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A perspective on training and learning approach

Srijan ShahSrijan Shah Published: 15 May, 2014

IT Training Nepal is not a school to teach, it’s a home for students to grow.

As a student, you come to learn not to be taught. So it is not the teaching that has to be effective, it is the learning process that has to be efficient and productive. For that the institution should take a very comprehensive and dynamic approach. We just don't teach, we provide you an environment to grow.

Traditionally and even these days, training is visualized as a process of conducting classes by delivering lectures through experienced professionals and industry experts. However, conducting professional classes simply does not guarantee success. In these kinds of logical courses, conducting professional classes only is not sufficient. If experienced instructors was the single factor that mattered, the necessity of professional training woudn't have arisen. During the undergraduate level, we studied more than 50 subjects that were taught by several experienced teachers. Still, why would a student require a professional training at the training institutes? Why isn't our educational system been successful towards making students skillful practically to fulfill the demands of software companies? Apart few talented students, average and below average students struggle to meet the demands of industry immediately after completing their bachelors degree. Teaching is a fundamental part of learning process, however, it does not represent the complete process. So what makes training different from the conventional teaching?

We believe that training is approach that consists of several components towards making learning process more effective. It involves components as theoretical teaching, demonstration and implementation. Moreover, every components have to be systematic and well driven towards making it more efficient.

Teaching is just a component of learning process; training is an approach towards learning.

The process of learning involves acquiring the knowlege and implement the skills that has been taught. Teaching is not the complete process in learning. Teaching is not the complete process of training. It’s just a part of delivering knowledge. However, implementing the skills is another aspect of learning. Thus teaching is only one component in the learning process.

A student may or may not be able to implement the knowledge and skills that had been taught. In the past, we have been taught hundreds of subjects by many teachers. Are we competent even in few things that we had been taught? Obviously Not. 

We believe training consists of several components towards effective learning: teaching, project work and internship. Every component contributes towards the success of learning process. My opinion on why teaching alone is not sufficient for computer programming courses and IT subject is based on two major ideas.

Logic is not to be understood , logic has to be realized

Logic can be explained through demonstration. It can be understood when explained. However, I believe that logic has to be realized. It’s only then you can solve a problem in different ways. If you just understand the logic, you understand it one way. If you understand it one way, you have just one solution to the problem. However if you realize the logic, you find out different ways for reaching out a solution. In training, students are delivered lectures on several topics. Based on these lectures along with the trainer guidance, they complete a project work. Somewhere they get a feeling they have completed the project. However, if a different requirements or slightly modified specifications are given they find it difficult or sometimes even fail to reach the solution. This incompetence is due to the fact that they were made to understand the lectures as a result of which they only knew how the problem could be solved in one way. I believe logic had to be realized for better learning and realization comes from within. Realization does not arise simultaneously among all the participants in a class, everybody realizes in their own space of time. Thus, a traditional approach does not guarantee higher satisfaction and competence in students even though the classes are taught by experts.

It’s not how we teach, it’s how you learn.

I believe an effective way to train students is to make them realize the ideas and programming logics through a dynamic learning approach rather than just by teaching. Programming languages competencies are developed at individual pace. At IT Training Nepal, we provide students a platform to learn at their own pace. Thus on this node, i would like to conclude that it is not who teaches you, it is how you learn with the teacher. 

How he teaches is more important than who teaches?

Primarily, before joining the institute most often we all evaluate the training experience of the instructors. In my point of view, it is not important whether the trainer has 5 years experience or 2 years experience or anything like that. To some extend trainer experience has to be given a consideration, however, we need to give more importance whether the trainer has the potential to demonstrate the idea behind the problem. Students should give more importance on whether the objective of joining the institute is acheived or not. For that, it is not the experience of trainer alone that will make students competent. In IT arena, a young trainer can be more resourceful, smart and motivated. Thus i believe that it does not matter who teaches you, it matters how you learn through them.

Secondly, I would rather give more importance on the training methodology of the institute. To elaborate my point, i would see it this way. We all have achieved our graduation where several individuals have various impacts in our educational growth. For a second, try to remember what you learned throughout your career with the teachers with white beards. You might remember the sleepy moments in the class. There are several reasons why every experienced trainers may not be as effective compared to a teacher who is young, energetic and dynamic. Moreover, IT field always emerges with new concepts and implementation. New things come along and old are left behind. Update, Update and Update is the main principle behind the survival of anything in the dynamic IT world. Likewise, a person who may not have time to update himself is updated by a younger tech-man. 

"Experienced Factor":   The so called "experienced-factor" in a teacher is not determined by the number of years he has taught the subject matter, it is also determined by knowledge he has acquired in related field. It also matters how he updates with recent technological updates.

We have internalized these approaches through our experiences: as a student, as a teacher, as a developer and as an implementer.