Section 8.5: Different Training Methods

Bhavnit Sarai; Daniela San Pedro; and Hannah Doyle

Case Study

This training method allows employees to analyze and solve real-life problems related to the training objectives identified. It enables employees to apply what they are being trained on to possible real-world situations (Abudi, 2019). It also creates a clear connection to theories being learned and how they can be applied to solve a problem that is relevant in the employees’ workplace. This approach has been found to increase employee engagement in the program, as it allows them to remember the content for longer. This method also aids in the improvement of decision-making skills, interpersonal skills, and analytical skills as well as promotes better communication and teamwork among employees (Shivakumar, 2012). It gives trainees the opportunity to tackle difficult problems before they are exposed to similar situations in the workplace.

To ensure the effective use of case studies, a trainer must consider all the factors below (Safarulla,2015):

  1. Choose an appropriate learning environment: the environment chosen must give employees ample time, to sit down and analyze the case with each other. Trainers must also consider how trainees will communicate with each other, determine whether the communication should be face-to-face or online, and arrange a space where they can collaborate.
  2. Encourage trainee involvement: trainees are expected to be fully involved in the process of analyzing and resolving issues in the case study to maximize the learning and development of skills using this method.
(Christina WocIntechchat, 2019)

Role playing

Role-playing allows trainees to practice and act out newly learned behaviours and procedures in curated situations that employees may encounter in the workplace. Learning is facilitated through active participation in a safe environment and relies heavily on trainee involvement (Sheetal, 2019). This method is useful for customer service-oriented positions as it allows trainees to assume and play the roles in the specific situation connected to the learning objectives of the training program. This allows trainees to practice quickly responding and adapting to certain real-life scenarios (OTJ methods, n.d.).


Classroom Learning

In this method, the trainer presents specific training content that needs to be learned. It is often used to train managerial employees, usually in educational institutions (OTJ methods, n.d.). It is most effective when used to introduce new policies and updates, or explain detailed concepts, principles and procedures (Chand, n.d.).

Classroom lectures are cost effective, as this learning method does not require many resources and can be used for large groups. The trainers are often professionals and experts in their fields. To ensure the effectiveness of this method, a trainer must immediately capture the attention of the trainees to keep them engaged throughout the lecture for a smooth acquisition of knowledge (Sheetal, 2019).


This training method is popular among job training methods. It is often used for positions that require learning specific operations of machines and equipment (8 benefits of training simulations, 2017). The training equipment used is designed to be very similar to the actual tools and machinery in the employee’s work environment. This method also prevents additional costs by allowing trainees to get hands-on experience without the large expenses, liabilities and risks they may otherwise run into in their workplace. A great example of this method is the flying simulations airplane pilots go through before they are allowed to fly. This method mimics real-life work and scenarios, providing trainees with hands-on and immersive experience related to their individual job roles (Srivastava, 2021).

This method appeals to all types of learners, but it is especially helpful for kinesthetic learners who learn best with hands-on experience in a controlled environment (Srivastava, 2021). It allows them to put the skills they have learned into action and integrate theoretical concepts into practice. It is also widely used in a variety of fields such as business, healthcare, transportation, military and life-saving occupations. It benefits employers as they can easily evaluate trainees based on the skills used and the decisions made in the simulations, and it also allows the identification of areas that need further development.

Vestibule Training

This type of training is given to technical staff, office staff and other employees who need to learn the tools and equipment they will use in their jobs (OTJ Methods, n.d.). Learning occurs through hands-on experience and active participation, meaning it facilitates the smooth transfer of learning to a trainee’s job role (What is vestibule training?, 2020). This method is similar to simulation, but the difference is that the actual tools and equipment are used for training, but they are brought to a different location away from the actual work environment; this method is often referred to as “near-the-job training” (Vestibule training, 2016).

This method is also used to train employees when new and advanced equipment, tools and machinery are introduced to an organization, as it allows employees to get hands-on experience and minimizes the problem of transferring learning to the job. Training is provided by specialists or experts to maximize learning in a simulated workspace. This method is most useful for training big groups of people in the same position, when multiple employees are using the same machinery and when new technology is being introduced (Vestibule training, 2016).


Gamification is the application of game-design elements in traditional non-game contexts (Fitz-Walter, n.d.). Essentially, it involves introducing games and game-like elements into the learning environment. Gamification is used in many different fields, but we will be discussing its implementation in education. Some examples of gamification in education are Kahoot and Archy Learning. These platforms allow the instructor to deliver content and quiz individuals using interactive methods forms such as quizzes, drag and drop, true/false and educational videos.

Action Learning

Action learning is the process of creating small groups in order to solve problems and develop leaders through critical thinking and collaborative work (“What is acting learning”, 2021). Action learning encourages problem solving and the application of the learning to real-life scenarios.

Active Learning Components:

  1. A Problem: Action learning centers around a problem (a project, challenge, issue etc.). The problem at hand needs to be significant, and the responsibility for solving the problem should fall to the specified team.
  2. An Action Learning Group or Team: As mentioned above, the problem must be specific to a certain work/learning group. The group should consist of four to eight qualified individuals with a range of diverse experience in order to bring different perspectives and viewpoints.
  3. A Process of Insightful Questioning and Reflective Listening: Action learning focuses on asking questions, holding discussions and engaging in reflection on statements and opinions. Questions will help foster a dialogue among group members and generate innovative and systems thinking. Moreover, this step focuses on questions as great solutions are contained within the seeds of great questions.
  4. Taking Action on the Problem: In order for action learning to be successful, the group members must to take direct action on the problem. This involves the group members taking steps to reframe the problem and determine the goal.
  5. A Commitment to Learning: Action learning provides multiple long-term benefits for the group members and organization, as it emphasizes the learning and development of individuals rather than immediate solutions to a problem.
  6. An Action Learning Coach: An experienced action learning coach is essential as they will guide the conversation and help group members reflect on what they are learning and how they are solving problems. Moreover, the coach helps the team focus on what they have achieved and where they are running into difficulties. The coaching role can be assigned to one member, or it may rotate between group members. (Marquardt, 2004)

Instructional Media

Instructional media refers to the aids used by the instructor/lecturer and students during a training seminar and/or course (Matiru, Mwangi, & Schlette, 1995). Instructional media is essential in off-the-job training, as it allows for an easy-to-read, clear and visual resource to help students better understand the course content.

Type Examples
Print Pamphlets, handouts, study guides, manuals
Visual Charts, real objects, photographs, transparencies
Audiovisual Slides, tapes, films, film strips, television, video, multimedia
Static/Display Chalkboards, felt boards, display easels, flip charts, cloth boards, magnetic boards.
Electronic Radio computers, electronic mail, CD-ROMs, multimedia

(Matiru, Mwangi, & Schlette, 1995)

Moreover, instructional media can be used in different ways, depending on what the training intended to achieve. For example, to provide a clear and concise idea of something, a real object or model may be used. However, if the instructor wants to condense a large quantity of information, a diagram or handout may work best (Matiru et al., 1995). Furthermore, as discussed previously in this chapter, an instructor may want to use blended material and include a variety of print and visuals in order to best express their content.

There are many considerations an individual will need to make when deciding what training method will work best with the organization and the type of training delivered. To help make the decision, we discussed the main differences between on-the-job and off-the-job training, along with their advantages and disadvantages. We discussed the training process, including the needs analysis as well as how to choose an effective training method. Lastly, we detailed the different methods of training and how/when they are most effective.


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People Learning and Development Copyright © by Bhavnit Sarai; Daniela San Pedro; and Hannah Doyle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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