There are various methods of training, which can be divided in to cognitive and behavioral methods. Trainers need to understand the pros and cons of each method, also its impact on trainees keeping their background and skills in mind before giving training.
Cognitive methods are more of giving theoretical training to the trainees. The various methods under Cognitive approach provide the rules for how to do something, written or verbal information, demonstrate relationships among concepts, etc. These methods are associated with changes in knowledge and attitude by stimulating learning.
Some of training Methods are
- Lecture method
- Discussion Method
- Business Games
- Role Playing
- Computer Bases Training
- Case Studies
It is one of the oldest methods of training. This method is used to create understanding of a topic or to influence behavior, attitudes through lecture. A lecture can be in printed or oral form. Lecture is telling someone about something. Lecture is given to enhance the knowledge of listener or to give him the theoretical aspect of a topic. Training is basically incomplete without lecture. When the trainer begins the training session by telling the aim, goal, agenda, processes, or methods that will be used in training that means the trainer is using the lecture method. It is difficult to imagine training without lecture format. There are some variations in Lecture method. The variation here means that some forms of lectures are interactive while some are not.
Straight Lecture: Straight lecture method consists of presenting information, which the trainee attempts to absorb. In this method, the trainer speaks to a group about a topic. However, it does not involve any kind of interaction between the trainer and the trainees. A lecture may also take the form of printed text, such as books, notes, etc. The difference between the straight lecture and the printed material is the trainer’s intonation, control of speed, body language, and visual image of the trainer. The trainer in case of straight lecture can decide to vary from the training script, based on the signals from the trainees, whereas same material in print is restricted to what is printed.
A good lecture consists of introduction of the topic, purpose of the lecture, and priorities and preferences of the order in which the topic will be covered.
Main Features of Lecture Method
Some of the main features of lecture method are:
- Inability to identify and correct misunderstandings
- Less expensive
- Can be reached large number of people at once
- Knowledge building exercise
- Less effective because lectures require long periods of trainee inactivity
Discussion Training Method
This method uses a lecturer to provide the learners with context that is supported, elaborated, explains, or expanded on through interactions both among the trainees and between the trainer and the trainees. The interaction and the communication between these two make it much more effective and powerful than the lecture method. If the Discussion method is used with proper sequence i.e. lectures, followed by discussion and questioning, can achieve higher level knowledge objectives, such as problem solving and principle learning.
The Discussion method consists a two-way flow of communication i.e. knowledge in the form of lecture is communicated to trainees, and then understanding is conveyed back by trainees to trainer.
Understanding is conveyed in the form of verbal and non-verbal feedback that enables the trainer to determine whether the material is understood. If yes, then definitely it would help out the trainees to implement it at their workplaces and if not, the trainer may need to spend more time on that particular area by presenting the information again in a different manner.
Questioning can be done by both ways i.e. the trainees and the trainer. When the trainees ask questions, they explain their thinking about the content of the lecture. A trainer who asks questions stimulates thinking about the content of the lecture. Asking and responding questions are beneficial to trainees because it enhance understanding and keep the trainees focused on the content. Besides that, discussions, and interactions allow the trainee to be actively engaged in the material of the trainer. This activity helps in improving recall.
Business Games Training
With the increase in globalization and changing technologies, many organizations are now moving from board games to computer based simulations, using interactive multimedia (IM) and virtual reality (VR). Business games are the type of simulators that try to present the way an industry, company, organization, consultancy, or subunit of a company functions. Basically, they are based on the set of rules, procedures, plans, relationships, principles derived from the research. In the business games, trainees are given some information that describes a particular situation and are then asked to make decisions that will best suit in the favor of the company. And then the system provides the feedback about the impact of their decisions.
Again, on the basis of the feedback they are asked to make the decisions again. This process continues until some meaningful results do not came out or some predefined state of the organization exists or a specified number of trails are completed.
As an example, if the focus is on organization’s financial state, the game may end when the organization reach at desirable or defined profitability level.
Some of the benefits of the business games are:
- It develops leadership skills
- It improves application of total quality principles
- It develops skills in using quality tools
- It strengthen management skills
- It demonstrates principles and concepts
- It explores and solves complex problem
Many games and simulations examine the total organization but only some focus on the functional responsibilities of specific positions in an organization. Business games simulate whole organization and provide much better perspective than any other training methods. They allow trainees to see how their decisions and actions impact on the related areas.
Role play is a simulation in which each participant is given a role to play. Trainees are given with some information related to description of the role, concerns, objectives, responsibilities, emotions, etc. Then, a general description of the situation, and the problem that each one of them faces, is given. For instance, situation could be strike in factory, managing conflict, two parties in conflict, scheduling vacation days, etc. Once the participants read their role descriptions, they act out their roles by interacting with one another.
Role Plays helps in
- Developing interpersonal skills and communication skills
- Conflict resolution
- Group decision making
- Developing insight into one’s own behavior and its impact on others
There are various types of role plays, such as:
Multiple Role Play – In this type of role play, all trainees are in groups, with each group acting out the role play simultaneously. After the role play, each group analyzes the interactions and identifies the learning points.
Single Role Play – One group of participants plays the role for the rest, providing demonstrations of situation. Other participants observe the role play, analyze their interactions with one another and learn from the play.
Role Rotation – It starts as a single role play. After the interaction of participants, the trainer will stop the role play and discuss what happened so far. Then the participants are asked to exchange characters. This method allows a variety of ways to approach the roles.
Spontaneous Role Play – In this kind of role play, one of the trainees plays herself while the other trainees play people with whom the first participant interacted before.
Computer Bases Training
With the world-wide expansion of companies and changing technologies, the demands for knowledge and skilled employees have increased more than ever, which in turn, is putting pressure on HR department to provide training at lower costs. Many organizations are now implementing CBT as an alternative to classroom based training to accomplish those goals.
Some of the benefits of Computer-Based Training are:
According to a recent survey, about 75% of the organizations are providing training to employees through Intranet or Internet. Internet is not the method of training, but has become the technique of delivering training. The growth of electronic technology has created alternative training delivery systems. CBT does not require face-to-face interaction with a human trainer. This method is so varied in its applications that it is difficult to describe in concise terms.
Case Studies try to simulate decision-making situation that trainees may find at their work place. It reflects the situations and complex problems faced by managers, staff, HR, CEO, etc. The objective of the case study method is to get trainees to apply known concepts and ideologies and ascertain new ones. The case study method emphasize on approach to see a particular problem rather than a solution. Their solutions are not as important as the understanding of advantages and disadvantages.
Procedure of the Case Study Method
- Building decision making skills
- Assessing and developing Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes (KSAs)
- Developing communication and interpersonal skills
- Developing management skills
- Developing procedural and strategic knowledge
This method is a visual display of how something works or how to do something. As an example, trainer shows the trainees how to perform or how to do the tasks of the job. In order to be more effective, demonstration method should be should be accompanied by the discussion or lecture method.
To carry out an effective demonstration, a trainer first prepares the lesson plan by breaking the task to be performed into smaller modules, easily learned parts. Then, the trainer sequentially organizes those modules and prepares an explanation for why that part is required. While performing the demonstration, trainer:
Demonstrates the task by describing how to do, while doing
- Helps the focusing their attention on critical aspects of the task
- Tells the trainees what you will be doing so they understand what you will be showing them
- Explains why it should be carried out in that way
The difference between the lecture method and the demonstration method is the level of involvement of the trainee. In the lecture method, the more the trainee is involved, the more learning will occur.
The financial costs that occur in the demonstration method are as follows:
- Cost of training facility for the program
- Cost of materials that facilitate training
- Food, travel, lodging for the trainees and the trainers
- Compensation of time spent in training to trainers and trainees
- Cost related to creating content, material
- Cost related to the organization of the training
After completing the demonstration the trainer provide feedback, both positive and or negative, give the trainee the opportunity to do the task and describe what he is doing and why.
We think Role playing is the best method of training. This technique is an excellent way to achieve a number of benefits for employees, management and support people. Role playing is not just “practicing working with an imaginary customer out loud.” Role playing allows a group of employees to act out work scenarios. It opens communications, and for the amount of time when it puts a player ‘on-the-spot,’ it also gives a great deal of confidence and develops camaraderie among those participating in (doing) the role play situations.
For instance, you might train salespeople by having two people act out a ‘sales’ scenario. One acts as the salesperson, the other acts as the customer. This allows salespeople to practice their sales techniques. A trainer and/or other trainees may watch the role play and critique it afterwards.
Role playing can be used in every department by management and employees to practice business situations. Role playing is the systematic building of correct habits while learning the acceptable system and the best way to communicate your ideas to the customer. Role playing should be done in a low-stress environment, which makes it easier to learn. The trainer can critique the role play situation and corrections can be made immediately by more rehearsal. Assimilation of the training material and implementation of a key element of the system can occur quickly in business. Role playing should be performed where the job will take place. This means at the work desk, on the phone, at the checkout counter, delivery or warehouse area. This setting should provide all necessary notes or equipment the employee may have, and should be performed with the person playing the part of the customer.
Role-Playing is an Excellent Exercise For:
- Analyzing problems
- Job interview to see how comfortably they communicate
- Improve selling by applying various selling solutions
- Developing teamwork, cooperation, and creative problem-solving
- Exercise for improving listening skills
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