The word ‘methodology’ gets thrown around a lot during training pitchs and proposals, you’ll hear it often.... ‘interactive activities’, ‘simulations’, ‘dynamic ŗole plays’, ‘discussion’ - but methodology and training methods are not the same thing. Training methodology is not a list of activities carried out during training sessions – its the philosophical and pedagogical beliefs that underline how a provider, and indeed a trainer, perceives, understands, and strategizes the process of succesful learning and development.
Solid training methodology supports:
Complimentary to the training methodology, training methods and techniques are the tools a trainer uses to acheive each of the above in the training room. These techniques vary greatly from simple lingusitic tools to activity types, grouping plans, training media, communciation channels etc.
So, to start with, a program should be based on both a theoretical and practical learning cycle – this learning cycle illustrates the methodology and learning beliefs behind the training program and provides a clear and practical process pathway. Each stage of this cycle is then supported with the approriate methods, materials, techniques etc.
The trainer’s role in the realization of the program methodology is critical. There needs to be a ‘happy marriage’ between the principles, knowledge and practices of the trainer and those at the core of the program. In essence, the trainer and the program need to be ‘on the same page’. The program is the formula 1 car and the trainer is your racing car driver.
Participants are also critical stakeholders, those who are invested partners in the learning process understand the learning cycle and the goals of the activities they are carrying out. Its like setting out on a journey – you know your destination and you know how you’re going to get there. Remember that each learner needs to be able to ‘drive their own car’.
Lastly, methodology isnt fixed. One great training model isnt always a great fit for all groups. Methodology changes and adjusts according to different participant factors, such as, age, background, experience, learning goals and expected outcomes, culture, and learning styles... just to name a few.
So, random activities tossed at participants without a well planned process orientated methodogical approach might momentarily look ‘active’ or ‘fun’ but are also like shooting arrows in the dark. Its hit and miss... mostly miss. For companies where time and cost investments are critical factors, the right methodolgy should be a key factor in the selection of the training provider.
At The Communication Factory, we work together with you to choose the right methodology base for your training program and ensure that all stakeholders are invested learning partners.
By Amber Victoria
Owner and Principal Trainer at The Communication Factory.
Contact us directly for more information on our Training Methodology Workshops or to find out more about the methodology in our Business Training Programs.