A Century of Training: How Employee Learning Has Evolved

A Century of Training: How Employee Learning Has Evolved

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Employee training has been in existence forever, but it has existed in different ways and the evolution will continue in the future as well. In the initial stages, training was not formal as it is now, the knowledge is passed onto the younger generation with the guidance of the older generation.

With the industrial revolution and the invention of machines, formal training came into existence. It was usually taught theoretically in a typical classroom setup. Over the years, many found ways to make it more interesting, engaging, and practical.

In the process of this evolution, offline training slowly lost its importance and online training is all you can see everywhere these days. But this evolution didn’t happen in a single day, it took some decades to slowly transition from offline to online training.

To help you understand it better, we have listed down how the learning process has changed over the last few decades.

Classroom Training

In the early days, hands-on training and apprenticeships were the only ways for an employee to get familiar at the workplace. But many novice employees couldn’t cope up with this as they needed more training.

This led to the rise of classroom training, employees were trained with theoretical lectures before they started working in the industries. However, this method doesn’t provide practical exposure as it is only theory-based.


Because many organizations couldn’t afford classroom training as it needed an instructor, physical space, and much more for the lecture to happen.

Thus, organizations have come up with a learning process called self-learning. As the name suggests, the study material is given to the learners to learn all by themselves.

The information provided is short and on-to-the-point. Although, it saved time and money it isn’t an effective method as it couldn’t fill the actual job requirements.

Machine-Based Learning

In the mid-1950s, some testing machines were invented for learning and training. With this new technology, the program was administered in the physical appearance of the instructor. Learners were required to answer the questions which were posed to them.

This also helped the learners to reflect upon their mistakes as the right answers were instantly revealed.

E-Learning Software

In the early 1990s. Computers came to the forefront and changed the dynamics of the entire corporate industry including training and development. Webinars, recorded videos, and personalized learning became the new normal back then.

Many learners found it very flexible as they didn’t need to travel from one place to the other to learn, they could learn from the comfort of their home.

Although this type of learning is very efficient and convenient, there is no reference content available if at all the learners want to learn more in detail.

However, cloud storage has sorted this problem as the tutor could add the information based on the requirement of the learner. This also helped the tutor to add new information whenever needed by keeping the original information intact.

The Digital Way

In the past one and half years or so due to the pandemic, there was no way for the organizations to conduct employee training in a typical classroom set-up. This led to online learning in a massive way.

Even though online learning existed before the pandemic, it has become more popular now. With the use of learning management systems like “Articulate 360”, you can easily create content and make the learning process exciting for the learners through interactive features.

To know how the tool helped many of its users, you can check reviews of Articulate 360.


The evolution of training and development has taken massive strides all thanks to the urge to make learning more impactful. Technology has also contributed to this paradigm shift in a big way. We hope this article helps you to understand how the training has evolved over the years.


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