A recent post over at the Herman Trend Report talks about the latest in corporate training and learning. One of the concepts it discusses is “fidelity” – meaning the ability for learning to apply to real life.
I’m not sure I completely understand the use of the term fidelity. To me, the word means loyal or faithful. I totally agree training needs to apply to real life. For years, the principles of adult learning have outlined the need for training to be immediately applicable. So I’m a little fuzzy with the word.
People tell me one of their biggest frustrations with training is talking about theory without practical application. I also think the opposite is equally frustrating – telling me what I should do without offering any guidelines or principles I can use on a regular basis.
Successful learning is being able to connect a concept to real life. The concept allows you to have a model for different situations or challenges. The real life part shows you how to apply it properly. Both pieces are necessary for learning to really stick.
The report goes on to talk about the different ways that corporations are trying to achieve fidelity learning. One of them is a personal fave of mine – gaming. Yeah I know, there are some game haters out there. But gaming is becoming one of those exercises that, if planned correctly, can offer mobility in terms of a training venue, business simulation with multi-level decision making activities and, on top of all that – fun.
I guess it’s possible fidelity could symbolize a feeling of being connected to the learning. Can’t very well be connected with something you’re not all that loyal to. It could also be another way of saying addicted to the game they’re playing (Angry Birds anyone??).
Either way, there are a few of key ideas here:
- Organizations and participants are looking for dynamic training experiences.
- Training must deal with current needs and be immediately applicable. Development activities will handle future needs (and possibly in a different way than training).
- Technology has a role in training delivery.
It’s becoming very clear that companies and participants want an active role in what their learning experience looks like. I wonder when this trend will migrate over to education and academia.
Image courtesy of slash_0