October 14, 2005

Instructional Value of Non-Fast Food Training

I was reading a review in T+D magazine by Mireille Massue about a training offering and a couple of things struct me as interesting. One was a quote from the review
This is high-commitment for high-results training. In an era of learning on the fast food model, [This training] belongs in the fine dining category.
I'm not sure what the author really meant by this comment. Does it mean that companies are sending employees to short, low-cost training, that has consistent, but low quality? Or Does it mean that in general training is moving to shorter training sessions that do not produce high-results? Like I said, I'm not really sure the intent of the comment, but I took it to the extremes and thought it implied that informal type learning, 10 minute segments of content, and technology-based learning objects where somehow low-results. Which I disagree with.

The other issue that came to mind was the actual product rating. It was a four-star-based chart that had Presentation 3.5 stars, Value of Content 3.5 stars, Instructional Value 2 stars, Value for Money 3.5 stars, and Overall Rating 3.5 starts. Isn't interesting that the Instructional value of the training is only 2 stars, but the overall rating is 3.5? Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing the review, I'm just pointing out that there seems to be a disconnect between the overall quality of this training and the "instructional value". Since the product is a training seminar, wouldn't the instructional value be the sole purpose of the product? Does the quality of the presentation, content, and
value of money override the instructional value? I go around telling people that nothing else matters. If the instructional value is not there, why do it?


  1. I couldn't agree with you more. To my understanding, instructional value is the way in which the content is presented to the trainee/learner. Having said that, I don't see how you could have great content (3.5/4.0) and waste it on a product with a lower instructional value (2.0/4.0). Although I'm not deeply involved with the instructor side of learning and education, I know from my perspective, if I were to build a training product, I would focus first on the instructional value of the product, and strong ways to present the content, then at least all of my content that I decided to put into it, would have a good chance at getting across to the trainee/learner. Once the product is built, the content can be upgraded. Instructional value is the key.

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