Why Mandatory Training Rocks



(Comic used with permission. Check out more Fedz comics here)

Government employees are excellent at being trained. Hey, we have to be, right? It seems like every month there’s a new training requirement.

Have you ever heard something like this?  Or said it yourself?

  • “What a waste of time! Don’t they know I’ve got other projects due?”
  • “I already know all of this, why do we have to do this every year?”
  • “I don’t learn this way. I can’t even remember the name of the training I took last week….

Not me though! I think mandatory training rocks, particularly when it’s online. Hey, when else do I get a break from real work?

Webinars are the best since I usually don’t have to get involved and can multi-task instead. I’m also pretty adept at clicking the next button through self-paced courses, and my mom always gets excited when I have another completion certificate for the refrigerator. Gold star for Davey!

Pretty bleak, right?   There are myriad challenges in developing useful online training, but there are also some extremely talented government instructional designers, media developers, IT experts, and training professionals working to make life better.

I’d love to hear your ideas about how we can improve training.  So to kickstart the conversation, take 5 and comment on this post:

Which of the following statements about learning are Facts? Myths?

  1. Participants have to like training to learn from it
  2. Content presented is content learned
  3. Everyone has a different learning style
  4. Learners should be able to “test out” of a training course
  5. eLearning Developers like making you miserable

I’ll check in with you next week. Right now, I’ve got some mandatory training to catch up on….

Dave Barton is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Let’s go a form of #2. I think there are a lot of learning experiences that should count but often don’t. For example, asking everyone to read a new policy memo and respond with 2 things they will change in behavior. Would count as learning to me

Jamie Catania

Great post! A spin-off from #2: Content USED is content learned.

If someone can put their new knowledge to action, then they’re demonstrating some level of understanding of the concepts.

Ryan Burdick

Enjoyed you bringing up the topic of learning as well.

Going off #1, I think it’s in a weird place between true and false. I’ve noticed a lot of people go in with a negative perspective of “this course is going to stink” and then as it gets started, they get into it. I think there has to be some desire of “oh, I should learn” but learners don’t necessarily have to “like it” in order to learn from it.

Matthew Garlipp

Regarding these learning facts/myths, I’d say:
1. Mainly fact. Especially if it’s so enjoyable, it doesn’t even feel like training.
2. Myth. Just ask my quantitative methods professor.
3. Definitely fact. Visual vs. mental, talk things out vs. reading, highlight vs. note-taking, etc.
4. Depends on the type of testing. Please, no more SATs.
5. Hopefully a myth. Otherwise, employ “esc” key.