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Martin Couzins

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World of Learning 2011: Is the future learning or training?


Last week TrainingZone attended the World of Learning at the NEC, Birmingham, and caught some vox pops along the way. The big question: Is the future learning or training?


Is the future learning or training? Have your say here.

6 Responses

  1. Learning or training?

    Choosing between learning and training is like choosing between salt and vinegar. They are two completely different stand alone approaches, but ultimately, they deliver the best results when they work together. The best trainer in the world could not educate a workforce without first instilling a willingness to learn, and likewise, the best learners are lost without the guidance and content provided by training.

    Learning comes in all different shapes and sizes, and different people respond in different ways, so it is important that trainers constantly adapt their methods to keep programmes fresh, compelling and relevant to employees’ roles.

    One highly effective way to freshen up training is to use the art of storytelling.  This is where trainers weave a single or number of messages into the fabric of a story to improve learner retention. Using truthful, personal experiences from the world of business when teaching also delivers fantastic results, as does a sense of spontaneity.

    While storytelling can rejuvenate a face-to-face training session, other learners can benefit from a blended learning approach. A mix of traditional classroom training, which allows for interaction between students and includes the social aspect of learning, might be beneficial alongside a tailored e-learning solution.

    E-learning provides employees with the ability to log on, search for a specific topic and pop in and out of learning based on their daily schedules. Many companies find the most success by pulling aspects of different learning solutions together to form their own unique, bespoke style of learning and training.

    It’s also important to remember that the best trainers never stop learning themselves. So is the future learning or training? Well, in my opinion, you just can’t have one without the other.

    Kevin Young, head of SkillSoft EMEA


  2. Do we have to choose?

    Surely the two aren’t mutually exclusive? Training is a more formal intervention that will continue to be required, whereas learning is what we do continuously as individuals throughout our working lives.

  3. Is the future learning or training?

    Why does it have to be either or?  Can’t both happen at the same time?  Doesn’t training provide people with a focus and a structure to their learning?

    I think the future has both in it but both require more flexibility than in the past. 

    The crucial thing for me, is helping people to develop the skills to learn for themselves, in a way and at a time that suits them.  Part of that may lead them to training, and that is fine!


  4. Training or Education

    I’m reminded of a cautionary word of advice from a fellow father of teenage girls.

    "At school one would hope they receive sex education. Unfortunately, it seems that a large proportion of them receive sex training".

    Be clear as to the difference!



  5. They’re different terms

    Training is something done by the trainer; learning is something that is done by the learner. Learning may occur as a result of training or it may not. Learning may occur under the formal intervention of a trainer, or it may not. The locus of each verb lies in different actors so I’m not altogether sure that this dichotemy is a valid one.

    So the fashion for rebranding trainers, trainees and training as learning facilitators, learners and learning is, to me at least, senseless. Training is an appropriate term for guided courses of study as entry to a position or job role. Trainee fireman, trainee electrician or trainee accountant is frankly a more reassuring term than learner fireman, learner electrician or learner accountant as it does at least imply the presence, somewhere, of a trainer overseeing the trainee.

    Blindly calling everyone expected to learn something a learner ignores the reality that you can lead a horse to a text book but you can’t force him to read it, or if he does, remember it five minutes later.

  6. Learning or Training?


    I totally agree with Dan on this subject and would like to ask/add to one of the other comments. Do we really learn all the time or are we just doing the same thing/mistake/tasks over and over again? Learning only has taken place when behaviour has changed and based on Kolb’s Learning Cycle we need to ‘do, reflect, form guidelines and do again in light of new understanding’. Only after having completed the cycle can we truly say learning has taken place. Training needs to incorporate all these steps and hence guarantee that the stage for learning has been set. Whether the proverbial horse will drink …???
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