What is self-paced learning?
Self-paced learning is the kind of learning whereby the learner accesses prepared material at their own pace. The content, whether curriculum, corporate training, technical tutorial or other subject does not require immediate response of the instructor. In self-paced training, the learner proceeds from one topic to the other at their own speed.
Organizations and individuals are getting busier. There is hardly any time to bring people together to learn. Self-paced learning is becoming the preferred way for individual and organization learning. Self-paced, on-demand courses can be as interactive as the course content requires. They can learn courses employ a variety of interactive learning techniques, such as animations, case studies, scenarios, expert videos, downloadable tools, and templates.
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Reasons to consider self-paced training
Self-paced learning allows each individual to make the best use of their time to meet their learning objectives. In the traditional lecture-format, instructor-led training, it is possible for some individuals to get bored or lost. Self-paced training enables individuals to access the training material when they are most productive when they are able to concentrate the most and hence learn better. Since individuals learn at their own pace, those who learn at a slow pace are not left behind as it would happen should they be learning in a group. They can absorb the information at the rate most comfortable for them.
Training is more effective because a learner is able to allocate more time and effort in material that is difficult for them. In lecture-like training sessions, trainees are hardly able to focus their attention on their problem areas since the pace of the training is determined by the pace of the majority. However, with individual self-paced learning, a learner can easily go back to their area of difficulty and take more time with it until they are comfortable enough to move onto the next thing.
Sometimes, it is always so difficult to bring all the intended trainees together for training. Whether you are training a group of managers, or lower level employees, most times, daily activities are put on hold for training to take place. Sometimes schedules conflict, calling for cancellations and rescheduling and sometimes, some trainees miss out on the training due to time constraints. Self-paced training helps trainees learn when their schedules allow. Learning can even be done after hours, during commutes, in the morning for morning people and late at night for the night owls. Those with unpredictable job responsibilities are able to weave in the training sessions around their other priorities. In addition, there is the flexibility of location, whereby training can be accessed anywhere, not just in the conference rooms. Self-paced learning also improves focus where learners learn when they are least distracted.
Stretch the benefits of the training
Once you have developed a self-paced training curriculum and material, you can train as many people as you want for the same cost. Unlike instructor-led training, you invest in the training once and scale the benefits of the training over a long time. The same material can be used to retrain and train new trainees.
Research shows that individuals are likely to forget new material learned in a span of 6 months or less. In any field, retraining is always important to refresh the skills learned. Self-paced material is highly reusable, and refresher courses can always be taken without the cost and inconvenience of calling in an instructor and scrambling to get everyone in the same room for training all over again. Further, if a skill is not used quickly, it is likely to decay. Using the skill reinforcement and assessment of the skill is necessary, especially when done often to keep the skill relevant.
You can use the same training for people in different geographical regions. Rather than have instructors moved to different branches of your company, every trainee can access the training from their location. The training eliminates instructor and learner travel time and related expenses.
Listening to it repeatedly will not lead to additional cost. It saves on costs related to venues, transport, and other miscellaneous costs.
You own the content material
The self-paced training we create will very likely be tailor-made to your organizational needs. In most events, you get to keep the training, which you can always use over a period of time to retrain or train new employees.
When to go for self-paced learning
As much as self-paced training has its many benefits, we must agree it is not ideal for every situation. When should you choose self-paced training?
Different learning paces
Looking at the group you want to train, you can always tell how similar or different their learning paces are. Some people need to go through content more than once in order to learn and understand, others will understand in one swoop. Others may not understand it at a glance not because they are not capable of it, but because they have other distractions going on at the time of the training. If you perceive that your audience would benefit from the training by going through it more than once, then you should consider self-paced training.
The schedules of your trainees
If you plan to train your employees, but their schedules are not predictable or not synchronized, then consider self-paced training. You can launch the training and place a deadline on when it should be done so that everyone can somehow squeeze and complete it at a given time, and yet at the different times, their schedules allow. Self-paced training reduces the inconveniences of rescheduling and cancellations.
Permanence of the content
If you want to train content that is permanent, such as theories, skills, concepts, you may consider self-paced training for this. This content can be gone over for a period of time without becoming obsolete. Such include leadership training on skills, theories and leadership practice which will not be obsolete in a year. On the other hand, if you are training on material that needs to be changed and adapted to location, time, or to different groups of learning, then, in this case, you may consider instructor-led training.
Learning from others
How important is it that individuals in this training session learn from each other? If the training at hand is one which individuals may need a lot of clarification, discussion and interaction to make it easy to understand and apply, then instructor based training is more convenient so that the instructor and trainees can interact, as well as the trainee to trainee interaction. On the other hand, when training about concepts, or learning of new skills, sometimes individuals need to process this information at their own pace to get maximum benefit from it.
Sometimes neither self-paced nor instructor-led training is the absolute solution. Sometimes a blend of the two may be needed. An instructor can prepare the content, manage to bring the group together (or representatives of the group) and train them on the content. After this, the training can be released and trainees can relearn at their own pace, introduce the content to others and guide them through it.
We offer self-paced training made on demand, according to your organization’s requirements. We offer training in leadership, strategic management, corporate governance, soft skills, legal training, and related areas. Please see our services for more information. Our expertise in making self-paced courses are highly aided by the fact that we are qualified curriculum developers and will develop training or curriculum tailor-made to your organization’s needs.
Speaking of self-paced training, this leadership course enables you to learn good leadership skills at your own pace. Enroll and change how you lead.