Is Traditional Training Dead?

Today’s software users prefer to learn as they do, rather than learn...then do.

When adopting new software, do you prefer to first learn as you do, as opposed to learn, then do? If so, you are not alone.

According to a recent survey, today’s learners favor “performance support” methods and tools that enable just-in-time learning as opposed to more formal, structured learning interventions. Does this mean that this is the beginning of the end for traditional learning methods? Not quite.

There’s no question that the way users adopt software today is very different. Decades ago, users would sit down and invest 3-5 days to learn about a software they are using for their job. This is because there were fewer software options, fewer evolutions, and users knew they would be using the tool for many years to come. With a move to more Software as a Service (SaaS), and with many more software choices on the market, users can opt out much quicker than they could before. This means users want to see the value in the software quickly; specific to their current needs and performance. Over time, as they see more value in the software, they are more likely to be adopters of it and then invest in formal instructor-led training. So, the traditional model of starting with formal training interventions (either classroom or eLearning) and following up with performance support are essentially being flipped.

Prefer to first learn new software as you go, rather than take a class? Find out how to make the best of it:

What is the solution to help these users? Rather than sending users through hours, days, or weeks of upfront training, provide them with personalized just-in-time performance support content that helps them perform their job. This paradigm shift started with organizations taking learning content originally developed for formal learning and then repurposing it in the form of micro-videos, job aides, and other content which can be directly integrated into searchable platforms for on-the-job performance support. This paradigm shift refocuses organizations from formal learning, which is delivered outside the context of work and outside their moment of need, to providing just-in-time support at the learner’s moment of need. Some organizations will go as far as to embed the performance support content directly within the software itself, or as close to it as possible.

This trend allows users to get answers to questions they have about using the software, which enables them to become more comfortable and eventually more adopted on the software. It is at that point that formal learning, like instructor-led training, comes into use. Once the learners are motivated and eager to adopt, taking a few days away to learn the skills and competencies of the software is not considered as big of an investment, and one they are motivated to do. This instructor-led training now focuses more on essential core capabilities of the products, as well as problem solving, innovation, experimentation and solutions to business challenges.

See how Qlik enables our users to learn as they do with our online performance support tool, the Qlik Continuous Classroom, followed by our instructor-led training classes.


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