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Whether you are an employer or employee, we have all known the groans of having the reminders that mandatory training refreshers are needed. Depending on which sector you work in, this could mean several courses a year at considerable expense in time and money to all involved.
So could the new condensed courses which offer up to about 10 courses in one day of classroom-based learning and with eLearning to be done in the learner's own time be the answer all the sectors have been looking for? Read on and you can make up your own mind.
Is Blended Best?
The blended eLearning/classroom approach has it merits if it is carried out in a way that does what is states and the students do the work for themselves.
For experienced, trained staff who use the techniques frequently, this training might allow the little prompts needed to stay in touch with any new developments or changes to legal requirements, without wasting more days of their own time if training isn't included in their working hours.
With those who might need to be in a less time-pressured learning environment, the more eLearning aspect of learning could play to their strengths.
By providing standardised written and online material, it could give some employers comfort in knowing that a particular standard of training is being met, if they have poor access to good trainers.
With the time pressure of fitting up to 10 subjects into 6 or 7 hours of training, each topic will be covered in less than 40 minutes per topic. This is so much information to take in, there may be many unable to keep concentrating for such a long time.
Depending on how many learners there are on the classroom course, there may be very limited time to practice the practical aspects of some topics. If learners don't regularly practise these in their regular work, this may not be enough time to ensure they can do each part correctly and safely.
It requires learners to have online access and have a certain amount of computer knowledge, which may be true of the younger generations but there are still huge groups of the workforce who cannot for various reasons.
With the testing being online, there are no ways to prove that the learner themselves completed the learning and have sufficient knowledge of each topic they need to, in order to do their jobs safely and effectively.
Or are the old ways still valid?
So what are some of the benefits of traditional classroom/ workplace training and are they still relevant?
Across the various work sectors there is a wide range of abilities, learning experience, language, culture and ages. Trainers worth their wages will take all these things into consideration, allowing for language barriers, learning difficulties and concentration levels and can target the learning to those in front of them, e.g. if they are all construction workers or all healthcare staff.
Having longer courses limited to just a couple of topics allows for a more thorough look at the information, repetition if needed and questions to be raised in a less pressured environment, ensuring that learners actually are learning. Also, having time to make the experience more enjoyable helps with the retention of information.
Testing and ongoing learning objectives ensure that attendees have retained the information and practical elements sufficiently, otherwise concerns of ability can be discretely raised to the employer.
The certificates given have been earned by the learner, without any concerns of fraud or deceit.
Staff can feel more appreciated if their employer allows their training to be in their working hours, rather than expecting them to do most of it in their own time. It can reduce stress of employees managing their work/life balance and so help with their attendance and effectiveness at work.
Learners are not limited if they have language or learning disabilities or if they have issues with technology access or ability.
Staff may have to miss more days work, which adds to the upfront costs to employers.
Some staff may get bored with hearing the same information.
Some learners may struggle with small group learning or getting to some training venues.
Some trainers may not be very good and live up to the expectations of the learners or those paying for it.
At IDH Training, we aim for the highest quality of training courses for reasonable costs to enable all to be safe and effective at their place of work. We maintain that learning can't be rushed or reduced to a tick-box exercise and will always hold the learners to the standards needed for their well-being and any other in their care or workplace.