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January 2018
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TD Magazine

Weighing In (January 2018)

Are "mall-like" training offerings (for example, Lynda.com and Udemy) and similar online training better or worse than traditional classroom training?

The best delivery method depends on the content being delivered. Learners (of any age) shouldn't be exposed exclusively to one kind of training or another in order to prevent burnout or "check-the-box" attitudes.

—Lauren Keen, Tampa, Florida

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It depends on what you need to accomplish, learning or skill development. Workshops, classroom sessions, and online training are about knowledge accumulation (learning). Online/video have a lot of advantages, like learning "doses" that line up with actual learning capacity, repetition, etc., but suffer from lack of personal accountability. I think understanding the goal first is important, and then what needs to happen to get there (what needs to be learned, what skills need to be practiced, etc.), and then adding in these different pieces to accomplish all the steps on the way.

—Todd Murtha, San Francisco

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I feel that the style of training must be right for the individual undertaking it but, more importantly, the right individual must be being trained! I would argue that enrolling swathes of already engaged and on-target individuals for training, whatever the form of delivery, is a far more damaging and common issue than the style of training itself. Targeted, as well as style-appropriate, choices in training and development are key to success in this area!

—Neville Pritchard, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

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About the Author
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.
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