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The purpose of the Chemical Dependency Training Consortium of the Northwest is to provide low-cost training for the staff, interns and volunteers of member agencies and other professional caregivers. All training provided must meet all standards of and be recognized for continuing-education credit by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon (ACCBO).
So why exactly should you attend a face-to-face trainings? Here are seven reasons:
1. No Better Way for Getting Started If you want to learn something completely new, where do you start? Your web search produces lots of hits, but you barely understand anything, due to the excessive use of technical terms? Many subjects can be overwhelming in the beginning. This is where an interactive face-to-face training can tear down the initial barriers. Every question is allowed, and a good instructor ensures that no one is left behind.
2. Engagement and Focus Even the most engaging video is… well, sitting back and watching. Even if there are exercises or other interactive elements, it’s too easy to get distracted or to multi-task. Just being in a room with other people creates a discipline that is hard to achieve alone. Combine this with group exercises or engaged discussions in the classroom. Even the best on-line courses cannot reach out of the screen.
3. Making Sure that YOUR Questions are Answered Did you ever look for the answer in an FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) and did not find it? Or worse, you found the answer, and it did not make sense? Assuming that you have a good instructor, you will get your questions answered. All of them. And a good teacher will find the answer for you, if necessary. Related to this, a good workshop will be tailored to the needs of the participants. In fact, in workshops, we leave some room for focusing in-depth on a topic of the participants’ choice. And smart participants take advantage of this all the way!
4. 1-on-1 with the Instructor Assuming that the size of the training is kept in check, the instructor should find for every participant, if the need arises. Even the best on-line course cannot cover all eventualities to provide all the necessary background information, or explain a concept from yet a different angle. A good instructor spends the coffee break with a single attendee to clear up a topic, or to go deeper then the rest of the class is interested in.
5. Nothing Beats Networking Networking is everywhere in business today more so than ever. Yes, there is on-line networking at LinkedIn, or on discussion forums. But it is just not as effective as real life human interaction. From handshake to body language, to the ability to quickly draw something on a flipchart (or napkin): It’s not the same. This is a huge bonus in face-to-face workshops, where you can network with the trainer and the other participants alike.
6. Discuss all the Subtleties Did we just mention discussions? Discussions allow a depth that may otherwise not be possible. Better, discussions provide alternative viewpoints – some of which you may not yet have considered. Just the process of talking through a problem helps understand it. The power of discussion must not be underestimated and is hard to provide on-line.
7. Bonus: Increase the Value of the On-Line Material Sometimes, the face-to-face workshop is integrated with an on-line learning system. If so, then this is advantageous for all involved: Participants can take advantage of the on-line material with a head-start, and the instructor can improve the on-line material, based on the interaction with the class.
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