Hands-on training is one method educational systems and businesses alike use to help teach people to learn a certain task. It provides real-world experience by allowing the trainee to get her hands directly on whatever she is learning, creating a sense of empowerment.


By definition, hands on training is a training method where the employee learns his job by performing job duties under a supervisor's guidance.

Learning by Doing

This training tool can be more effective than training provided in the traditional classroom setting. Hands-on training not only allows the person being trained to learn about the tasks that need to be completed, but also gives him the opportunity to perform the task simultaneously. Ideally, a trainer is available to work with the trainee to provide guidance rather than leaving the trainee on his own to figure out what needs to be done.

Perhaps the best way to understand hands on activities meaning is to consider hands on experience meanings. One example of a hands on training experience is having a barista trainee make customers' beverages under a trainer's supervision. Another example is a cleaning service trainee working alongside her employer in clients' homes and commercial premises.

Benefits of Hands On Training

Hands-on training provides real-life applications that make it easier to understand what is being taught because the people learning can see it firsthand rather than just hear about it in a lecture. This means the skill is more likely to stick with them. For some, the hands on experience meaning is much easier than listening to a lecture in a classroom, which may cause trainees to tune out. Such training boosts productivity because the trainee is working while learning, and it boosts the trainees' confidence because they have a trainer available to ask questions of if they are unclear about something.

Hands on Training Disadvantages

Everyone has a different learning style. For some, grasping concepts while doing them can be tough, and they would prefer to read about a given topic, ask questions and be prepared before engaging in the task. Those with this learning preference may have a difficult time with hands-on training and may not be so successful. Hands-on training also can be difficult when a trainee makes a mistake, which can throw off those around her. Some companies pay reduced or no wages for hands-on training, which can present financial difficulties for the person in training.

Hands On Preparation for Trainers

Before a hands-on training is to begin, it's important for the trainer to prepare. Create an agenda for the training, and set up in advance. With computer software training, for example, start the computer, install the software, open it and make sure it is working properly. Walk through the steps you will teach to make sure everything is clear and organized. Determine how long the training session will last, and make sure you allow time for questions throughout the training. Prepare any manuals or handouts that pertain to what you are training.

Hands On Preparation for Trainees

If you are about to begin hands-on training, there are steps you can take to make the learning process easier. Do some research on whatever you are learning by reading a book, looking it up on the internet and talking to other people who perform the task. Have them show you in advance how to do it if possible, and brainstorm and write down a list of questions you have before getting started with the training. Try to talk to the trainer in advance to get a better idea of what is expected of you. The more prepared you are before going into the training, the more successful you will be.