Informational training methods are basically used to teach facts and figures and for developing a change in attitude. There is a one way communication between the trainer and the trainee that involves the transfer of information without many deliberations. New policies, programs, code of conduct are transferred using informational training methods.
Lectures, audio visuals, self directed learning (SDL) methods, programmed instruction (PI) and independent study are some of the informational training methods that will be briefly described in the article.
The lecture based methodology is one of the simplest and the perhaps the oldest technique of training. It is generally used to pass on new knowledge and to present some introductory material or an ice breaker. This method is often combined with audio visual, group discussions now days to make it more effective and interesting. One of the most important benefits of this training method is the low cost involved not only in terms of the training content but also that it can used with an audience of large size. The biggest limitation is that the audience becomes passive and the session becomes dull and there is a poor transfer of information.
Audio / Visuals
It is the one of the most effective means of conducting training programs and the most used these days. It is used essentially to present new knowledge to the audience and boost the morale. There are lots of tools available in this training method; for example, the trainer has the freedom to use slides, movies, video clips, flip charts, chalkboards etc. Videoconferencing is picking up fast. Lots of training programs also called as webinars are conducted with geographically dispersed populations. The advantage over lecture based training is that it allows for replays and brings in a lot of versatility to the training program.
This is a training method that is to transfer knowledge and for updating on information, knowledge and facts on a continuous basis. The trainee is free to complete the course of the training at his own pace. This method saves a lot of cost by minimising the man-day of training and also the cost of development. Since it is more of research and continuous education based, a library or resource department has to be developed for the same. Furthermore the training material has to be customised to individual needs.
One of the greatest drawbacks is that the trainee cannot be evaluated continually for a longer period of time without the intervention of the trainer and that the level of motivation goes down after a certain period of time. It is therefore not applicable to all types of jobs.
Programmed instruction is a training methodology that is often used to prepare individuals for a training program by bringing them at the same level. Like independent study it also allows the trainees to go at their own pace and a quick feedback. It is however expensive to develop and may not necessarily result in an increase in the performance at work.
Most of the training programs combine any or all of these for effective training. In addition, there are lots of other experiential training methods that may be used, which will be discussed in other write ups.