Why a live trainer is better

When it comes to food allergy training, which is best? — a Certified AllerTrainer™ (CAT)  or learning online? According to Dee Dee Vicino, Director of Training and Education with AllerTrain, that depends.

OK. Next question. Depends on what?

“It depends on what’s best for you and your staff,” Dee Dee explains. Certified AllerTrainers™ have worked with single-location restaurants with a relatively small crew. Then again, they’ve trained up to 400 people in one day. It boils down to efficiency (everyone is taught at the same time and then it’s done) and cost. Bringing in a CAT, though not exorbitant, is the costliest of all the training methods AllerTrain offers.

live food allergy trainingThe nice thing about live, in-person food allergy training is that the trainer is able tailor the coursework to the class on the fly, simply by observing the students. He or she can stop and go over a point again if it seems the class needs just a little more time to grasp a particular concept. There is more engagement and interaction between teacher and students, and among the students themselves. It’s easier to assign hands-on work.

AllerTrain also offers live webinars for food allergy training. Webinars are scheduled classes. Like their in-person counterparts, webinars are interactive. CATs and students have the ability to communicate during the classes, especially if several colleagues take the class as a group, gathered around a computer together. A teacher may ask specific students questions or have them read material to the entire group, and students are able to engage with each other, as well. While not quite as intuitive as live training, webinars still provide opportunities fro interaction and engagement.

For managers, webinars could be exactly the solution they are looking for if staff are in multiple locations, making it difficult to meet at one time in one locale. Crew members can attend the webinar from their work places or even from their homes. And yes, we’re quite confident that webinars have been attended by folks wearing their jammies.

food allergy training, eLearningThe third food allergy training class option is the on-demand online class. They are taken at any time, from any computer, tablet or smart phone. Final exams are administered online, making this alternative a one-stop shop. This is also the most cost-efficient method of the three options.

It’s easy for managers to monitor which employees have taken their required classes and if they passed, since everything is tracked online, especially if the establishment has created it’s own Academy.

But here’s the kicker.  When it comes to retention, adult learners retain about five percent of taught information when they attend a straight lecture. When they read the material, they retain upwards of ten percent of the information they are taught. When they demonstrate their new-found knowledge, retention jumps to 30 percent. Retention levels increase to 50 percent when there is group participation. Levels spike to 75 percent with experiential learning, the kind of active learning that includes engagement with peers and completing hands-on projects.

Bottom line, in-person CATs provide the most engaging programs, followed by the webinars. But nothing can beat the convenience, flexibility and affordability of an on-demand e-class. It all depends on what’s going to work for you.