Summary of Telling Ain't Training

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Telling Ain't Training book summary

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This excellent book by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps - researchers and consultants in workplace learning and performance - emphasizes making training fun and interactive. While their basic learning principles will be familiar to those in the field, they enliven their book with examples, exercises and research. The authors distinguish among training, instruction and education. They note the differences among various types of knowledge. Then, they explain the major factors that motivate people to learn and show how to apply these principles in hands-on teaching situations. Charts, illustrations, quizzes, and short chapter summaries enrich the book. believes that even professionals already familiar with the field will enjoy this refreshing and lively look at how to help people learn. And if you are hiring trainers, this is what they should know.

About the Authors

Instructional systems technology expert Harold D. Stolovitch, Ph.D., studied learning and performance results, created workplace instructional materials and wrote almost 200 articles, research reports, book chapters and books. Erica J. Keeps worked in learning, performance and training management with major corporations for 30 years. She published extensively on workplace learning and developed instructional materials and performance management systems.


More Than Just Information

To train people effectively, you can’t just tell them information. People learn when they act, when they feel fully engaged and when they trust that their new knowledge applies to their normal activities. Otherwise, they are less likely to learn and more likely to forget.

Unfortunately, there is a disconnect between how people say they learn and what people do when they try to teach. Commonly, trainers give verbal instructions about what to do, rather than helping the learner experience the process. People commonly learn best when they try out things during a demonstration, participate in how things work and learn in an informal setting. People absorb information that is presented in organized categories or accompanied by visual images. But typically, they are taught by someone who presents a non-participatory demonstration, tells them how things work and presides over a formal instructional setting. No wonder such teaching is ineffective. It ignores the fundamental principles of learning.

How Training, Instruction and Education Differ

People learn three ways: through training, instruction and education. Often, these words are...

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