Why Computer Based Training can Cripple Your People Skills

Why Computer Based Training can Cripple Your People Skills

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  • Bob J

    Some good points, Monica. I once got into an online discussion about whether or not someone could learn to Foxtrot through an online course. I agree that some things (such as kinesthetic skills) require more than an online learning environment can provide. However, I doubt that Sheldon would have been any more prepared to swim from an instructor-led classroom course (sans any water in which to practice.)

    I’m not as confident as you that classroom training is necessarily better than online for “people” skills. Why? Not everyone gets to participate equally in live training. The trainer or small group selects respondees to various exercises. There is seldom enough practice time built into the training to actually develop the new skills. Some classroom activities are forced or artificial, or even irrelevant.

    And, bad face to face training is just as bad as bad online training. I, and you probably, too, have gone through some painful live training experiences. I wished I’d been given a book or an online course instead of suffering through the instructor-led training.

    Can online training teach people skills? See http://www.worldwarfighter.com/hajikamal/activity/ Going through this online training prevents the learner from hiding in the group. While not really individualized, the learner sets the pace, can practice by going through the exercise multiple times, and can learn not just people skills, but people from another culture skills.

    I’ve seen similar examples that work for teaching sales skills.

    Not all online learning is like this, and your criticisms are mostly valid. But is it possible you should be directing your criticism to the bad design of online learning, and not online learning itself?

  • Monica Wofford

    Hello Bob!

    I’m honored by your feedback and particularly resonate with the last line about criticisms being pointed to bad design of online learning, versus online learning itself. I think you have a very valid point there and yes, when an organization takes a mere Power Point presentation that has been labeled “training” and makes it a mandatory viewing exercise, but expects it to create the implementation of new skills or use of new knowledge, it’s a problem.

    You’re also likely right about Sheldon and I see where you’re coming from on the examples you’ve provided. Perhaps the discussion here is more about poorly designed and delivered training in general, as I also noted that you mentioned “not everyone “gets to participate equally” in live training and they certainly should be able to… if the instructor is engaging and paying attention, that is. 🙂

    Looking forward to continuing the discussion and like your point of view! Thanks for sharing it with me!
    Monica.

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