A client recently made a suggestion that a classroom business management training program for the owners of small private medical practices in Africa be made available as online e learning and/or written self-study instruction. On the surface, the two additional modes of delivery made sense in terms of increasing access to the training, which was the client’s intent.
However, there were so many reasons why this was not a good idea, both in terms of the impact on the quality of the learning, as well as on the actual design and delivery of the program:
Quality of Learning
The classroom training program had been designed to introduce the owners to new concepts and strategies for thinking like business owners and managing their practices as businesses. Resources and discussion would offer examples of best practices.
The classroom setting provided three key unique benefits:
A Community of Learning
- A social setting for individuals, who typically operate in isolation from their peers, to get to know and develop relationships with each other.
- The opportunity to share and learn from each other’s experiences.
- The ability to form a supportive network.
Immediate Feedback, Encouragement and Support
- An immediate response to questions.
- Time to practice both interpersonal and individual skills, and then get immediate feedback concerning the results.
- Personal modeling and encouragement from the facilitator.
Learning Activities and Resources Adapted to Individual Learner’s Needs
- The chance to have the training tailored to individual needs, including having content presented and taught in different ways to ensure comprehension.
- Additional facilitator-provided content and resources as prompted by classroom discussion.
- Additional templates and best practices offered by participants in response to individual questions and requests.
In Part Two we’ll consider issues related to converting the classroom materials into self-study or e-learning programs.
Question: What other unique benefits of classroom learning can you identify?
May your learning be sweet.
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