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Is the future learning or training?


Is the future learning or training?

We asked delegates to the World of Learning conference to answer the question on camera and will be running the results next week. We received a range of very interesting responses. I wanted to open it up to the community . . . so please pitch in.

9 Responses

  1. both

    Let’s take a "Training" course; there are several end results wanted by clients from "training" events:

    1. Delegates learn

    2. Delegates learn and change behaviours

    3. Staff see that the organisation is prepared to put money into their personal and professional development

    4. Delegates are rewarded (eg "we are going for a sales training conference in the Caribbean")

    5. Delegates are punished (eg "you have been late for work four times; you will be sent on a time management course") 

    6. Boxes must be ticked for compliance purposes or to "prove" how seriously we at the XYZ organisation take this matter

    For 1 & 2 then a "learning platform" is probably perfectly acceptable to all parties (though in both cases what happens afterwards is also important)

    For 4 & 5 the physical attendance is seen as being as important as what happens at the event

    For 3 & 6 the actual cost may important to the organisation; "we spent £10,000 sending you on an MBA" says more than "we bought you a £30 book or a £300 e-learning course"……or "we have invested £1.2 million on staff training to ensure that no more children die in our care" wins more votes than "we sent out a pamphlet".

    Finally remember the Churchillian ideal; "I am always willing to learn, I don’t always like to be taught"….ie some people will learn in spite of everything, but sometimes "training" can actually get in the way!


    Have a great weekend in the sun all in the UK……blink and you’ll miss the summer




  2. Great reply

    Thanks, Rus, and a great answer! Will post up a further 15 responses from World of Learning on Monday. Enjoy the sun too.

  3. Great reply

    Thanks, Rus, and a great answer! Will post up a further 15 responses from World of Learning on Monday. Enjoy the sun too.

  4. Learning Vs Training

    Isn’t training simply one of the many possible ways in which someone can learn something?

  5. Learning first please

     Learning first – training just one of 57 varieties (like Heinz) to learn

  6. Learning or training…

    ….  both, however I am certainly in agreement with those interviewed who suggested it is all about performance.  And to this end it is the ability of individuals to objectively see themselves and enhance their competencies and underpinning skills and behaviours.  From a teaching point of view it is to set an environment that enables and encourages recognition of how new knowledge can be applied and enhance results achieved.  Whether providing learning or training it is central to my role that there is the motivation by which the overall experience can be positively taken back to "the coal face".  Over 10 years of teaching one piece of feedback particularly resonates with me " Thank you for a great course.  Just learning what I do myself has made a big difference in shift of self perspective.  The penny has dropped!".  

  7. Learning or training

    Why do we get hung up on the difference? Only recently I heard a trainer refuse to go on a City and Guilds 7300 "because it sounded like teaching rather than training".

    To ‘train’ people you need to understand how people learn. Then get them to learn / understand / new ideas. Then get them to make changes in behaviour / thoughts.

    The delegates may not want to recognise the term ‘learning’ because perhaps it resonates with the ‘classroom’.

    Trainers should not delude themselves that they are not ‘teaching’ either; or that their delegates are not ‘learning’. After all, teaching is not about talk and chalk–or ‘telling’ people things.

    By the way–are there any trainers who believe learning theories are irrelevant in the training room?


  8. Learning and training

     In terms of substance, learning is what the learner does. It is the learning that delivers benefits (if properly applied). Learning can be done through any number of means, only one of which is training. Learning can be powerful, through experience for example. And can be cheap, through reading, observing or reflection. It can also be unreliable; we learn bad habits as well as good. It can be expensive, particularly if you learn through experiences involving big mistakes. And it may simply not happen, particularly if just left to chance.

    Training is any planned intervention where the primary purpose is learning. It can be expensive – in time away from your desk as well as monetarily – but can also be cheaper and more reliable than having people floundering around. Training doesn’t guarantee learning (but if done well it usually stacks the odds in your favour), but then again learning doesn’t guarantee improved business results. Training is just one option to support learning; it is not always the best option but then again sometimes it is. Training isn’t inherently good or bad, it is only as good as the the way it is implemented and the willingness of those learning to get the best from it.

    Learning and training are different things, not either or options. They are complementary, like dance partners, and when they work well they are as good as anything on Strictly. It is interesting that no one asks whether we should have coaching or learning. Whether we should have elearning or learning. Or whether we should have education or learning. That makes me conclude that this is more about spin and labels than it is about substance. It is about the rather misplaced, old-fashioned connotations of training – long, dull, didactic courses – rather than the modern reality.

    If someone wants to brand what they do as learning rather than training in order to side-step any potential tainting from those die-hard perceptions, so be it. But let’s be honest about it, this is just a marketing ploy. For others who boldly carry the torch for training, and I mean here top-class modern training, they are ones reclaiming training’s rightful heritage. They are the champions.

    At their best, I love learning and I love training. At their worst, I don’t care what you call them, I just urge you to change the substance not the label.


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