2013 Global Trends in Training Part 4: Death of the Classroom?

Mark Twain once famously said, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” As we begin 2013, the same can probably be said for the classroom training experience and the role of the professional instructor. While technology continues to bolster the value of training and improve the classroom experience in high consequence industries such as healthcare and oil and gas, the idea that we can completely eliminate in-person training and rely completely on technology is, at best, premature.

At RPS, we are big advocates of integrating technology into the learning process. As professionals who have held both corporate and instructor roles in the administration of training programs, we understand better than most that technology-enabled services such as web-based training courses on-demand can play an important role in keeping workforces up to date, current on certifications and can serve as a real time reference. However, this is merely one piece of the overall training puzzle. What cannot be undervalued are the benefits that come from personal interaction with expert instructors, hands-on experiences and topical conversations amongst peers in an environment designed for learning.

Make no mistake: technology is playing a big role in classroom environments as well. We are seeing tremendous growth in the number of smart devices and tablets being provided to participants as part of the classroom experience. The ability for attendees to access a nearly endless library of content available on the Internet during the class session, view videos, email the instructor a question or simply file information away for future reference is proving extremely beneficial. When expert instruction is blended together with the supporting data and resources available through the use of technology, workers receive the full value of what professional training has to offer.

So while the days of death by PowerPoint slide are thankfully behind us for good, the classroom experience – while still evolving – has seen an increase in demand thanks to the assistance of technology and dedicated instructors.