HR Management & Compliance

Classroom Training: The Pros and the Cons

Yesterday’s Advisor kicked off our weeklong review of the most popular training topics with a review of the goals of classroom training. Today we take a look at some distinct advantages—and disadvantages—of the classroom setting in training your employees.

Although technology-based training is becoming increasingly popular, training experts agree that it will never completely replace classroom training. At present, an overwhelming number of companies continue to use classroom training alongside an increasing amount of technology-based training, such as e-learning and computer-based training. Today there is an array of techniques, methods, activities, and training aids available to create and present memorable, meaningful, and successful classroom training sessions.
What training do you use at your company? Do your supervisors know the advantages and disadvantages of each of the types of training you use? Do you still primarily use classroom training?
Like all other forms of training, classroom training has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages to classroom training include that:

  • It allows you to teach employees in a safe, quiet, clean environment, away from the noise and pressures of the work area.
  • Training groups can be large or small.
  • The classroom environment provides the important “human touch,” which is often missing in technology-based training.
  • Group interaction enhances learning. Employees learn from one another as well as from the trainer.
  • The group setting also teaches employees how to interact in a professional, productive, cooperative way, which is something that other forms of training often don’t provide.

However, there are also disadvantages to classroom training:

  • You have to pull employees off the job, which cuts into work time and production schedules.
  • If you run shifts, it’s often hard to schedule this kind of training, especially for nightshift workers.
  • While the classroom environment is quiet, safe, and conducive to focused learning, it’s also removed from the equipment, processes, and materials that employees actually use on the job. Lack of hands-on experience is frequently an obstacle to adult learning.

So, are your trainers as effective as possible in classroom training sessions? Are they taking advantage, so to speak, of the advantages, and minimizing the disadvantages of classroom training?