Many professionals are drawn to education because they have been successful trainers in their field of work. Individuals who assume this role in business and industry are often motivated to share their expertise and experience, and access to these leaders who are instructors is one advantage that community college students enjoy.
It is important for instructors to understand the difference between training in workplace settings and teaching in community college classrooms. Training is organized and delivered to meet very specific goals. New equipment may have been delivered, new software installed, new procedures adopted, or new regulations that the organization must follow. In each of these situations, the participants in the training are likely to:
- Have well-known and consistent skills and knowledge;
- Be motivated to learn the material to perform their jobs;
- See the importance immediately;
- Be able to ask clarifying questions based in their experience;
- Have a cohort with whom to discuss the information.
These characteristics of training audiences are likely to be absent in education audiences. As a result, instructors must do more than share information; they must provide examples and context, opportunities for social learning, and feedback that is helpful before collecting work to be graded.