Online Learning

Posted by Heather
In life
15Feb 09

     When I was a little girl, going to school, we were taught that when the Teacher was speaking, you were quiet.  ( heck, we were taught that when anyone else was speaking, you were quiet, listened carefully, and waited your turn to speak. )  As a child, if you talked or made noise while the Teacher was talking, you got in trouble.   This was because a) it was considered extremely rude to interrupt, and b) it interfered with the other childrens’ ability to hear what the Teacher was saying, therefore affecting their ability to learn.

     It seems a simple concept to me – someone is teaching you something, you listen carefully, take notes where you feel necessary, and everyone in the room is able to clearly focus on what they are learning – no distractions ( except, perhaps the girl/boy you had a crush on  ) and definitely no interruptions. 

     That has always worked for me, even as an adult.  When I worked as a Cashier at a Grocery Store, they sent us for a week’s training, where they set up “fake checkstands” where you could get hands-on practice of various scenarios.  You were given plenty of time, in a relaxed atmosphere, to go over things many times, until you were comfortable, and confident that you had grasped the concepts.

     I am the kind of person that learns best like that – with encouragement, starting slowly, not being “pushed”, “rushed”, or overwhelmed with too much information at once.  I would rather perfect one skill at a time, than be forced to move on to something new, before I feel sure of myself with the last thing.  In other words, I would much prefer to be really good at a few things, rather than “okay” at many.

     Unfortunately, times have changed, and now many companies seem to use Online Training.  ( I am guessing this saves both time and money, in their opinion ) At my last job, I used to feel so badly for the kids, sitting in the back room on the computer, trying to concentrate on things, while constantly being interrupted by people talking and laughing loudly in the next room. ( not to mention the phone ringing, the intercom going off etc. )  How is anyone supposed to retain any information this way?  It’s hard enough staring at a computer screen all day, reading words that you should be experiencing for yourself, instead, but then to have to keep re-reading, because you have been interrupted so many times ?  That’s just plain not fair.

     I know everyone learns differently, but most people I know need a proper learning environment, which means “peace and quiet”, and nothing to distract them.  Wouldn’t a good Company prefer their new employees to actually retain most of the info they are reading?  Wouldn’t that mean they would perform their duties better, therefore making their Customers happier, and more satisfied?

     It makes me sad that everything boils down to money these days, with many Companies.  Yes, I get “they have a business to run” … but at what cost?  It should be more important that their Staff receives a proper amount of time, in a relaxed, quiet environment, so that they will feel confident moving forward to the next thing.  I know that if I feel “pushed”, I will run the other way.  Have some faith, give me some time, and you may just be pleasantly surprised, long-term.  ( again – it’s funny how much staff turnover there is when training is so quick and forced )  If companies want good, well-trained employees, perhaps they should take a look back at how things were done when we were little kids.

     Unfortunately, I think that may just be wishful thinking on my part …


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