Preparing the Space and Equipment for Training

Preparing for TrainingPreparing for a training event is where the obsessive compulsive really comes out in me.  I like to have things a certain way when I train.  However, I will try to set aside the worst of those habits and give some guidelines that may help smooth your training experience.

Planning

When I am developing curriculum, I try to list all the things I need to have available when I train/teach.  I use a form similar to this: Continue reading

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Preparing for Training

Curriculum DevelopmentThe last several weeks we have been going through how to conduct a needs assessment to know what training is needed.  For the next few weeks we will talk about preparing for training.  As before I will take you through several steps or phases of that preparation.  Those phases include:

  • Developing curriculum
  • Preparing the space and equipment
  • Getting materials ready
  • The day of training

This phase is about developing the curriculum.  This is not intended to be a short course in instructional design – because there is no such thing.  Developing effective curriculum takes hours of training for a designer and years of practice to develop their craft.  This post is intended to give a trainer some hints and suggestions about potential trouble spots to watch for that may make your training less than effective for your learners.  Some of it you might do yourself and some would be a conversation with an instructional designer (assuming you’re not doing it all yourself).

The curriculum you will use in your training can come from several different sources.  It may be a package that you purchased from a vendor for this topic, it may be something that was developed in house previously as part of regular training, or it may be training curriculum that you are developing from scratch to meet this need.  Regardless of where the training content comes from, there are several things you should do with it before you present it to learners.

Learning Objectives/Outcomes

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Crunch the numbers

Crunch the NumbersNow it’s time to analyze your data – or crunch the numbers.  This last part of a needs survey or assessment can be as easy or hard as you want to make it.  With a small sample and less at stake, perhaps eye-balling the numbers will provide the information needed.  If you are working with a larger sample or the decisions made from your results may be more impactful, then the analysis should be more scientific.  Either way if your needs survey was well-constructed, analyzing the data shouldn’t be too difficult.  Here are the basic steps you need to follow to for this last process:

  • Clean the data
  • Group the data
  • Run analytics on the data
  • Prepare your needs survey report

Cleaning your data

When we clean data, we are looking through it to make sure that responses are consistent.  Some people will also code responses during this activity for easier analysis.  But that discussion comes a little later – first we need to clean the data. Continue reading

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Administer a Needs Survey

The moment of truth – administering your survey!!!

You have gone through determining the scope of your survey, written the questions, beta tested your survey, adjusted questions and answers that were unclear, and beta tested it a second time (you didn’t skip that step did you???).  Now it is time to have people take your survey for real – start to collect real data!!

QuestionaireThere are several considerations about administering your survey to look at.  Those include day or days to have people take the survey, the time of day, the setting, and any technical requirements.  Every organization will have answer to these considerations but the following are some general data and observations that may help you administer a better survey.  First, let’s start with some research on best days and times to administer a survey.

Survey Monkey’s research from 2011 covered both external and internal surveys: Continue reading

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How do I know if my survey questions will give me the answers I need?

The whole point of running a needs assessment survey is to get information.  Before administering the survey, you should check your work so far to make sure it will get you what you want.  You would hate to administer the survey, get confusion/angry emails from the participants who didn’t understand your questions, and then have to rework the survey and run it a second time.  To reduce the chances of that happening, there are two tasks that you need to do to improve the quality of the data you will get from your needs assessment survey.

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