A training method is a device by which learners are stimulated and directed towards achieving the behavioral objectives. It is also an activity, which constitutes the learning situation.
There are four important principles of training techniques, thus:
- Methods Frequently Overlap: A single learning situation may be such that the learners learn by more than one technique. For example, a case study gives the learner a description of a particular incident of the situation and the analysis normally comes in the form or a group discussion and/or role-playing and/or reenacting the situation. The learners are therefore learning by all the three techniques in the same learning situation.
- Media and Materials are not Training Technique: They aid learning. Thus, videotape or closed-circuit television or overhead projectors are media by which ideas are communicated during the learning experience.
- There is No One Best Training Method: Different techniques enjoy varying degrees of effectiveness depending upon such variables as the training objectives, the background, and attitude of the trainees, the background and skill of the instructor, etc.
- Any Single Training Programme May Utilize a Number of Training Techniques: This is because the objectives of a training programme will differ widely from one another and variety of techniques may be required to reach this variety of goals. A variety of techniques mean a variety of stimuli to the learner and this will contribute immediately to the success of any training efforts.
Types of Instructional Method
The study shows that because people differ, they learn in different ways at different times and at a different speed. The learning styles influence the instructional techniques used by the instructor because effective instruction demands that every trainee is carried along and motivated to learn. Below are some of the commonly used methods available:
It is a method of instruction in which the material to be presented is structured to ensure the participation of the learning group. This can be achieved by the use of question and answer technique, which gives the instructor the necessary feedback to enable him to ascertain whether the material is being assimilated and where necessary to take appropriate remedial action. There are two types of lessons.
- The theory less and
- The skills lesson
It is used for all types of knowledge learning especially for some skills learning and for learning procedures.
This is a discussion between the trainer and the participants to achieve certain learning outcomes. It is usually built up with a combination of questions, answers, and comments.
It is normally recognized to be three main types:
- Direct discussion
- Developmental discussion and
- Problem-solving discussion
It is used:
- For stimulating interest and constructive thought
- For supplementing other methods
- For reviewing/consolidating other learning
- For problem-solving exercises
(iii) Role Playing
It is teaching in which students are presented with a situation, in which they are required to act out the roles of those concerned in this situation. It is mainly used for changing/modifying knowledge and skills and for developing interactive knowledge and skills.
(iv) Action Maze
- A printed description of an incident or situation
- Each situation is followed by a list of alternative actions, therefore the choice of which leads the trainees or trainees in a group to the description of a new situation where new alternatives face them.
- Applicable to decision making problem-solving, and troubleshooting (applied to machinery or system)
- Develops managerial or supervisory skills.
- An informed form of discussion where creative thinking is emphasized.
- Trainees generate as many ideas as possible on any given topic and the analysis or judgment of the ideas so generated is postponed till a later date.
- Characterized by highly participative discussions in which every member contributes to an accumulated list of answers or products.
- Develops attitudes and values, interpersonal skills, and managerial/supervisory skills.
(vi) Case Studies
- Applicable to management and supervisory development, problem-solving and decision-making, labor and employee relations and interpersonal relations.
- Develops psychomotor skills, knowledge, interpersonal skills and management/supervisory skills.
- A written or filmed description of an actual or imaginary situation presented in small detail.
- Groups of trainees read the case and then analyze it for some specific considerations provided to them by the instructor at the time he gives them the case itself.
- An illustrated lecture or explanation done by a speaker or filmed to show something works or gets done.
- Applicable to the operation of tools/machine and completing a process as in filing, or typing, etc.
- Developments knowledge and psychomotor skills.
- It is used for showing correct/incorrect action, procedures etc for giving learners yardstick to aim at.
- A paper situation, which the trainee is given a number of items similar to the things he would find in the basket of work he would handle during a typical day at his work.
- The trainee assumes the role of a fictitious manager and deals with each item as if it were real.
- Applicable to management and supervisory training, communication training, problem-solving and decision-making programmes.
- Develops attitudes and values and managerial/supervisory skills.
- An organized verbal presentation (which may be accompanied by visual aids) by a speaker to a group of trainees/listeners.
- Characterized by the passive role of the learners.
- Develops knowledge, attitudes, and values.
A form of instruction/teaching in which the following factors are presented:
- Trainees follow an actual sequence of training which is determined for them according to their individual need.
- Frequent and unambiguous responses are usually required from the student/trainee throughout the whole sequences.
- Feedback of information about the correctness or otherwise of response is usually given to the student before the next frame is presented.
- There is a clear statement to exactly what the trainee is expected to be able to do at the end of the programme.
- The material to be learned which has been itemized and tested is presented in serially identifiable steps or frame.
This is used for all types of knowledge learning, for teaching concepts and procedures.
(i) Guide Practice
It is a method in which the learner has to perform the operation or procedure, being under controlled conditions. It is used for all types of skills training, increasing knowledge and modifying attitudes.
(ii) Job Rotation
The term applied to change an individual from one job to another either for a short or long period for training purposes. It is used for widening a particular experience within the work environment.
(iii) Discovery Learning
It is a method by which the leaner works through a problem, task or situation on his own (sometimes with a group); the trainer may not be directly involved himself and only interfere when absolutely necessary, has been adopted in industrial training from the primary school field.
(iv) Business Games
They are a form of training in which students are formed into groups each representing imaginary organizations operating in a carefully defined situation. Umpires (or computer) decisions (for example, to spend more on research, less on advertising) do feature. The students are given management titles and make management decisions using a model of the real situation.
This is used for:
- To develop interactive skills
- Decision making
- Skills in planning
This is a method in which the trainer usually works directly with an individual learner. It may involve explanation, demonstration, practice, questioning or any combination of these. Probably the most widely used and abused method or “on the job” training. It is used for the development of knowledge and skills.
This is training done while on the job.
The Essence of On-The-Job Training (O.J.T)
OJT has four key concepts that the instructor should keep in mind.
- It is most effective if the skills being learned relate to a specific job. A job is a series of tasks and their related skills arranged purposefully in order to accomplish a performance goal.
- It is most effective if it is organized in sessions. The content of each session must be based on adult learning principles.
- It is most effective when the session learning objective is to learn and transfer a skill.
It is most useful when the skills being taught are aimed at accomplishing a task. A task is part of a job made up of a series of skills.
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