Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2018 - 49

SECRETS OF SOURCING
DOUG HARWARD

LEVERAGING TOOLS
TO IMPROVE THE

LEARNING PROCESS

The tools available in a training
professional's toolbox are constantly
evolving. Trying to understand better
ways to use these tools reminds me of
how a master craftsman's tools have
evolved over the years.
Craftsmen are tasked with efficiently
building a home that conforms to
the design of the architect and the
needs of the owner. Master carpenters
traditionally used tools such as
hammers, rulers, straight edges and
saws. As technologies have advanced,
the carpenter's tools are now power
saws, pneumatic nail guns, and
electronic rulers.

HOW WE USE TOOLS
TO ENHANCE THE
LEARNING EXPERIENCE
IS OF INCREDIBLE
ECONOMIC VALUE.
In the early days of training, our tools
were rather simple with the classroom,
chalkboards, paper and pencils. But the
advancement of technology now has
us using tools such as video
instruction,
virtual
classrooms,
simulation platforms, virtual reality,
adaptive tools, reinforcement apps, and
much more.
Even with all the advancement in
technology, why we use tools to assist
us in the learning experience remains
constant. Our purpose is to help

learners perform better on the job and
technologies help make that process
more efficient and effective. Very
much the same as the carpenter using
new tools. They build the houses
relatively the same, but they are
faster, more efficient, and the homes
are sturdier.
So why all the fascination with new
tools? Why is it that each time a new
technology is introduced, there is a
stream of interest in understanding
how to use it, and whether that tool
will work in our environment? Is there
an expectation that we should always
use the latest and greatest tools? Or is
it that we are truly looking for a more
inexpensive way to get the job done? Or
are we trying to find the Holy Grail that
will help us demonstrate that learners
are performing better because they can
learn with new technologies?
I believe all those reasons are at
play depending on the situation. My
concern is that with all the technologies
available to us, as a profession we are
still struggling with the fundamentals of
developing learners to perform better,
faster and at a lower cost. How can this
be? It has a lot to do with how we use
tools. Tools are great if they enhance
the process by which learners consume
information, practice the behavior they
need to learn, or have better access to
information at the time of need when on
the job.
The greatest use of technology is when
we understand the best process for

a learner to gain proficiency in a skill,
then we leverage tools to help improve
the process. Fundamental techniques
for improved performance still require
a learner to practice the behavior they
are trying to perform. And it requires
a learner to have access to
information that helps them when they
need it.
I think it's important that we recognize
that learning occurs over time, and not
in one event. Learning is an experience,
and how we use tools to enhance the
experience is of incredible economic
value. We've seen through research
that tools such as adaptive platforms
allow learners to focus their experience
on the information they most need.
Collaborative platforms allow learners
access to coaches in real time. Simulation
environments allow learners to practice
skills for high-risk situations but in lowrisk environments.
From where I sit, we can't lose sight
of the fundamentals of learning
science. Learning occurs over time,
through repetition, through feedback
on when they perform well and when
they do not, and with support and
reinforcement from coaches and
mentors. If used correctly, many of the
innovative technologies we see today
are in line with helping us achieve our
primary objective.
Doug Harward is CEO of Training Industry,
Inc. and a former learning leader in the
high-tech industry. Email Doug.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - TRAINING TOOLBOX 20 18 I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - July/August 2018

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190708
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20161112
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016sales
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015outsourcing
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015leadership
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011spring
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009summer
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