Evaluating Training the Right Way

Evaluation is one of the most important and least liked aspects of training.  Almost no participants and very few trainers actually like doing an evaluation.  It provides more stress than most people want in their lives.

However, evaluation of training (not the participants or trainers) is essential for quality training.  Training EvaluationIf used correctly it can highlight areas in both curriculum and delivery that need improvement.  To achieve this end, evaluations should be both targeted and used correctly.

To be targeted correctly, evaluators should know exactly what they are trying to assess and how to ask the questions to get good data.  Many of us remember tests in school that were written as “gotcha” tests.  (Tests that were written to see if you were listening or had a photographic memory for things you were supposed to read.)  Training evaluation shouldn’t be this kind of activity.  Training evaluations should be used to see if curriculum was correctly written, if the method of presentation was effective, and if students will be able to use the information or skills on the job.  Continue reading

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A Training Program’s Basic Outline

We talked about a lot of things up to this point about Building a Training Program.  Before we talked mostly in abstract –  today we’re going to talk about a training program’s basic outline Building a Training Program, Designing your Training Program, Identifying Training Program Needs, and Deciding on a Training Model.  Most training programs deal with five areas of focus when being developed.  Those 5 areas are: We Need to Have Training!, Reviewing Current Materials, Learning Objectives, Evaluating Training, and Training Personnel.

We Need to Have Training!

Training Program BasicsThe information you have about needing training may come from any of several different sources.  As we’ve already talked it may come from your needs assessment.  It’s also possible there’s a manager that came to you and said, “My folks aren’t doing what they should be doing.  How can you help me with this?”  Perhaps an employee sent you sent an e-mail and saying something like, “I’m expected to do this task and I don’t know how.  Can you help me with that?”  There may be a directive from corporate saying there will be a shift to this process or procedure.  Also, new federal regulations may have changed the process or procedure requirements for your particular business.

Whatever the source of the information saying that you need a new training program, you’re going to approach it basically in the same standpoint.  Continue reading

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Deciding on a Training Model

There are many different training models available for you to use.  Each has a different focus so when choosing a training model, you should make sure you understand the model before choosing the one you will use.  Selecting a training model can help you decide what elements to include in your training and elements to not worry about.  Remember that training models are a starting point for content and not an absolute list of what you should have.  Here is a brief overview of three models to help you on your way to picking a model.  (These descriptions are just quick peeks at these models so please don’t use them to determine which model you are going to choose.  Use them as a guide for what you want Training Modelto look at more closely before deciding.)

ADDIE

If you talk to instructional designers and trainers, the first model that will come up in conversation will probably be ADDIE.  ADDIE is the base for many training programs and has been around for quite a while.  ADDIE stands for: Continue reading

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Identifying Training Program Needs

We wrote posts earlier about running needs surveys; Why Should I Have to Run a Needs Survey?, So I have to do a Needs Survey.  How do I write the questions?, How do I know if my survey questions will give me the answers I need?, and Administer a Needs Survey.  Because this series is about developing a training program, we won’t cover that material again.  If you have questions about the specifics, please review those or email me. But planning for a training program has some broader concepts to cover.  The first is an acronym I have used in some training – ICE.  ICE is a way to determine whether training is needed.

The ITraining Plan

The first letter of ICS stands for Isolate.  Einstein is quoted as saying that if he had one hour to save the world he would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.  The first step in deciding if training is needed is to isolate and define the problem.  There are several ways that you can isolate the problem. Continue reading

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Designing Your Training Program – Part 2

Last time in Designing Your Training Program – Part 1, we talked about the first four considerations in designing a training program:

  • Training Goals
  • Training Resources
  • Training Personnel
  • Measuring Success

Designing Your Training ProgramThis time we will talk about methods for training.  Please understand that a related conversation will happen for each training you develop, but if you don’t have the capabilities for each of these types in the beginning, you will have to removed that option from your training menu.  The four major types of training you need to consider having available are:

  • Face-to-face training
  • Online training
  • Blended/mixed method training
  • Mentorship

Continue reading

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