Any method of learning should support individuals, teams or the organisation as a whole to build capability that meets business need. As working environments become more complex and greater agility is needed to ensure capability among employees, it’s more important than ever to consider the breadth of different learning methods available.

This factsheet defines 'learning', 'training' and 'development' and examines some of the factors to consider when choosing learning methods. It gives an overview of the various types of learning methods that exist, from workplace-based learning, like coaching, mentoring and secondments, to externally-based learning, such as qualifications and outdoor learning. It also looks at distance and digital learning and explores some of the emerging learning methods influenced by neuroscience research, including social learning, content curation, gamification and MOOCs.

CIPD viewpoint

What are learning methods?

Choosing learning and training methods

Types of learning methods

Workplace-based learning techniques

Learning methods away from the workplace

Recent developments affecting learning methods

Useful contacts and further reading

This factsheet was last updated by CIPD staff.

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