Classroom Training: Still the Best for Knowledge Transfer and Skills Development

At Happy we have been developing e-learning for over 12 years. More recently we have got excited about Live Online Learning, where you learn from your desk but with a real live trainer in a virtual classroom. But some of the most effective learning we deliver still takes place in the classroom.

So I was interested to see the results of the 2013 Learning Survey, carried out by Martin Belton for the Learning & Performance Institute. The result of responses from over 450 training buyers, it found:

  • Classroom training is best for knowledge transfer
  • Classroom training is best for skills development
  • Classroom training is best for satisfaction & enjoyment
  • Classroom training is best for likelihood of completion

However classroom came below both e-learning and live online learning for efficient use of time, flexibility and value for money. The full ratings were:

Classroom Live Online Learning Self-paced e-learning Video/DVD Books
Knowledge transfer              3.9              3.4              3.4              3.1              3.1
Skills Development              4.1              3.1              2.9              2.8              2.4
Value for money              3.4              3.7              3.7              3.1              3.4
Efficient use of time              3.2              3.8              3.9              3.3              3.0
Flexibility to meet our needs              3.2              3.4              3.8              3.1              3.2
Satisfaction / enjoyment              4.3              3.4              2.9              3.0              2.8
Likelihood of finishing course              4.6              3.6              3.0              2.9              2.4

The survey also asked about which elements they expected to increase or decrease in their organisation in the coming year. And classroom training is set to decrease while the online options (including use of social media, not included in the above table) are set to increase. That is because people do need the flexibility and good use of their time nowadays, and all budgets are under pressure.

However I think this finding is worth dwelling on. If you contact Happy about something your people need to learn, we will discuss a range of options, including all of the above. But it is worth remembering that if you want to be sure people complete their learning and learn the skills they need in the job, then good old-fashioned classroom training could still be the best option.



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