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pixel.gif (807 bytes) Which methods for which phases?
THERE ARE MANY different training methods. Here we take some of the most common approaches and see how they can contribute to the five phases in a learning intervention:
Workbook As a self-study approach, a workbook is not going to be as effective as face-to-face in the preparation phase. Where it stands out is as a means of presenting information and, to the extent that it incorporates practical exercises with feedback, in the practice and review phases. Print materials may also have a small role in providing support during application.
On-job training / coaching As a face-to-face technique, on-job training will be reasonably effective in the preparation phase. Because individual attention can be given, it will be most effective for presentation, practice and review. Individual coaching may also be used to support application.
Projects A project is only of use in two phases - practice and application, as a way of providing structured, real-world experience.
Workshops can be used in all phases. They will be particularly effective in the preparation phase, as a way for learners and tutors to get to know each other. In the presentation phase there are limitations, because the pacing will not suit all participants. The classroom environment provides many opportunities for practice and review, including role plays and case studies. Workshops can also play a minor role in supporting application.
Online self-study materials As with all self-study approaches, online methods are not going to be as effective as face-to-face in the preparation phase. For presentation this method is ideal, as it allows for self-pacing and supports a wide variety of media. With sophisticated interactivity, the method is ideal for certain types of practice and review. Where used as refreshers, online modules may also have a small part to play in supporting application.
Online tutorial support This method could be used in the preparation phase, although it will not be as effective as a face-to-face approach. An online tutor may also have a role to play in presenting information, but this is unlikely to be the most effective method. Online tutoring scores best as a means for review and providing feed back, although it can also be useful as a backup during application.
Electronic performance support A performance support system has a role to play in two phases - presentation and application. As a self-paced approach, with the availability of various media, it makes an excellent way of presenting information. With its quick and easy access, it also provides an ideal support for application.
Online group collaboration This method provides a good way for learners to think and learn together where it is not possible for them to be physically co-located. It may be useful in the presentation phase, but provides few realistic opportunities for practice. Where it stands out is as a means for group learning and reflection, although it can also provide useful support during application.

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