Training methods

Training methods and the maximum in learning success

While vocational training in the 20th century was purely analogue, in the 21st century the worldwide spread of the internet has opened up numerous new possibilities. In addition to traditional classroom training, methods such as virtual classrooms, digital self-learning, and also blended learning, a combination of classroom training and digital learning are available. In particular, the question of sustainabilityplays a decisive role in the selection of the training format. A training course is particularly sustainable when it considers the three pillars of learning – willingness, knowledge, and ability. Sustainable training enables learners to put the acquired knowledge into practice.

The willingness

The willingness refers to the intention to learn. This is crucial for the participant’s commitment. Motivation is characterised by three different levels: intrinsic, extrinsic and contextual. Intrinsic motivation arises from an internal incentive because the activity is fun. Extrinsic motivation comes from an external incentive, such as a reward for a successfully completed task. In contextual learning, there is a direct adaptation to a current situation in a learner’s private or professional life. Learners are particularly motivated and interested in the topic because they identify with the content and can apply it directly. Topic-specific practical examples support this process.

The knowledge

The objective of learning is to internalise the newly acquired knowledge in the long term and thus to consolidate it sustainably. With a one-off learning event, however, the forgetting curve throws a spanner in the works: already after a short time, the learning success declines and evens off after a while at a relatively low level. If we learn and practise continuously, as we do during a blended learning training course, we build upon what we have already learnt. Simultaneously, new learning impulses lead to an expansion of skills. The result: by learning over a longer period of time, the learning success is greater and more sustainable.

The ability

When we address complex issues, we first try to understand them on a theoretical level. We usually find this difficult at first since the things we are trying to learn are new and unknown to us. Only over a longer process of understanding do we develop a routine that allows us to recall the theoretical knowledge with ease. This is followed by a further essential component of learning: practising. Once the theory has been understood, what has been learnt needs to be practised regularly. The synthesis of theory and practice and the interplay of understanding, practising, and applying is the basis of how we learn.

Sustainability in comparison

In relation to the three pillars of learning – willingness, knowledge, ability – the learning methods e-learning, classroom seminar, and blended learning are associated with different levels of sustainability.


E-Learning is particularly sustainable with regard to knowledge. New learning impulses are generated through learning over a longer period of time and with dosed content. At the same time, what has already been learnt is consolidated through repetition. This effectively counteracts the process of forgetting. Participants do not receive any feedback with pure e-learning, however, as they learn without guidance. Questions on various contents remain unanswered and there is no exchange in the group or with an expert.

Classroom Training

The strength of classroom training lies in the learning pillar “ability“. Through individual simulations and role play scenarios, what has been learnt is actively put into practice. The trainer plays an active role in guiding the participant through this process. In this context, a reflection on the implementation takes place, which helps the participants to improve even further. The disadvantage of classroom training is that it is not particularly sustainable in terms of consolidating knowledge. As a rule, classroom training is a one-off event. Therefore, the process of forgetting sets in rather quickly. Compared to several learning impulses within a learning chain, the learning success is poorer.

Blended Learning

Blended Learning combines die jeweiligen Stärken des E-Learnings und des Präsenztrainings. So ist ein besonders nachhaltiges Training im Hinblick auf die drei Säulen des Lernens – wollen, wissen, können – möglich. Lerninhalte sind kontextbezogen und für Teilnehmende schnell verfügbar. Charakteristisch für ein Blended Learning ist das Lernen über einen längeren Zeitraum und in verschiedenen Intervallen. Dabei werden verschiedene Lernmethoden und -medien miteinander kombiniert. Im Rahmen der Präsenztrainings und der Virtual Classrooms finden Simulationen und Rollenszenarien statt. Teilnehmende werden sowohl während der digitalen Selbstlerneinheiten als auch in den Live Sessions begleitet. Auf diese Weise entsteht ein besonders nachhaltiges Training, indem die Vorteile der verschiedenen Trainingsmethoden miteinander kombiniert und die Schwächen umgangen werden.