Is it “training” or “information” or does it really matter

I can’t remember the last time I searched for a course in the organization’s LMS. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to the LMS to look for a training program when I needed to really learn something.
Oh sure – I’ll go to the LMS to take an annually required compliance course … but that’s about it. (The irony is that I pay my mortgage by designing and developing courses that sit on the organization’s LMS)

When I need to learn something I pretty much create my own little PLE of resources and information, documents, bookmarks … you name it. My LMS-of-choice (if I can call it that) is Google.

Case in point this past week I’ve had to ramp up pretty quickly on a topic that is unfamiliar to me. I have to learn what it is, how it works, and how to use it. Sounds like a job for a training program, right? Well … I’ve not taken a single course on the subject. Instead I’ve pulled together a bunch of bits and pieces of information and constructed my own learning experiences.

And I can’t think that I’m alone in this. I’d imagine that many (if not most) knowledge workers don’t think:

  • “Now I’m enrolling and taking a course”
  • “Now I’m searching for a document in a repository”
  • “Now I’m accessing a performance support system”

No – we don’t care really the source of the information … and we’re not terribly concerned about the specific delivery channel so long as it is easy, convenient, fast and gets to the stuff we need right then and there.

And yet I still hear the mantra, “information is not training.”
Okay – true enough. They are not the same. But so what?

If I can take bits of information and put them together into a framework that allows me to know what, when, why, how and the like … then I learn what I need at that moment.
If I can find a training program (that won’t bore me to death) that gives me the flexibility to jump around and practice in a safe environment and see where my choices go wrong and what I can do to make better ones … cool!

But the key in all of this is that I learn what I need (or think I need) in the way I think is going to get me the results quickly and directly.


About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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4 Responses to Is it “training” or “information” or does it really matter

  1. Dave says:

    What that says is that your own personal learning style is different from that used by the LMS. One of the great failings of many structured training curriculums is that they fail to take different learning styles into account.

    Boomers learn differently than Gen X’ers. Gen X’ers learn differently than Gen Y’ers. Visual learners learn differently than aural learners. Aural learners learn differently than kinesthetic learners.

    It’s tough – maybe impossible – to design a course that works for everyone.

  2. Pingback: Do LMSs get in the way of learning? | Workplace Learning Today

  3. Pingback: Mike’s Doc Blog » Blog Archive » A New Function of Training

  4. As far as you get what you wanted it just doesn’t matter where it comes from. i agree to it. But looking from another perspective, what good does it make to have technology systems deployed in the organization? what does the investment made in the LMS and other learning/performance applications mean to the organization, when they are not being reached out to, or when they are not user friendly for the learners? It’s time to give it a thought.

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