The expectation of ‘free’ training courses is an undercurrent in aid agencies. At times there is a tangible distaste articulated about courses charging money. Especially if the courses are being offered by an aid agency or aid worker. All the while, it is expected tech companies, leadership organisations, and so on charge for their courses.
And yet, some of the best courses many of my colleagues have been on are ones which are small-ish in terms of numbers and include an aspect of coaching. However, to run such courses are time intensive for the trainer.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that hundreds and hundreds of people will sign up for a ‘free’ course, but only a handful will show up. This is the free funnel. However, the funnel looks quite different when you pay. The paid funnel tends to result in much fewer people signing up, but most of those that sign up, show up.
While I think the sentiment of wanting to make training and development accessible for all, especially those that have very few financial resources, makes sense, perhaps ‘free’ is not the only way. Often cost is an indication of value, but also commitment. When we make things free are we de-valuing teachers?
There is much to re-think about learning and education, especially in the training space. Pricing, commitment, and value are key components of all of this. Both of the teacher/facilitator/guide and the participant.