Some time ago, I received two newsletters advocating the same thing:  On-The-Job (OTJ) Training. One newsletter pointed out, “. . . you can learn about forklift safety, but eventually learners will need to drive one before true learning takes place.”  The other observed, “. . . when you ask a dozen workers in almost any organization about how they learned their job – most will point to On The Job Training.”

I am in complete agreement.  

The best training is one-on-one hands-on training —- training that was standard procedure in American industry throughout the first three quarters of the twentieth century.  

Here you had the real thing.  

You had an instructor (usually, “ol’ Charlie”) who knew how to maintain and operate that piece of equipment you were trying to learn.  No form of later technology-based training would ever match it from a learning point-of-view.

Why did it go away?  

Cost.  Much too expensive.  And, it was also the least efficient method for training.  

For learning it was best — but with some real problematic weaknesses.

What were those weaknesses?  

Well, ol’ Charlie knew only what he knew, which may not have included the best work practices or the best safety practices.  Sure, he could replace packing but did he always use the best tool to do it?

The point is that while OJT is the best way to learn, it will be more effective when combined with media-based learning in order that a generic base of knowledge underlies ol’ Charlie’s teaching.  

We all need that base knowledge before we learn the specifics.  

All trainees need to know the best safety practices and the accepted work practices before they encounter and practice the specifics that ol’ Charlie can well provide.

Media-based learning is singularly poised to deliver that basic —- but, necessary —- training.  Full motion video, graphic animations, and optional word-for-word audio will communicate with your workforce because that’s the learning culture they encounter in their daily lives.

Media-based learning will augment OTJ and give you the best of all learning worlds.

More on Monday  – – –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

 May 9, 2018

     www.itclearning.com/blog/  (Mondays & Wednesdays)


(This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner, jhbillwalton@gmail.com, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)