classroom content tie tightly to real experience.

The art of experiential learning is to ensure that the right content is learned.

The trainers often want to drive the program, but this really doesn’t work.

Experiential learning is more powerful and effective, though it absolutely needs formal classroom instruction for specific skill building

Most of the people we work with stop talking about training and start talking about “learning activities” that include many forms of experiential learning as well as classrooms and elearning.

This broader definition is a good idea – the best idea – because it leads people to retain what they’ve learned and to be able to apply it to their real world.


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