“For one, we know learning is best accomplished by doing, where we apply knowledge to solve problems like we will use that knowledge after the learning experience. However, too much of our instruction is focused on content, and we tend to evaluate the learning experience with knowledge checks instead of application. While knowledge may be necessary, it is not sufficient. And while designing more meaningful practice may take a wee bit longer, it is the only thing that is going to reliably lead to new abilities.”
As an outside trainer, it can be difficult to know what the organizational goals are. That’s why I always spend the first part of training having the students talk about themselves. It gives me an opportunity to get some information about what they do, and what they are trying to accomplish. Armed with that, we can then adapt the content slightly to include actually doing what it is they will be using this tool for in the real world. Sometimes you can’t recreate exactly what they will be doing, but if you can get close you provide a real-world application to the knowledge being shared in the training, and you have learning.
Short of that, you have lectures, which are not an effective way to learn new work skills.