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Is classroom training a dying art?

Looking back at your experience of school, what did you enjoy the most? For many, it will be meeting lifelong friends, having plenty of laughs in the playground, and participating in extra curricular activities like a sports club or field trip. But these cherished memories don’t take into account the setting where you probably spent most of your time - the classroom.

This doesn’t mean to say that classroom lessons were pointless or forgettable, as they no doubt provided you with invaluable knowledge about various different subjects. But at the same time, being told to sit still in your seat while listening to the teacher endlessly ramble on was usually far from enjoyable.

Even so, classroom-based teaching and tuition is still the preferred technique among countless corporate training courses. It may well have worked at school when impressionable and mouldable young minds were starting to build up their skillset from nothing, but in the world of work where employees already possess a great deal of verified astuteness, classroom trainees won’t react well to direct and submissive instruction.

Thankfully, corporate training is starting to move away from the classroom-based teacher-centric model towards interactive-based student-centric learning, where individuals are given the opportunity to explore and experiment with their own destiny. For this reason, classroom training is quickly becoming a dying art.


Reasons why classroom training may no longer be effective


It doesn’t encourage learning

Even though classroom teaching will still give you insight and instruction into the topics and themes you need to know about for your job role, this kind of training places an emphasis on covering a pre-defined curriculum rather than prioritising employee learning. It is far more beneficial from a business’s perspective for members of staff to grow and develop as individuals instead of simply knowing how to pass their final examination or test.


It doesn’t promote critical thinking

In the environment of a classroom, teachers have complete control and ultimate power over students. The teacher’s role is that of a knowledge dispenser, whereas students must sit there passively and accept the information that comes their way with little to no room for response. Unfortunately, this does not promote critical thinking skills among employees and fails to provide trainees with the opportunity to apply their teaching. Your workforce won’t receive a level of understanding that is required for complex concepts or lifelong learning either.


It bypasses the journey of learning

With teachers only interested in telling the classroom what knowledge and skills are required, trainees will miss out on one of the most important aspects of learning – the process of individual exploration. In the classroom, employees are not encouraged to understand the methods or techniques required to find the right answer or solution. As a result, they just accept what is in front of them. But in order for training to be truly effective, your employees must have a say in their journey of learning, otherwise they will fail to acquire appropriate expertise.


It avoids the bigger picture

In many respects, there is nothing wrong with focusing on basic skills first and gradually building up an employee’s acumen. However, this doesn’t take the bigger picture into account and provides little context for your workforce’s learning. Not only will this hinder learning, it can also discourage and disconnect your workforce from the training experience. Most members of staff won’t want to be spoon-fed ideas or concepts in the classroom. Instead, they will want to take hold of their learning and understand how it relates to their job.


It lacks interactivity

Perhaps the biggest problem with classroom training is that it fails to prepare employees for work. With an insistence on the individual quietly completing their own work, there is no room for interactivity. Therefore, when it comes to being back at work, members of staff won’t know how to apply their newly acquired knowledge. Furthermore, they won’t have experience of working in teams or collaborating with others either. In the classroom there is hardly any scope for employees to practice group dynamics, which is becoming increasingly important in a day and age where cloud computing, BYOD, and telecommuting are on the rise.

Seeing as interactivity is such a significant classroom issue, it makes sense that the solution gives this top priority. With online training and e-learning, employees are in complete control of their learning experience, where they can gain access to appropriate training materials while also building a skillset that will benefit them at work and in life.


Reasons why online training and e-learning is the answer


It is extremely cost-effective

Employees can complete their training at any time and from virtually any location with an Internet connection. From a budget perspective, businesses no longer need to spend out vast sums of money on the associated costs of training courses, such as accommodation and transport. On top of that, members of staff may not even need time off, as training can be completed on their daily commute, at lunchtime, or during periods of downtime.


It can help employees of all abilities

It goes without saying that some people are quicker learners than others. But in a traditional classroom, each and every employee must keep up with the speed of the trainer. Some staff members could miss important bits of information, while others might feel as though the teacher is going too slowly and lose focus. However, online training and e-learning enables your workforce to work through the course at their own pace, making sure nothing is overlooked or ignored.


It is much more engaging

There is a strong chance that employees will grow bored and tiresome of classroom training quite quickly. But with online training and e-learning, the materials on offer will capture the attention of your staff and keep their interest levels high. As well as being actively involved with what is in front of them, your workforce will also benefit from other teaching techniques such as gamification, which adds an element of competition to encourage further self-discovery.

These reasons only scratch the surface of online training and e-learning, as there are countless other advantages to adopting this approach. This is why classroom training can now be considered a dying art.