The power of a "boot camp" for learning


What’s the best format to improve writing skills?
Professional trainers and educators can package their lessons in many different ways. For example, we've discussed the differences between seminars and workshops. Today we're going to add boot camps to the mix to illustrate how the three different formats compare and the types of benefits boot camp learning offers.
By “boot camp” we do not mean unpleasant experiences where drill sergeants yell at you and make you do pushups if you get an answer wrong! A learning boot camp is simply a learning format structured so participants can intensely focus on acquiring new skills rapidly.
All three formats have their place, as each can help participants strengthen their professional skills and emerge more knowledgeable, capable, and confident in executing their professional role. But depending on your needs, one format or another might be more appropriate to meeting your needs.
  Seminars Workshops Bootcamps
Communication One-Way Interactive
Customization Little Moderate High
Curriculum Lecture-Oriented Activity-Oriented
Group Activities Rarely Often Always
Size Larger Smaller
Pace Slower Faster
Practice Materials Generic Specific to Participants
You might notice that there's a lot of overlap between workshops and bootcamps in the table.
We might even argue that boot camps are a sub-category of workshop. Both formats tend to be on the smaller size, which facilitates a lot of interaction between educators and participants. In fact, the participants often help shape what's covered in the class, because the educator can be more responsive to their specific needs.
That said, boot camps definitely stand on their own because they’re specifically designed to accelerate learning. They enable participants to develop valuable skills faster than other learning formats. In fact, a multi-day boot camp can often deliver more information and practical skills development than a multi-day workshop, and certainly more practical experience than a seminar.
The downside is that you can risk overwhelming participants with a lot of information in a very short time. It helps to hire an established and expert training service that knows all the tricks of the trade to help participants confidently digest a lot of information quickly.
A good example is our new communications boot camp. The course is customized to the client's specific needs. Three instructors conduct the courses and provide real-time feedback as participants undertake practical exercises in additional to group learning activities.
That's how a boot camp operates: a focused, intense experience that empowers participants to minimize their time in the classroom while still walking away with stronger skills and greater knowledge.
About Hurley Write, Inc.
Hurley Write, Inc., a certified women-owned small business (WBENC and WOSB), Historically Underutilized (HUB), and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), has been designing and teaching customized onsite and online technical, business, and scientific writing courses for over 30 years. We also develop and teach specialty courses, such as how to write proposals and standard operating procedures (SOPs) and deviation and investigation reports, and how to prepare and give great presentations.  


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