Blog Article

What format is best for training?

Wednesday 10 August 2022

Cast your mind back to an occasion when you learned something new. Really, do it now! If it comes to mind easily it must have been memorable. It may have been at school or university, though maybe not. Perhaps you were learning a new skill: driving, playing guitar, skiing? What was it that made it effective? I guess that two aspects were important, it felt personal and it was enjoyable.

Training can only feel personal when a small number of people are involved. Sometimes one-to-one mentoring can be really effective but often it is more enjoyable if there are other people learning with you who bring issues that you have in common but also other aspects that you may not yet have thought of.

One of the things that makes a training session personal is to make sure it starts from where the participants are now. How many of us have been switched off in a training session when a presenter assumes we know nothing and starts with all the basics that we learned years ago. Critical to making things personal is the time and effort that an instructor takes to see where the participants are starting from. With that in mind the instructor can chart a clear route to the destination. This will differ from one training session to another which is why the experience and adaptability of the instructor is so crucial.

A training course becomes really personal when it talks directly to the living experience of the individual. If examples address your own every-day circumstances they feel relevant to your day-to-day tasks. This works well in small groups with a good instructor.

If an organisation is big enough to form a group of people for training it is even better to arrange “in-house” training. In the past this meant that an instructor would travel to a location where the group is situated but since Covid it is also common to offer in-house training over a video platform such as Zoom. This means that members of the group do not need to travel and can be anywhere around the world. But what they have in common is the context for their training and shared background knowledge. So their training can be specifically personal to their needs.

Although learning something new requires considerable effort, there is no reason why it can’t also be enjoyable and satisfying. We have all experienced teachers whose classes we really liked as well as those we dreaded – the personality of the instructor can make an enormous difference. Often the spark that makes a course enjoyable is interesting activities that present challenges that are fun to complete successfully. This is very similar to the feeling of satisfaction people experience when playing games. It is much easier to be well-motivated when you are enjoying yourself.

But we all have our favoured ways of learning and if a course is rigidly formal rather than flexible and adaptable it is unlikely to be enjoyable. Small groups and well-designed self-study courses can maximise an experience that matches your own learning style.

Another factor that often influences how much you enjoy a course is location. Perhaps you like to visit somewhere interesting, we offer courses in so many international locations including London, Miami and Dubai. For others it can be a big plus that they can take the course at home if travel is difficult.

How does IASeminars apply this to our courses?

With such a diverse range of factors needed to make a course a success, how does IASeminars meet the needs of learners? The answer, of course, is a range of distinct types of courses. Small group courses with an experienced instructor are available both in classroom and virtual (video) formats. These formats are also available for in-house courses designed for a specific organisation. If you really need maximum flexibility and the ability to study when and where it suits you then self-study online learning is an excellent choice.

If you are unsure which is the best option for you, try using the flowchart below to see what options are available.


In summary, there are four main categories of course format:

  • Instructor-led classroom course
  • Instructor-led virtual course
  • In-house course (either classroom or virtual)
  • Self-study online course

IASeminars creates self-study courses designed for organisations to ensure they meet the requirements of being personal for each learner and enjoyable as well as effective. In a follow-up blog I will explain how we achieve this in more detail.

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