I have not lost total faith in formal training or workshops as learning delivery tools; Jay Cross’ comments to the last blog post have also confirmed that every tool has its appropriate use (and every learner his/her own learning preference). I would also say that training has become less and less “formal” over the years. Good workshops now regularly have interactivity built in, with discussion techniques and games used to help participants find their own meaning through guided experiential learning.
This thought reminded me of an excellent resource for facilitators and trainers: the Thiagi Group’s website on “Improving Performance Playfully”. If you look under Free Resources there are many activities that can help take the formal out of training. Even lectures (if you have to have them) can be interactive; there is a list of 36 things you can do with lectures to make them more fun in the Interactive Lectures section. One of them is called “Bingo” – have a look!