April 6, 2015

In previous postings I’ve pointed out differences between the benefits of education and the benefits of training. E-learning can effectively address both needs.

One of the best explanations of the differences comes from an eLEARNING INDUSTRY article by Chris Barnes, “Education and Training – What’s the difference?”:

“Education is all about learning the theory. Traditionally, an education may reinforce knowledge in which that you already have a foundation.

For example, when you’re at school, you may already have command of the English language, but you still learn English.

Other subjects may be taught to you from scratch, but it is the theory that you learn. In Physics, you learn about splitting the atom, but you don’t do it.

It is for this reason that the traditional professions like Accountancy, Law and Medicine require a period of further practical training after academic studies are complete.

And that’s where training differs; training gives you the skills to do something rather than just know about something. Training can be specific to your need, your vocation or your skills-gap. It is there for people who want to implement a new system, improve a specific ability or further their ability in something.

That’s not to say education has no place – lawyers must understand the principles of law before they learn to deploy it and a surgeon must have a detailed knowledge of anatomy before they pick up the scalpel. But what is it you’re looking for – that foundation upon which to build or the skills you want to develop?”

Robert Maynard Hutchins, America’s great twentieth century educator wrote, “The objective of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.”

On the other hand, this blog has primarily focused on “training” issues — with an occasional foray into the “education” world. Regular readers know by now that most media training will only be effective if it is based on full motion video or graphic animations.

Those regular readers will also know that there are only two major tests for a successful training program: longer retention and increased on-the-job performance.

Education, on the other hand, should meet a different test as described in a “WASHINGTON POST” article by Daniel de Vise, “At St. Johns, a Defender of Liberal Arts” which featured comments by Christopher Nelson, President of St. John’s College:

“ . . . Nelson dares to define it (education) as the route to a life well-lived.

‘As important as the world of work is to us, we don’t live in order to get a job,’ he told an audience in San Francisco this year. ‘But we work in order to make it possible for us to live a good life.’”

E-Learning is capable of serving well both education and training. However, it is important to understand the ultimate aims of each.

Our summation comes from “TRAINING MAGAZINE NETWORK” where we find an artful delineation between the two in a blog by Geetha Krishnan:

“Education (even vocational education) is far transfer; training is near transfer. Hence the obsession of training with application (“I don’t care what they learn; I’m only interested in how they do their jobs better”), with reducing time to competence (the Holy Grail of training), with rapid development (they need everybody to be more competent now).

Education emphasizes first principles; training emphasizes application.

Education focuses on building the mind; training on building skills.”

More on Wednesday – – –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder
ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Mondays & Wednesdays)