Fighting To Stay Awake – A History Of Bad Training

I started in the training field when everything we used was paper-based. I have no idea how many forests we destroyed so that learners could sit in a room by themselves and fight to stay awake while reading through mountains of manuals and procedures.

Then came the powerpoint revolution and the discovery of the animations on powerpoint. Which lead to more than one person being able to be in the room as a powerpoint was run and an instructor read off the screen and many whiz-bang animations were run so that the audience was dazzled and stunned by the movement on the screen, but not much else. Still fighting to stay awake.

Then e-learning entered the arena and we were all excited by the promise of classroom training not being required anymore. But then we discovered that many e-learning courses are just like powerpoint except that the learner has to click the button instead of the instructor. Still fighting to stay awake.

And now we have virtual reality and augmented reality. At first glance, it appears that it will be harder to go to sleep using these technologies, if for no other reason than it would be pretty uncomfortable with the goggles on. But time will tell. Compliance training has a habit of curing insomnia for even the most caffeine charged participants.

So what is the point? Well, basically, training is pointless if it is boring. No-one learns anything unless they are engaged. And it doesn’t matter what medium you use. Make your training interesting, make it relevant and make it engaging. And give your learner’s access to coffee. Just in case.

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