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Sheridan Webb

The Training Designer's Club

Training Design Consultant and Community Manager

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Trainers – Who needs them?


Increasingly businesses are wanting to put their learning on line. Turn it into an ‘app’. Make it accessible 24/7 from anywhere in the world. This (they argue) will mean more people are learning more of the time. Accessibility and flexibility is key.


…and no.

How many of you have fitness DVDs/games at home? What about home gym equipment? How much do you use it?

I had a very busy week last week. My husband was on a course which meant he didn’t get home until 7.30 each night. This in turn meant I could get to any of the Zumba classes run by my preferred instructors. Gutted!

Now, I have my own Zumba playlist. I know the routines for about 20 tunes, and (having no other option) I Zumba’d like a sad thing by myself in my kitchen. Many people wouldn’t have even done this. However, even though I ‘worked out’ it wasn’t the same. I didn’t get the same level of enjoyment and I certainly didn’t sweat as much, despite doing a 45 minutes of the same routines to the same songs.

And this is why I pay my money and go to a class:

  • It’s more sociable
  • Its more fun
  • The instructor gives us new routines (ideas)
  • She motivates us to keep going
  • She stretches us and pushes us to do a bit more
  • She helps us when we get in a mess

In exactly the same way that a trainer does when you attend a traditional training workshop. If you learn by yourself, it’s too easy to put it off, to get it wrong, to give up, to get distracted, to pay it lip-service, or to get bored. That’s why I still favour face to face learning, why designing it is my core business and why I believe workshops should still be a key part of any development programme.

One Response

  1. Good article, thanks.
    Good article, thanks.

    I think there maybe a case for some knowledge transfer to be handed off to the technology platforms. However, for higher order skills and behavioural development I can’t actually see how learning (and therefore improved performance) could be achieved without a trainer to offer feedback, model good practice, adapt the content and stretch the participants out of their comfort zones.

    I fear that poorly specified/set-up and sometimes badly delivered F2F training has opened the door to the ‘tick in the box, lets just use a cheap vehicle’ disguised as just in time and personalised learning. Again, thanks

Author Profile Picture
Sheridan Webb

Training Design Consultant and Community Manager

Read more from Sheridan Webb

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