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UK organisations still relying on outdated methods of training

25 April 2012

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

UK learning and development professionals are clinging to outdated methods of training, according to a recent survey.

It found that traditional methods of workplace learning are considered among the least effective ways to up-skill employees, but still dominate many L&D programmes. Only 17 per cent of respondents plan to reduce their reliance on classroom and trainer-led instruction over the next two years.

Fifty-two per cent admitted that in-house development programmes were among the most effective ways of delivering training, while just under half of respondents cited coaching by line managers. In addition, 39 per cent pointed towards on-the-job training as among the most effective L&D practices.

E-learning methods are increasing in use, but are seen as most suitable for specific types of training (such as data protection) rather than as a substitute for classroom training, according to the CIPD/Cornerstone OnDemand report.

Published in Learning and Talent Development 2012, the survey covered 766 L&D professionals, of which nearly half are from private sector organisations.

Dr John McGurk, learning and talent development adviser at the CIPD, said: “We need to take into account how generations learn and share knowledge and we need to understand anew the process of learning and knowledge. We need to lift our awareness of the emerging science on learning and in some cases we need to slaughter some of the sacred cows which have informed practice.”

The report notes that new insights on L&D are being developed from areas such as neuroscience, social psychology, economics, computing and the natural sciences. Organisations were most aware of the connection between exercise and increased learning performance, with one in six integrating this into their practice.

The idea of learning states during game-based learning was integrated into practice in 12 per cent of organisations, the report adds. Three-fifths or more had not heard of the concept of ‘flow’ and blissful productivity, the concept of deep practice and expertise (10,000 hours rule) or neurochemistry of learning (for example, myelin sheath).

The report says that organisations were given the option to state if they had used other methods of learning analysis. Four reported the use of neuro-linguistic programming, one the use of neuropsychology in relation to change management and cognitive behavioural therapy in relation to coaching, and one the use of psychological models such as transactional analysis.

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