Corporate Training and Higher Education

I totally agree with the views of George’s Modernizing Corporate Training.  What is amazing is that corporate training  and higher education (HE) seems to tap into the same and different “markets segments” nowadays, whereas in lots of  scenarios, the target audience are practically the same.  It’s a matter of difference in focus: corporate training versus higher education.

I think blended learning, and collaboration have been happening in HE and informal social networks for years, just that people seldom recognise their importance until recent time.

Research so far in this area is difficult, as you could hardly prove the superiority of one over the other (i.e. blended learning over face-to-face, or over complete online learning, informal learning over formal education) unless the same control groups could take the experiment at the same time (which is hardly possible).  The complexity and emergence of learning further complicates the pattern of learning effectiveness. 

People have now shifted their learning focus towards socialisation (development of social intelligence as promoted by Daniel Goleman) via social networks (face-to-face and virtual) as part of their “education agenda and goals”, on top of their emotional intelligence.  That is also the basis of networked learning or connectivism (George Siemens and Stephen Downes). 

My observation is that lots of corporate trainers still prefer to be the sage on the stage in their training approach.  That’s perfectly legitimate for novice learners.   Does it serve the experienced and expert learners or employees? 

Mandatory training may still play an important part for most organisations when it comes to legislation, company cultures, mission and vision, strategies, award restructuring, occupational health and safety, standard operation procedures and practices. 

 What may be of interests is that nowadays a lot of employees could access these information via their company intranet or over the internet.  What seems more important in training is not just the “knowledge” that are adopted by the learners, but the creative or innovative application of such knowledge to continuously improve the work operations and satisfy the customers needs and expectations.  These require collaboration and cooperation amongst employees, a supportive management infrastructure and strong leadership to leverage the benefits out of training and workforce development.

When it comes to vocational education and training and higher education, there has been a strong movement towards going back to the “apprenticeship” model of education and training – with mentoring as an alternative “education and corporate training model” on a one-on-one or one-on-a few customised learning model. 

So, when the learners in the organisations are already experts in their areas, what is more important is mentoring and talent management.   So recognition, peer – teaching and learning in networks becomes the predominant swing of the pendulum.

But, what about the role of the corporate trainers? An assessor? A facilitator? A consultant?

I noted a recent movement in HE and corporate training seems to be “crossing the roads” and here comes the emergence! An opportunity….for the collaboration?  Would it be a huge challenge for both HE and Corporate Training sectors to weave through the partnership and collaboration?

The existing financial turmoils and rapidly changing technology further accelerates the need of people to continuously update their skills and broaden their experience with the use of technology (Web 2.0), through social and education networking.

Would corporate training deliver its promise as shown in that article? Or would it be HE leading the role?

Enjoy this video on Social Intelligence – an interview with Daniel Goleman.

What sort of skills and competency would be important in socialisation and social networking?


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