Hands-on training is training that occurs when students or employees are in an educational environment and they are able to perform certain aspects of a task themselves. An example of hands-on training is an automotive repair class. The instructor may give a lecture to the students in the class on spark plug replacement but then allow the students to replace spark plugs themselves on a car engine. There are several benefits to hands-on training.
There is a huge increase in the amount of information that is retained by students who are given the opportunity to practice what they are learning in the form of hands-on training. When students sit and listen passively in a lecture-style environment, they retain 20 percent of the information. When they are given the chance to practice what they have just learned, that percentage increases to 75 percent.
One of the benefits of hands-on training is that students will get a feel for materials they will be using in a job after the course. This is particularly good if the student is working with tools. A main reason for accidents in the workplace comes from tool misuse; knowing how to properly handle tools increases safety.
Students who learn in a hands-on environment have a teacher or guide nearby who can help them if they have difficulty with the tasks they are trying to complete. As they perform a task, if they run into problems, they can easily ask the advice from an expert who can help them perform the task correctly.
When students are given the ability to learn in a hands-on environment, they are stimulated and want to learn more. The student's appetite for learning increases and they are more willing to listen and pay attention if they have a task to complete. Students become more empowered in their own learning situation.
Development of Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking skills increase as students learn in a hands-on environment. They must make decisions on what to do next to receive the outcome they are striving to obtain. They no longer have to rely on memory and attention as they sit passively in a lecture environment. These critical thinking skills stay with a student as opposed to material that is simply memorized for a test.