Definition of Hands-on Training

by Dee Dee Donato; Updated September 26, 2017
Engineer And Apprentice Using Automated Milling Machine

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.

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.

Benefits

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, this way of learning 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.

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.

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.

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.

About the Author

Dee Dee Donato has been writing since the year 2000, and has published in the "The Press of Atlantic" newspaper, "Down Jersey" magazine, "SUCCEED" magazine and various online venues. She holds a Master of Arts in writing from Rowan University in New Jersey.

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