Friday, 2 March 2018

Why content is not training

I love yoga. 
So much so that I take weekly classes. 

Because I live close to one of the best Yoga studio's in WA, the classes I attend are delivered by top-tier teachers. This means that I often find myself side-by-side with amazing yogis from all over the world. This is a little like finding yourself singing with Celine Dion or acting alongside Julia Roberts.
Here’s the thing that I’ve noticed, though. 

We (myself and these yoga stars) are doing the exact same steps to the exact same music in the exact same place at the exact same time, yet it sure doesn’t look that way. 

Why, why, why? 

The answer is a single word: skill.
What we are doing is the same. How we are doing it is not. And, this is why content isn’t training. Content provides the what. Training provides the how.
It concerns me when I hear content being discussed more and more frequently as being synonymous with training. Taking a course on can provide you with the what, but it won’t teach you the how. 

Ditto with providing content in bite-size chunks à la microlearning, taking an e-learning course, watching a YouTube video, listening to a presentation or searching the Internet. Lots of what, but not much (if any) how.

At InterACT we believe that training can and should include content—but it shouldn’t end at content. Training needs to include group discussions, challenging activities and personal advice as well as effective feedback and opportunities to practice the new skills in a safe and risk-free environment.
So, before you decide to provide content instead of training, ask yourself:

“Is skill important?” 

If the answer is “yes,” then think about how you can add some element of training to support skill development instead of just providing content. 

Your learners will thank you, I promise.