Human Resource Development: The New Trainer's Guide

By Edward E. Scannell; Les Donaldson | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 6
Methods of Instruction

There's madness in my method.

Well, we really hope not, but it may drive one "mad" trying to answer the question "Which method is the most effective?"

In trying to answer this query, let's turn our attention to methodology. By exploring several of the more commonly used techniques and methods for training, you will be able to decide which method may be best for a given lesson. While several techniques are listed, it is important to recognize that you as the trainer should have a working knowledge of all of them. In some cases, one or two techniques will be preferable, depending upon the objectives of the session and the background and interest of the people involved.

What is the most effective method? There is no simple answer. To help you make your decision, though, let's discuss the pros and cons of each. Certainly, good trainers will have a variety of techniques in their repertoires. As trainers gain experience, they tend to favor one or two methods and then continue to use only those. "Because this one is easier," is a weak reason to select a method. Unfortunately, however, even senior trainers have fallen into that trap.

There are some important items to consider in choosing a particular method. Obviously, there is merit in picking one with which we feel comfortable. We should, of course, consider first the objectives of that particular session. How about cost? Time, of course, is also important. For example, while we know that discussion may be better for learning, it may be we simply cannot afford the extra time and must settle instead for the lecture method. The size of the group and type of room are also relevant considerations in choosing appropriate methods.

Here, then, are some commonly used methods.


Lecture

Without question, the lecture method is both the most widely used and the most abused technique of training. It is primarily a one-way communication: one person

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