An important decision in designing training is choosing the best way to deliver it: a facilitated session, job shadowing and observation, an eLearning course, learning in the flow of work, a self-study, a peer forum—the possibilities are almost endless. In the design phase of our process, we select the ideal delivery methods based on learner profiles, learning objectives, and content. Here’s an example of weighing the unique benefits of facilitated training versus eLearning:
If training content requires soft skills and demonstration or practice, choosing to deliver the material through a facilitator is often the best option. For example, sales or customer service training will likely be more successful with a facilitator than through other training methods. It opens opportunities for learners to practice or see real-time demonstrations of the material.
Whether in person or virtual, facilitators take cues from learners and tailor their delivery for the audience; they can speed up or slow down based on observations and the overall sense of understanding they gather from the group. This type of training also enables learners to ask questions and get answers immediately. Facilitators can draw from personal stories and current events to add relevance to the material and answer participant questions.
The facilitator isn’t the only person participants benefit from when learning concurrently; they also learn by collaborating with their peers—giving them more opportunities to hear different perspectives or questions they may not have considered on their own.
eLearning is a great solution for introducing content to learners for the first time or for training that is more objective than the often subjective content typically covered in a facilitated session. eLearning gives learners the ability to move at their own pace and ensures all participants receive consistent information. eLearning can also work in tandem with other forms of training, such as activities, workbooks, face-to-face meetings, facilitator-led training, and more. eLearning is often more cost-effective than facilitator-led training, especially when learners are in different locations since ancillary travel expenses are not usually involved.
Each training method has unique benefits for learners. When designing training, consider which option might be most helpful to the participant for understanding the content—whether it’s facilitator-led, eLearning, or another technique.