Although it's a bit late, and I have my grades to finish (or because I have my grades to finish), I did want to post something as part of the ecollab's blog carnival. ECollab is a bilingual multi-author blog on enterprise collaboration.
This month's carnival was about the future of the training department. As an educator of the future users of the training department, I thought I would give my insight into some of the challenges and expectations of future workers about training and education.
1) Instant feedback: my students don't want to wait to hear how they have done. If they write a report, they expect feedback immediately, perhaps even as they are writing it. As a result, any training they receive will need to be interactive (either electronically or face to face). It will not be enough for them to post something, for example, without any feedback with an hour or two. They do have more patience if you can give them a specific date. But even then, they will put it out of their mind until that date.
2) Choices in learning: Unlike students when I started teaching almost 20 years ago, students want a choice in what they learn, how they learn it, when they learn it, and who they learn it from. This means that training departments will need to offer both formal and informal choices in a variety of mediums (online, face to face, mentoring, tutors, simulations).
3) Just in time learning: If students don't feel it is important for them to know something (at this point, for a test or a grade), they won't bother to learn it. As a result, students are used to picking and choosing what they learn based on direction from authorities and whether or not they perceive what they learn as being useful. Translated in to work related learning, employees won't go through the training if they think it is not useful to their current work unless they have some incentive (promotion, location of training, paid training). Related to this is the idea that anything they will need to know in the future, they will be able to learn quickly, so why bother learning it until it is needed. Any training will need to be situated in a person's job.
4) Situated learning: My husband just had some standard computer training which he found irrelevant until the last class in which they were able to learn the software based on the problems the trainees were experiencing themselves. While there is societal and organizational push to standardize training, most employees won't undergo training unless it is situational. I see this a trend within organizations so that organizations will require more "targeted" training that allows for the training to be pinpointed for a specific employee. This means training departments will need to do a lot more assessment and develop a different model of training that is not standard across an organization.
5) Assessment tools: My students want tests. Why? Because they have a standard way of assessing how they have learned which they can then take with them to the workplace. More and more I am getting students who demand a detailed rubric on how they will be evaluated and assessed. In the workplace, especially as workers have greater access to informal learning, they are going to want the training department to assess their learning, rather than plan their learning. This means the focus of the training department will move from providing resources to assessing skills and knowledge, but in a way that workers accept. Coming from a background of standardized assessments, this next generation will expect the same type of testing to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. The training department will look more and more like the civil service or professional organizations (i.e. legal bar, CPA, NACATE).
- V Yonkers
- Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.