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Turn Knowledge into Results with the Right Training Method

Selecting the right training approach is one of many key factors that influence how well audiences can successfully retain and apply learned knowledge. The subject matter, the training environment, and the learning styles of your target audience must all be taken into consideration, along with other resources and constraints, such as budget and availability of live trainers, when selecting the most appropriate training method.

Fortunately, there are many training methods and course formats, each offering different advantages and limitations. The challenge is to ascertain what method is best for your specific training situation.

Making the Choice

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to selecting the right training solution. Fortunately, there are many options that can be used to successfully facilitate measurable learning that can have a positive impact on an organization’s bottom line. The challenge is to understand what methods work best in each specific situation.

Think about your business goals, performance objectives, subject matter, training environment, and the characteristics of your target audience. These are all critical inputs to the process of selecting the right training methods. Constraints, such as budget and availability of skilled resources, also have a significant impact in making the decision about how to handle training development, production, and distribution.

Selecting the training method best suited for your audience, your content, and your organization is key to ensuring that your investment in training delivers the desired results — learners engaging in the training, absorbing the information, and applying it to their activities. Assessing the benefits, barriers, and development process for each training method will help you find the right training method for your team and your budget.

As you consider what training method to pursue, keep in mind that a mix of training media, i.e. “blended learning,” typically yields the best outcomes. Imagine a training experience that involves a pre-classroom eLearning tutorial, activity-based classroom training that builds on the tutorial, follow-up on-the-job training that reinforces classroom topics and tests mastery, and online collaborative tools (wikis, blogs, etc.) that allow learners to share their ideas and challenges.

The possibilities are endless — and the goals? Engaged learners, significant behavior change, increased productivity — in a nutshell, improved performance.


eLearning provides on-demand, asynchronous training using an electronic interface. With the right planning, an engaging design, and a robust technology platform, it can be just as effective as instructor-led training in situations where content must be consistent across large audiences who may be in different locations.

Successful eLearning can range from simple, linear courses, to interactive and animated solutions, to application simulations, to augmented and virtual reality experiences. eLearning is typically delivered using an electronic Learning Management System (LMS), which provides self-service access to course content and online assessments for learners. An LMS can also provide key metrics and reporting data to administrators so they can gain insight into who has access to training, who has completed training, and how well they scored on assessments.

Recently, innovations in technology have led to advances in eLearning that have changed both the learner experience and the training development process. Mobile learning leverages the portability of handheld devices like smartphones and tablets to deliver eLearning using responsive designs that automatically adjust to accommodate screen sizes and touch/click interactions.

Development for eLearning courses can require more significant up-front investment when compared to costs to develop other kinds of training. For this reason, eLearning courses are better suited for content that does not need frequent updating. However, over time, the return on investment can be significant in terms of reduced personnel and travel costs required to deliver the same training in a classroom.

Instructor-Led Training

The most traditional type of training involves class instruction led by an instructor or facilitator. Participants gather in a single space and learn together using a synchronous (real-time) learning environment.

Legacy applications of ILT were often limited to lecture and tests to measure competency. Today, the most effective ILT incorporates technology, discussions, problem-solving exercises, case studies, labs, and hands-on practice to fully immerse participants in applying what they learn.

With Instructor-Led Training, learners have opportunities to practice hands-on skills and receive immediate, customized feedback.

This approach makes sense if the scope of the training involves learning how to perform tasks using specialized equipment that is only available in certain locations. It is also useful for topics that depend on face-to-face interaction for practice.

The main benefit of ILT lies in its ability to provide rich learning experiences that promote collaboration and provide personalized feedback — which is important when learning concepts that are difficult to measure in an objective way. Its social setting encourages high levels of personal interaction and can lead to valuable relationship-building among peers and mentors.

About Contiem

Contiem has been the trusted content partner of choice for companies and organizations such as American Express, the U.S. Federal Government, The Home Depot, Cisco Systems, UnitedHealthcare, eBay, Facebook, and many more.

When you engage Contiem, we take the time to listen and develop an in-depth understanding of your immediate needs and longer-term challenges. Then, leveraging the capabilities that make us unique, we will provide a best-in-class, client-focused solution designed to achieve your business goals.

Experienced in a host of authoring software and with a wide variety of industries, we specialize in delivering a blend of services for documenting products and processes, training development, translation and localization, and content management.

Whether you need a complete training program to augment a new product or service, or you require job aids for internal learning, Contiem has the experience and skills to deliver the results you are looking for.