Hands-on training is the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies needed in the workplace. There are a number of definite benefits that can be realized in learning in a hands-on environment that many colleges offer.
1. More Program Material is Retained
Student experience a huge increase in the amount of information that they retain when given the opportunity to practice what they are learning in the form of hands-on training. Studies have shown that when students sit and listen intently but passively in a lecture-style environment, they retain 20 percent of the presented information. When they are given the opportunity to practice what they have just learned, that percentage increases to 75 percent.
2. Simulated Learning is an Engaging Environment
When students are given the ability to learn in a practical hands-on environment, they are very often engaged, stimulated and want to learn as much as possible. The student's appetite for learning increases and they are more willing to listen and pay attention if they have a more practical or life like task to complete. Students also become more empowered in their own learning situation.
3. Hands-on Learning Environment Develops Critical Thinking Skills
A student’s critical thinking skills increase in a hands-on learning environment. This occurs since students must make decisions on what to do next to receive the outcome they are striving to obtain. They no longer have to rely on memory and attention as they sit in a lecture environment. These critical thinking skills remain with a student as opposed to material that is simply memorized for a test and much of the material often forgotten after the exam. Critical thinking skills are very important to the workplace as every situation that an employee encounters cannot be learned from a book.
4. Real-world Experience and Knowledge from an Instructor can go a Long Way
Students who learn in a hands-on environment have an instructor nearby who have real-world experience and knowledge and can help and give guidance to them if they have difficulty with a task that they are trying to complete. This expert advice can help them perform the task correctly and safely which is very critical in the workplace.
5. Use of Materials and Equipment used on the Job
One of the benefits of a hands-on learning environment is that students will get a feel for materials and equipment that is commonly used in the workplace after the course. This is particularly good if the student is working with equipment and tools. One of the main reasons for accidents in the workplace comes from equipment and tools misuse; knowing how to properly handle equipment increases safety.