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Seb Anthony

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Ideal number of learners in class


I would like to know if there is proven research on what the ideal number of delegates in a computer based training session should be?
We train learners on using a financial system on computer and some need more "individual attention" than others.
Thank you.
Yolanda Vosloo

8 Responses

  1. It Depends (useful I know)
    I have trained up to 12 people in one go (but nearly died in the process)

    My ideal is 6 people, then there are enough for discussion but not too many to manage.



  2. My own preference
    I have not heard of any research done on this so can only give my own preferences.

    For me training up to 12 delegates is ideal however when it comes to computer based then I think really this needs to be cut in half so that each person can have individual time and support. In this setting 12 is way too many and the delegates feel they do not have the chance to really get to grips with the technology – thats the feedback I have had and would also give.

    Hope this helps a little.

  3. numbers
    Whenever we use trainers for inhouse computer training we recommend no more than 8 in a class.

    I know of providers that will happily fill classes up to 20 people but I wouldn’t recommend it.

  4. Maximum numbers
    I’ve trained up to 15 people maximum, but it was hell on toast.

    If it’s IT Training, then no more than 8 people should be on the course, at least in my opinion.

  5. Can you organise learners before training?
    Hi Yolanda,

    As with anything, if you can bunch people of similar ability together you have a far better chance of running a successful session. Depending on the intensity and level of difficulty of the course, combined with the previous experience the delegates have of the application, I would run a session with 3 people (who need extra help) to 8 (who are more able to get by without much supervision).

    If you cannot predetermine the level of the users, I would suggest running a course with 5 to 6 delegates. I usually find that that provides some leeway to devote more time to those that require it.

    In the past, there was one user who had signed up for an intense Excel course, yet had never used the application before (we were running mass sessions and people were able to sign up to attend as they wished). It was fairly obvious early on that he was unable to cope with the task and she asked if she could be excused. Rather than let her walk away, I suggested a series of 1-2-1 sessions, and she left far happier than had she remained and struggled through the course. Possibly another approach if there is such a large knowledge gap?

    Hope it helps,


  6. how many trainees
    If you are running an IT course which is introducing a small change to procedure – one that they are famulure with then almost any number.

    If the course can be ‘taucht by rote – i.e. now click… then click… then up to 12

    if this is a skills building then 3/4 is ideal.

    Unfortunatly as some others have said – it depends!

    Mike Morrison
    RapidBI – Rapid Business Improvement

  7. Best solution…
    Hire me. I’ll film your training presentation & upload it to the internet. Then as many employees as you want can watch it.

  8. Optimum number of trainees
    We are curently undergoing a large IT training programme and have no more than 10 per class, however, the trainer is supported by a “Super User” who doesn’t deliver any training but understands the system enough to help anyone needing extra support. This has been vital as we have had mixed ability on many courses. Where the number attending has been lower and we know the ability of each is similar, trainers have delivered on their own. This may seem a “luxury” but it is crtical staff are ready for when the new systems go live.


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