Who needs training anymore?

Okay, I admit it. The headline is a bit hyperbolic, but I had to grab you, right?

The point I’d like to make is that for adult learners, the people I’m primarily concerned with in this blog, performance support is much more important than training.

Let me illustrate from my own recent experience. In the process of learning how to use WordPress’ blogging tools, I needed a bit of HTML syntax to include in a post. Now, I am not an HTML guru, nor do I particularly want to be, but not so long ago, I would have had to at least consult a book on the subject and spend time learning how to create what I needed.

Now, it’s simply a matter of typing the name of the particular HTML tag I needed into Google. Within the first five links was exactly what I needed; all I had to do was copy and paste. I can tell you that even now I don’t remember what I did. If I need to do it again, it’s back to Google.

As we consider the need to train adult learners, I suggest we focus more on training them to use the tools for supporting their own performance and less on the specific tasks they need to perform. In the Web 2.0 world and beyond, this will be increasingly important.

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