“Garlic bread – it’s the future. I’ve tasted it.” Peter Kay
If you are interested in archaeology you’ll find this interesting. I started in training a long time ago. In those days we didn’t have computers. We didn’t have death by PowerPoint either. We were slain by slides instead. Trainers would get (expensive) slides made up using pictures shot on cameras using special film and from typeset copy. Once your slides were eventually delivered you put them, in order, upside down and back to front in a circular carousel which was then projected onto the screen. Last minute changes to training courses were difficult to make and things were planned well in advance.
Now, I used to quite enjoy running training courses then. I knew what I was talking about, I was well prepared and the courses were so expensive that the delegates were engaged as they really wanted to be there unless they had money to burn.
Things moved on; training courses and training material today are much more affordable than they used to be. Of course, that depends a bit on the trainer you are going to use. If you are going to bring in an ‘expert’ to run the training course the costs are higher – and can get very expensive indeed if you are using a well known ‘name’.
But of course, lots of training courses are run using internal trainers and companies like us at Trainer Bubble have developed a wide range of training course materials on popular topics to help you to run your own. These training courses contain all the necessary guidance and trainer notes you need to enable you to run your own training course, even if you are not a complete expert on the subject yourself.
As I said, I liked running training courses back in the dark ages. There was a certain camaraderie about a two or three day training course where you were are all working together and, for the trainer, a great deal of satisfaction when you started to see some of the lights going on as participants caught on to the subject.
Of course, there were downsides too. Participants had to take time off work to attend and often several of them would come from the same company leaving gaping holes in their departments. Often I would run bespoke courses for a specific company and that used to take entire departments out of play. The travel expenses really mounted up, not to mention the cost of hiring a venue and paying for lunch.
Another problem was that whilst the team working together can be very beneficial, it was sometimes rather tricky to gauge the speed of the training course so that the fastest and slowest participants all obtained the maximum benefit from it.
Training courses are nearly as popular today as they were then. Trainer Bubble still sells a lot of training course materials every day on a very wide range of subjects. However, we now also sell e-learning courses regularly and they are proving just as popular as the instructor-led training courses. This is something we couldn’t have even envisaged back when I started training.
So, what’s the difference with e-learning to attending courses? Why am I saying e-learning has benefits for the modern world?
Well, for one thing, a well produced e-learning course means you don’t need a trainer to run the course – and that means you don’t have to get all the participants sitting down in front of you all at the same time.
Already you can see that this means departments don’t have to have all their staff taken out of the office, often with the expense of extensive travel, but in the modern world the e-learning approach really fits in well with modern working practices.
Lots of companies have flexi-hours where staff work at differing times and working from home at least some of the time is becoming more and more common. E-learning allows staff to pick the time (and place) that suits their work day best and that alone makes e-learning a great tool.
But there are lots of other benefits too. You’ve paid for the e-learning course, so you can make it available to as many employees as you want and for as long as you want, and they can use it to learn about a subject or go back in the future to get a refresher.
Everyone can take the e-learning courses at a speed that suits them. People who are au fait with the subject can race through the course whilst those who are new to it can take as long as they want on each point. And people pick the times that suit them to take it. Some are at their best in the morning, some are evening people and some might prefer to take the course over lunch with a bite to eat. E-learning is truly flexible as each user tailors the timing and speed of the course to each individual’s own needs.
Also, all our e-learning courses have an assessment at the end that tests the participants knowledge at the end of the course and shows they’ve achieved over an 80% score with a CPD certificate presented upon achievement. That’s great for the participant, it shows they have understood that subject and is useful to have in the bag for their career development. It’s great for you too because it shows your employees are trained and have met any required standards.
Our e-learning courses will also integrate fully with a Learning Management System, meaning you can obtain full reporting and tracking of your learners’ progression, as well as the ability to view their progress. If you don’t have a Learning Management System, no problem, we can provide that too!
I’m a great believer in training – full stop. I like training courses and they definitely still have a major role to play, but I can also see why in the modern fast moving, multi-tasking and efficiency seeking business world of today more and more people are making a library of e-learning courses part of their training repertoire.
Article by Jon Cooper, Marketing Manager for Trainer Bubble