Learning Options Part One: In-Person Options

Cued Forward Team on

Choosing the type of learning option you need is like ordering from a menu at a restaurant.  You usually find one or two items you want and maybe ones you want to try in the future. Often, there are so many items on the menu that you are not quite prepared when the server asks you “May I take your order?”  The same is true with the myriad of learning options available.  Much like a restaurant server’s job of telling you about the entrées they serve, our job is to tell you about your learning options.

Today there are in so many formal and informal ways to learn- in-person, online, hands-on, one-time, ongoing, coaching, volunteering – the list goes on and on. To help decipher the options available, our three-part series looks at learning options in three categories: common in-person learning options (Part One), common online learning options (Part Two), and unique learning sources which may be online, in-person, both, or some other format (Part Three).

Common in-person learning experiences not only vary by the number of participants, but by how long the experience may last, the type of learning provider, and setting for learning.  The chart below explains some of the common in-person learning options.

Type Definitions**and Descriptions What to expect?
Seminars Formal presentation by one or more experts in which the attendees are encouraged to discuss the subject. Length varies from an hour or two to a day or more.  Can be lecture format and/or interactive.  May have sponsor(s) related to the topic.  Cost varies from free to $$$. A wealth of knowledge in one place.  May be for professional credit.  May be divided by topic or speaker.
Workshops Training class in which the participants work individually and/or in groups to solve actual work related tasks to gain hands-on experience.  Vary in length.  May have sponsor(s) related to the topic.  Most have a fee. Be prepared to be “hands-on”.  Activities reinforce immediate usage of information at work or personal.  May be for professional credit.
Conferences An event. Typically a large gathering of individuals or members of one or several organizations, for discussing matters of common interest.  Length ranges from one day to multiple days.  Conferences often have vendor exhibits to view many vendors in one location.  Because it is a lot of learning at one time under one roof, cost may be $$$$.  Want to watch for early-bird and other discount opportunities. Larger than other in-person learning options.  Keynote speeches, session-based learning options, and open time for vendor visits and informal learning and networking. May be for professional credit.
Coaching Extends traditional training methods to include focus on an individual’s needs and accomplishments and provides impartial and non-judgmental feedback.  Many different types of coaches available to match individual preferences, beliefs or values.  Coaches often offer a free introductory session.  A coach’s services are fee-based. Usually one-on-one in-person or over the phone.  Individualized attention.  Goal setting.  May combine elements of other in-person learning options.  Longer term commitment.
**Definitions from Business Dictionary

Besides being great opportunities for learning, many of these in-person options also offer the added benefits of meeting new people and networking.

Since the in-person options involve an investment of not only money, but a fair amount of time, explore your options before committing, especially to longer length sessions, and use learning resources like Cued Forward to find your learning best fit or alternatives to meet time and money constraints.

Have you recently attended an in-person learning event that was impactful and left you wanting to learn more?  We would love to hear about it.  Comment below, email us directly, or Tweet about it and let us know @cuedforward


Can’t find the learning option you need?  Contact us and let us help connect you with learning providers to meet your needs.  At Cued Forward, we connect organizations and individual learners with learning providers through our Learning Provider Directory and through customized learning topic research. 

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