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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. 

First of all, you need to verify that the training is truly required.  Verification may come from talking to other managers about how their employees are doing.  If you request for new training comes from corporate or a federal origin, you probably will need to get more information about the scope of the training.  Perhaps the specifics of what needs to be added or changed.  Whatever the source of your information about a need for training, find out not just the general topic but also the exactly is needed.  This will help you in the next task toward developing specific training.

Reviewing Current Materials

Before you know exactly what kind of training to develop, you need to review the materials that you already have.  It’s entirely possible that the materials needed for training are already in your library.  They just may not be used right now or are being taught incorrectly.  It may also be that you need to tweak the current materials to meet the new need. When reviewing these materials look for a couple of things.  First look to see if the content in the materials covers the current need.  Once you see if the content has the topics that you need, review them to match up with the specific needs have been called for by the manager employee or corporate or whoever it is the request of the training.

What I like to do when I’m doing this type of work is to save versions of the work.  For example, I might save what I’m working on for this project with today’s date as a different version of the material.  I’ve always have the original content and can go back to review what was there or perhaps use it for a different use in the future.

If you can’t find materials in your current library to meet your needs, you will have to develop new materials.

Learning Objectives

If you talk to ten trainers and teachers, you’ll probably get ten different answers about what an objective is.  The answers may only be slightly different, but very few of them will be identical.  Whatever your definition, here are some suggestions about writing learning objectives.

There are at least two different kinds of learning objectives.  There should be course learning objectives, and lesson learning objectives.  You should work on learning objectives for both the course and the individual lessons that you understand and will be valuable to you.  If for no other reason than they will help write you evaluation standards.

Course objectives will be much broader in scope.  A course objective for a course on customer service may be something about improving customer service.  Whereas the lesson objective for that customer service course could be something about correctly counting back change.  Please make sure that you follow any guidelines from a corporate training of agency.  There may be some specifications that you must meet in a learning object is your right.

Basic learning objectives talk about what a student or participant should learn and skills and/or knowledge they should have when they complete their training.  Some objectives will be very specific, like counting back change.  Others will be broader like improving customer service.  Some examples of fairly broad learning objectives would be:

  • Becoming familiar with health and safety legislation
  • Applying hazard and assessment control factors
  • Exploring fundamentals of safety inspection.

As you write your objectives.  There are several different ways to look at the objectives.  Those include knowledge, skills and attitudes.  Knowledge objectives are things that your participants should be able to recall when they need to.

  • Regulations about food handling
  • A piece of information
  • The organizational chart for your company.

Skill objectives are often the easiest ones to identify.  They would include things like:

  • Can you let the vinyl flooring.
  • Can the participants put together the computer.
  • Can the participant created a PivotTable.

Attitude objectives tend to belittle it harder to identify.  Improved customer service is partially based upon an attitude.  The attitude of the employee, but more importantly, the attitude of the customer.

When you’re looking for terms to use in the objectives generally want to be as specific as possible with your words because they will be much easier to evaluate.

Evaluating Training

As I already stated we will are going to talk about the specifics of evaluation in a later post so we won’t go into detail here.  But know that as part of your training basics you will need to figure out how you’re going to evaluate your participants after the training.  Evaluation may be a test or exam at the end of the course.  Evaluation may be some kind on on-the-job observation.  Evaluation may come from customer evaluations.  All programs have to be evaluated to show return on investment so you’re going to have to evaluate somehow and return the data on your training program.

Training Personnel

The last point I’ll this particular post deals with personnel.  You will need to determine whether you staff has the knowledge, ability and time to deliver the training or if you will need to hire out the training to a third party.  Larger organizations well often have their own training departments that can cover vast majority of the training should salute.  Smaller organizations will contract out more of their training then they can provide in-house.  There is no right or wrong answer to this question but you will need to look at it for almost every training you do.

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