in a comment on the home post to the learning circuits blog's the big question, tom haskins raises an interesting and compelling point regarding the two radically different ends of training/learning. as he states it:
The hardware/brick & mortar parts of the economy don’t mess around. There is one right answer for every detail. There are costly mistakes. Experts provide accurate content to port into instructional designs. Compliance training needs to get results. Procedures are linear and need to be followed in sequence.
The software/Web 2.0 part of the economy does mess around like crazy. There are so many right answers that a great search engine cannot find them all even if they are tagged and aggregated at one address. Mistakes are easily forgiven and forgotten by bloggers, subscribers and serial entrepreneurs. Everything is in flux and rapid evolution. SME’s become learners and learners generate new content.
there definitely is the more amorphous, change oriented learning that is happening. leadership and innovation may well be best served by learner-centered Web 2.0 approaches. It seems that in discussions of learning and development, this area is the major focus.
but what about mechanical training? legal compliance training? the learners cannot control the content of sarbanes-oxley training. if you think about it, sox is, in part, is about saying there is no choice here. you do it this way or you go to jail. giving learners control over how to use a metal press or freedom to experiment with ideas on how to dock a river barge would result in deaths and loss of property. (although our friends in the simulation and gaming world will say we can let learners have trial and error learning in these areas as well.)
i always found it both humorous and sad that at a large retail company I've done work for that has over a dozen warehouses in the u.s., there was no one in the corporate training group that knew that the company conducted training on how to drive a forklift.
why is it that our conversations regarding training often leave out procedural training. do we assume that it's being done correctly? have we outsourced it so we don't have to worry about it? is it not sexy enough?
worse yet, have we in-sourced it? Have we left it to the business unit to handle this educaton because we in "learning and development" don't get our hands dirty doing that sort of training?
tom has raised issues that we need to think about. are we thinking about all the employees in our companies? do we need different models for different types of training?