Workshop or Self-Led Learning? The Benefits of Each Learning Style
We all have different learning preferences. Do you prefer to be hands-on or focus on learning theory, enjoy online learning, or be face-to-face in a more traditional classroom learning environment? It’s important to consider what subject matter, learning style, and learning outcomes are right for you and your employees.
Benefits of self-led learning
Self-led, or self-directed learning, is when an employee takes responsibility for their own learning needs, setting learning goals, researching learning resources, and choosing a course or other route. While different people are suited to different learning styles, there are numerous benefits to self-led learning.
Self-led learning or studying and training alone can benefit some learners because it minimises distractions and interruptions. It can also allow the employee to focus more clearly on their own learning process and developmental goals.
Some employees find that leading their own learning and not having to interact with group work reduces any pressure they may feel and allows them to concentrate fully on learning.
Tailored to each individual
Every employee will have different learning needs and goals when it comes to professional development. When learning is self-directed, it can be uniquely tailored to the individual in terms of content, learning style, and pace.
For example, employees who respond well to self-led learning may choose an online course that allows them to work flexibly around work and family commitments and complete the course at their own pace.
Builds confidence and initiative
Self-led learning encourages genuine, deep understanding – employees can’t rely on others to answer questions or tell them what to do. When people have actively identified areas for improvement and chosen their own path for development, they are more likely to engage and apply concepts and tasks, which leads to more effective learning.
Taking the initiative and achieving your own goals brings higher levels of satisfaction and builds confidence.
Benefits of workshop learning
Workshop learning is a more interactive type of learning experience that offers participants hands-on, real-world activities as opposed to more passive, theory-based learning tasks. Workshops offer experiential learning, allowing employees to explore and try out new methods and practices in a safe, collaborative environment.
Spot any gaps in your training
Workshops promote an open atmosphere where employees can ask questions and learn from each other. This allows them to identify common gaps in their knowledge and experience and work towards filling them.
Workshops also provide a forum for constructive criticism, encouraging self-reflection and allowing employees to learn from each other. The workshop format often includes time for feedback or discussion of case studies that help employees identify areas for their improvement.
Keep employees engaged
A collaborative, safe, shared learning experience often improves employee engagement and encourages critical thinking. While some people can motivate and lead their learning, others thrive on small-group workshops or training programs.
The workshop learning model offers greater structure, and some employees are more likely to stay motivated when they have to commit to attending a session in person. Some people find it challenging to learn independently and benefit from the facilitation and learning techniques offered by teacher-led workshops.
Keep everyone on the same page
While there are times when learning needs to be tailored to individuals in the workplace, there are also instances when employers want to promote consistency and ensure all employees have a similar level of knowledge. In this case, workshops are an ideal learning format as trainers can facilitate learning strategies designed to achieve collective goals.
Small-group workshops can also benefit organisations because they provide an opportunity for employees to build relationships. Workshop learning methods often include problem-solving, team building, and interactive activities, which both improve learning and help develop a positive, collaborative workplace culture.