Learning on the Edge: 5 Growing Trends That Are Driving Learning and Development Now

Trend # 5: Learning is a Contact Sport

Will e-learning and social media ever fully replace the traditional classroom instructor-led learning environment? Not likely.

Face-to-face engagement with learners enables a uniquely human connection, one in which communication can occur on multiple levels and visceral emotional connectedness can be created. Today, effective classroom training is not about lecture, but about engagement and connectedness through case discussions, team-based problem-solving, and providing situational and emotional context to information.

Through face-to-face delivery, deeper relationships among learners can be formed more quickly. In organizations where relationship networks are essential to getting the work done, classroom training can be a catalyst for relationship building.

Beyond presenting the opportunity to develop essential relationships, the fact that the organization makes an investment in classroom delivery conveys a message to the learner – the subject matter is important enough for the company to ask me to temporarily set aside my job duties to participate.

Gen Y and Millennials, while characterized as technophiles, still find face-to-face learning opportunities valuable. For example, it was quite interesting to hear a learning leader in a major call center observe that classroom-based training was always evaluated more favorably then e-learning by the participants, if for no other reason, than because it gave the participants opportunities to interact on a face-to-face basis.

When we view our interactions with others each as a learning opportunity, our access to knowledge becomes almost limitless. Human interaction gives information context, meaning, a purpose. How well do the learning solutions in your organization thoughtfully blend the use of technology with classroom-based training to drive performance?

Co-authored with Laura Butcher, Owner and President, The Learning Point (www.thelearningpoint.com)