The Four Dimensions of Training

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Content is the purpose of the learner experience.

A trainer focuses on content when he or she presents information or refers to materials or activities that contain information. You know a trainer is focusing on content if you hear phrases like, "The purpose for being here," "Topics include," "Information you will need," or "Other resources available include."

Process is the overall flow of training.

Process includes activities such as facilitating discussion, forming small groups, and moving from one topic to another. You will know a trainer is focusing on process if you hear phrases like, "That discussion went well," "Everything is going smoothly," or "We have lost continuity."

Tasks are things trainers do to manage a learning environment.

Tasks may enable learning, such as setting up a simulation, or they may be purely administrative, such as record keeping. You may be able to tell that a trainer is task-focused when he or she says things like, "I have to get this done before," "While you are on break, I will be getting ready to," or "In the interest of time we will move on."

People are the participants and others related to the training event.

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Trainers focus on people when they do things such as modify the program to meet participant needs, encourage introductions and discussion, and schedule timely breaks. You will know a trainer is focused on people when you hear phrases like, "For your comfort," "You will learn," or "I realize you want to."