SOURCE: Paradigm Learning

April 22, 2008 14:08 ET

Is Classroom Training Obsolete?

The Days of Dry, Instructor-Led Learning Are Over, But Don't Rush to Wave Classroom Corporate Training Good-Bye

TAMPA, FL--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - The corporate training room was pronounced dead a mere decade ago. It was said to be outdated and replaced by e-learning. But despite being called obsolete, classroom corporate training is alive and in full bloom with a whole new look and feel, according to a recent article, called "Is Classroom Traning Obsolete?," in the American Association of Training and Development's new magazine, Learning Executive.

"The classroom has changed for the better, and it will continue to change," says Cathy Rezak, a cofounder of Paradigm Learning, a global firm specializing in discovery learning, business games and simulations. "Classroom-based corporate training is more flexible and strategically positioned than e-learning to address today's corporate training needs such as business acumen, leadership accountability and organizational change."

Rezak goes on to say in the article that classroom training has become more strategic, more time-efficient and more focused, all in order to meet the high-stress demands of accountability and measurability. Besides being better adapted to the current corporate needs, classroom training offers what most e-learning programs can't: team problem-solving, hands-on learning and fun.

"Whatever the technology or physical layout of the room, classes in the future will be more fun and socially interactive," comments Rezak. "Engaging learners will become more critical to the classroom environment -- requiring higher levels of visual and auditory stimulation, more tactile material and props, high-energy gaming techniques, peer-to-peer interactivity and shared learning experiences." According to Rezak, by offering a higher level of engagement, hands-on experience and guided discovery, classroom-based corporate training accelerates the learning process and measurably increases retention rates.

The article goes on to state that "learning is mutating." In 2002, there was no shortage of e-learning companies promising amazing results and financial savings. Six years later almost all of those companies have disappeared. The ones that remain, for the most part, have adapted to a blended learning approach by combining the classroom experience in the training process.

According to Rezak, for corporate training to be effective, learner-to-learner and learner-to-facilitator interaction is crucial. "These are things you just cannot experience over the Internet," says Rezak, who notes that as computers became increasingly central to our everyday business, e-learning was just another thing to do online. "People missed the things that occur in the classroom... things that go beyond the learning itself, such as teamwork and getting to know your peers," she notes.

If discovery learning is done well, Rezak adds, "This methodology will not only engage learners, but will accelerate the learning and increase retention of information and skills. After all, what good is the learning experience," she asks, "if the experience isn't brought back into the workplace for long-term benefits? Classroom learning makes that happen."


Paradigm Learning ( is a privately held company based in Tampa, Fla. Since 1994, it has worked with more than half of the companies on the Fortune 500 list, creating award-winning business games, business simulations and Discovery Maps® to address a company's specific business needs. Its flagship business acumen training program, Zodiak®: The Game of Business Finance and Strategy, has been played by more than one million people worldwide. Other products address such issues as talent management, employee alignment, leadership accountability, building teams, project management and organizational change.

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