by Ron Kurtus (revised 18 March 2000)
If you are studying training, and you want to apply your knowledge to developing or delivering training material, you are probably wondering about the process of teaching your learners.
Questions you may have include:
- What is the training process?
- Does this process apply to all delivery media?
- Does this lesson fit in the process?
This lesson will answer those questions.
The process to train or educate a person in most situations consists of:
- Provide information.
- Re-enforce through exercises
- Clarify and review material
- Test to verify learning
The teacher, instructor, trainer or educator can provide the information to the learner through the various educational media: in-person teaching, books, tapes, CBT or WBT. For personal instruction, the student may be able to ask for clarification or more details.
Re-enforcing with exercises
In a classroom setting, a correspondence course or in distance learning, the student is given exercises to perform to practice and re-enforce what was learned. This is done to a lesser degree in a CBT, WBT or videotape. Exercises also get the participants more involved in the material, which helps keep their interest.
In some classes, students can discuss the material, allowing them to draw conclusions and to re-enforce their knowledge.
Exercises are seldom done when the learner is doing self-study by reading a book or listening to an audio tape. In these situations, the learner may re-enforce through repetition.
Answers to the exercises are then given with explanations to clarify the information and to help review the material.
The last step in the training or education process is to verify knowledge or competency in the subject matter.
Usually students are given a test to verify what they have learned and to measure the success of the instruction. Most often, testing comes after several lessons. If the student passes the test, it is assumed he or she sufficiently knows the material or has competence in the subject.
Some training sessions end with a test to verify the skill learned. This is especially true in trade schools. The test is often a combination of remembering facts and concepts. The best type of test is physically applying the skill.
In corporate training sessions, it is not unusual to omit a final exam or any verification of competency. For example, after a training class on time management, workers are simply told to go out and apply what they learned. Some do and some don't.
In the case of personal or non-formal study, a test is seldom given or taken. Verification of learning or understanding is up to the individual.
An example of this would be when a person read a book explaining how to do some task, such as fixing a leaky faucet in the house. The person may then use the information in the book to perform that task, either from memory or by using the book as a guide. Completion of the task is verification of the competency.
Case study of this lesson
This lesson is an example of this process for an individual doing self-study in a non-formal setting. The information is provided and a mini-quiz is available as a form of exercise. Some individuals e-mail specific questions to the author for more information.
If this lesson is being used as a resource in a formal class, there may be a test given by the instructor to verify knowledge and understanding of the material.
The typical training and education process consists of providing information, exercises, clarification, and testing. These steps hold for most of the delivery media, with self-study skipping some steps.
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