20 Answers to 20 Training-related Questions

Several weeks ago I created a post with 20 training-related questions. The list of questions asked for people’s opinions about things such as: “should you charge people if they ask to pick your brain?” and “do you prefer to learn via classroom instruction or elearning?” Here is the way that Train Like A Champion readers responded:

Who leads a professional development session?

  • Trainer (19%)
  • Facilitator (81%)

Who designs a professional development session?

  • Instructional Designer (46%)
  • Learning Experience Designer (54%)

What is the name for a synchronous online learning experience?

  • Webinar (40%)
  • Virtual Instructor-led Training (60%)

When someone asks you to coffee to “pick your brain”, you should…

  • Happily meet and share your ideas (86%)
  • Your time is worth something (not to mention your ideas)… charge them (14%)

When you’re leading a session and someone says it’s too hot, you…

  • Adjust the room temperature as needed (84%)
  • Remind people to wear layers (16%)

Which is your preferred visual aid?

  • PowerPoint (75%)
  • Flipchart (25%)

Which is your writing instrument of choice?*

  • Sharpie (47%)
  • Mr. Sketch marker (53%)

* Based upon comments I received from the original post, some readers recoiled at the fact that dry erase markers (specifically, Expo brand) weren’t included in this question. I’m open to dry erase markers being used in training, just please don’t use them on flipchart… it dries them out long before their time should be up.

Which is your preferred method to gain new knowledge?

  • Read books (62%)
  • Listen to podcasts (38%)

When it comes to participant questions, do you prefer they…

  • Ask anytime (90%)
  • Hold their questions until the end (10%)

Would you prefer to…

  • co-facilitate (53%)
  • present by yourself (47%)

Do you prefer to learn by…

  • elearning (26%)
  • classroom training (74%)

When you’re delivering training, do you prefer…

  • a group of 20 or fewer (88%)
  • presenting to larger groups (12%)

Scores from post-training evaluation are…

  • useful data points (69%)
  • vanity metrics (31%)

ROI for a training initiative…

  • can be calculated if you try hard enough (64%)
  • is impossible to calculate with all of the external factors involved (36%)

When it comes to your PowerPoint slides, do you…

  • print slides for your participants (20%)
  • save the lives of lots of trees (80%)

When you want your participants’ opinions, which do you prefer?

  • Voting dots (38%)
  • PollEverywhere (62%)

What’s your philosophy on pre-work before training?

  • It’s important and can allow participants to hit the ground running. (80%)
  • It’s more trouble than it’s worth. (20%)

What’s your philosophy on Myers-Briggs?

  • Useful insights for yourself and your colleagues. (65%)
  • Brands people with bizarre letter combinations. (35%)

Which would you prefer to attend?

  • a TED Talk (25%)
  • a full-day workshop led by a dynamic presenter (75%)

When it comes to getting through a project, do you prefer to…

  • experiment and apply new technologies (84%)
  • stick to your old stand-by’s (16%)

With responses from more than 150 people, there were definitely some surprises in here for me. Are any of these results eye brow-raising for you? Let me know what you think in the comment section!

2 thoughts on “20 Answers to 20 Training-related Questions

  1. Thanks for sharing these Brian! Very interesting results. As someone who primarily does full-day in-person workshops, I’m glad to know these are still popular among your readers (or at least more popular then TED talks. I Iove TED talks, but they’re not designed for deeper learning). I’m also glad to see that people are leaning toward not printing slides. I usually create a separate handout (it may or may not have a few pictures of slides) to accompany my workshops but either send it via email, or make it available on my website for download. Also glad to see people prefer “facilitator” over “trainer.” I reserve “trainer” for specific skill-based learning, such as one might do for a new curriculum, new protocols or procedures or new technology.

    I would like to know what surprised you, and would like to see another set of questions and answers like these around professional learning.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Sheila. I, too, was happy to see the overwhelming preference for a full-day workshop over a TED Talk (which can be entertaining, but not necessarily skill-building.

      For me, there were several things I found surprising:
      * Honestly, I was surprised at the 54-46 preference for Learning Experience Designer over Instructional Designer. Maybe I’m just too old school at this point. I suppose we do design learning experiences more than instruction, but actually we are often designing skill-building experiences, aren’t we? So should we keep changing it… Skill Building Experience Designer? Where does it ever end??? But, perhaps I’m thinking too much about this, so on to the next…
      * I was happy to see an overwhelming number of people willing to just meet and have their brain picked without charge. I’ve seen several posts on LinkedIn about how you should charge for your expertise. I don’t buy in to that… at least not for a coffee.
      * That said, I was also surprised overall that not a single choice had less than 10% of people selecting it. There were some I thought would be almost unanimous, which was a fun sign of the diversity of thought among TLAC readers,
      * I was surprised at the closeness of the 53-47 split with slightly more people preferring Mr. Sketch over Sharpie. Not sure what the allure is to Sharpie. Weirdos.
      * I was intrigued by the relatively even split between co-facilitate (53%) vs present by yourself (47%). I don’t know that this means, but it was intriguing.
      * The 74-26 split between in-person over learning was perhaps the biggest surprise. We work with a lot of clients who prefer (or simply need to design) elearning in order to scale. I think this *might* indicate a preference for human-to-human interaction, but clearly a lot more would need to be done to dig into this particular number.

      Thanks for asking for my thoughts, and yes, I definitely want to do some more questions in the very near future!

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