The design of the training program can be undertaken only when a clear training objective has been produced. The training objective clears what goal has to be achieved by the end of training program i.e. what the trainees are expected to be able to do at the end of their training.
Training design or instructional design is the process of creating a blueprint for the development of instruction. Whether the training is to be conducted in a classroom, delivered using an electronic format or using some combination of methods, the design process sets the stage for the development of a program that produces results.
FACTORS IN DESIGNING TRAINING
One key factor in designing training is viewpoint. The designer must consider the training from the viewpoint of the learner.
The design phase of developing training includes establishing learning objectives, planning the steps to achieve those objectives, sequencing and structuring the steps to be taken including projects, lectures, videos, assignments, presentations, readings or other activities, and determining evaluation procedures.
In designing a training program, the designer considers a variety of factors that will impact the training, including the current knowledge level of the audience, availability of various technologies, time frames, available resources and how the training may complement or conflict with existing programs.
The benefit of good design is effective training that engages learners with various methods, flows logically for better learning, uses resources wisely and meets learning objectives.
ADDIE, a common model used by training professionals, includes the design step.
Steps in the model are analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation.
In addition to being guided by a thorough understanding of the problems,
design also guided by certain general principles: The principles that constitute the field of human performance improvement, which help to ensure that people achieve the best possible results on the job The principle that underpin adult learning.
Become clear about what your training needs to accomplish.
Purpose and audience will be clear—determined by funders or well- established professional development needs. You may need to sort through and prioritize a spectrum of training needs before determining a training focus. Once you have a clear sense of the training’s purpose and target audience, write it down! Then use this description to promote your program to prospective participants.
Several ways to find out about the needs A brief, written survey as part of their registration packet all participants to collect general information from all participants.
pre-training assessment form Survey a random sample of registrants by phone. This will allow you to collect detailed information from a few participants. Review evaluation and feedback forms from past-related training events.
Clarifying expected outcomes Outlining training content Planning specific training activities Selecting/developing materials Designing evaluation procedures Communicating program intent to the training participants and others (such as program administrators and supervisors) Ensuring that the training is realistic and appropriate for the purpose intended Samples of goals and objectives Sample goal: to increase knowledge of HIV/AIDS among the health educators inPhildelphia.
Sample objective: by the end of the training participants will be able to identify three ways that HIV is transmitted. Sample objective: by the end of the training participants will be able to list five ways to decrease the risk of becoming infected with HIV.
Introduction: establishes a positive learning environment
Learning components: participants engage in activities designed to accomplish the training objectives. Wrap up and evaluation component: should help bridge the gap between training and implementation and promote a positive feeling of closure.
Rules of thumb Fill in known elements-such as meals and breaks Start with simple concepts and proceed to more complex Proceeds from less threatening to more sensitive topics Schedule activities which require the greatest concentration when people will be focused and energetic Give yourself- and participants- a break Build in time for reflection, discussion and Q&A Introduce the day’s events in the beginning Schedule 8-10 minutes at the end of each day for feedback Review your plan with a critical eye Be flexible! Although your design is a detailed road map, you may encounter detours along the way
An effective training design incorporates a variety of training strategies, taking into account; Participants learning style Principles of adult learning Group size Prior experience and /or education level of participants Type of skill or information to be presented Trainer’s style When deciding which activities to use, consider these questions: Do we know that this activity us effective?
Have we used it before? Are we comfortable with this technique? Do we have the expertise to use it effectively? Does the activity require prior knowledge or skill on the part of participants? Will we have the time, space and resources needed to accomplish the activity? Will the activity encourage learning without confusing participants?
Create a written document that provides a detailed plan of the training session, including your goals and objectives. Consider the skill expertise, training style and comfort level of each of your trainers in making this designation. Also consider identifying specific trainer who will take the lead in fleshing out different sections of the training and creating the necessary supporting materials. Use your written training design to stay in track during the training events, make mid course corrections and document training details.
Some issues to address through the evaluation forms Did the participants acquire the knowledge and skill that the trainer was supposed to provide?
Some follow up strategies include: Newsletters and web site posting Per observation and coaching, in which individuals observe one another performing a newly acquired skill, Mentoring, in which individuals receives on site, personal support and technical assistance from someone with experience in the method being learned, Study groups, in which individuals meet regularly to support one another during the implementation of new idea or practice, Booster session, in which training participants are brought together two to three months after the training event to reinforce the knowledge and skills acquired during the training and Ongoing communication between participants and trainers via phone or electronic mail
The ADDIE method of instructional design consists of five phases that trainers and instructional designers may use to plan and implement training. The steps in the process are Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. The steps work in conjunction with one another, which saves companies time and money by allowing revisions to be made throughout the process rather than after the training is launched. Analyze
In the analysis phase, the training team works with the business owners to analyze and assess the goals and objectives for the training being developed. One question addressed in this phase is what type of training delivery method will be used. Will it be web-based or instructor led? Additional questions such as who the audience is and what are their learning patterns may also be discussed during the analysis phase. Deadlines and a project plan may be determined at this time as well Design
After questions are assessed and answered during the analysis phase, the training designer begins to layout the training content and to develop the design document. This document, while not containing actual content, will contain the outline of content, any groupings of content that may be necessary and media notes. Quizzes or assessments will also be included in the design document as will any types of training exercises the participants will be required to do. Development
The development phase is when storyboards for the training are developed, and graphic designs are created or chosen. The graphics will be implemented into the training and will enhance the training by giving the learning visuals to complement the content.
The actual course content is written during the development phase. For web-based training, a small version of the course maybe put together at this time. This allows the web team to upload and test the content online and to make necessary adjustments. After the training content is developed, it is then sent to the business owners and the subject matter experts(SME) for review and approval. Implementation
After the course content is finalized and approved by the business owners, the training is ready to be launched. This occurs during the implementation phase. Facilitators must review and understand the curriculum as well as the testing process. Books, manuals and copies of software should be obtained if necessary to be distributed during the training. Course scheduling and student enrollment are completed during this time. Any necessary travel arrangements are made for facilitators or participants during the implementation phase. Evaluation
During the evaluation phase, feedback is generated by the participants of the course. This can be done by surveys, either paper based or electronic. Receiving participants feedback is important for the development of future courses. Thee valuation process will allow the instructional designers to find out if learning objectives are being met and how well the course is being received.
Long-term evaluations may be necessary to determine whether material was retained or if workers behavior changed in the workplace. This type of evaluation may be done several months after the training has occurred. These types of evaluations are summative and are completed after the training. Formative evaluations are ongoing during each phase of the ADDIE method, which allow for errors to be caught early in the process.
How do the best shooters constantly push themselves to the next level? They constantly modify their training to meet their goals, and they constantly set the bar higher each time they accomplish a goal. What is this cycle? To put it bluntly, it is the cycle that MUST be gone through to continue to evolve to the next level. Most people go through this cycle without even knowing it, but if not, our training cannot possibly evolve. This cycle is not the only way to design and modify training to meet a goal, it is just a guideline.
The training design and execution cycle is the process of initial design of a Program based on goals > to the execution of the training > to the measurement of results > to the modification of the program to meet those results. Obviously, if we meet our initial goal, then the next step when redefining the goal is to set the bar higher! This cycle repeats itself as many times as necessary to meet the goal. Following are the components of cycle:
1. Define the Goal (training objective) – This is where we begin our design and execution cycle, by defining what our goal is. This isn`t always completely under our control. A static goal is potentially a set score on a qualification, or a specific accuracy requirement for those who have a specific numerical goal. A dynamic goal is something that is potentially changing and a bit less measureable, such as a person’s performance during a particular event. A dynamic goal cannot be maximized, as theoretically there is always a higher level. Here are some considerations in defining a training goal:
Needs Analysis- This is where we get very specific about the details of meeting our target goal .We can refine, or possibly re-define its goal in this step (if our initial goal is flawed). This step is the analytical step where we define what we need to do and have to meet the goal. The detailed steps to this process are:
2. List the available resources, and identify anything that may hamper us from reaching the target goal (ammunition, money, training tools, etc.).
Program Design-Now that we have analyzed and clearly stated our training goal, we will begin to design a program to meet our objectives.
The steps to program design are:
Program Execution – Once we have designed our training, and now it is time to execute our program. This is the critical step in the process, and the following must be observed:
Measure Performance – This is where we assess whether or not our training blocks are effective or not. Ineffective design and execution of a training program will always show up here. One of two things will happen during this step:
The Role of the Design Document
At the end of the instructional design phase, the training specialist writes an instructional design document.
This document provides more than just a simple course outline; it provides a high-level overview of the entire training solution. A training specialists instructional design document provides detailed instructions on how to build the course, but it doesnt contain any actual course content; its similar to an architects blueprint or a software engineers design document. Generally, an instructional design document will perform the following tasks: Describe the overall learning approach Identify instructional media choices Cluster and sequence objectives Describe course exercises, activities, and assessments.
Together these five elements create the overall instructional strategy for the course. A short course might have a very simple design document, but complex and lengthy courses can have very detailed design documents. The instructional design serves as a major quality assurance checkpoint. The training specialist and the client discuss and agree to the design before development begins. Its a lot easier to adjust the design than redevelop materials later in the project. Benefits of the Design Document
Training specialists use the instructional design document for four main purposes:
Instructional design documents may also contain additional project-specific elements. For example, if the course has an e-learning element, the instructional designer might describe the interfaces appearance and functionality. How to Design a Training Program for a Company Keeping a company operating like a well-oiled machine is not an easy task, especially if your business has a high turnover rates, such as retail. In order to reduce the amount of time it takes to train your new employees to reach their full potential, we need to develop a training system that is streamed-lined, effective, and efficient and gives new employees the skills needed to be a good employee without overburdening them with too much information.
Finding the balance between too much and too little information is the key to designing the most effective training system for a company.
The first step in designing a training system for a company is to determine what kinds of training is needed. You will need to conduct an organizational analysis,a task analysis, and a person analysis. This three-tiered examination of a company’s training needs is required to identify: factors that will inhibit and aid training, to identify tasks that most employees will need to be trained in, and to identify employees that need to be trained.
An organizational analysis is used to identify company factors that can negatively or positively impact the effectiveness of a training program. These factors include such things as money available for training programs, person power analysis and planning resources, employee relations and attitudes, and company resources available for training purposes.
A task analysis is a process of identifying what skills and activities need to be taught. To generate a list of skills that employees need to learn we can conduct a job analysis.
A job analysis is basically just an examination of a job and a listing of the “minimum” duties and skills that are required to successfully perform the job. After identifying what tasks are involved in each job, the next step is to identify what tasks need training. If an employee already has an identified skill it is a waste of money to train them in that skill. If you identify a skill that does require additional training then you will need to formally identify it as a training objective in writing.
This objective should identify (1) what the skill is, (2) how the trainee is to learn the skill, and (3) how proficient they need to be in the skill after the training process is completed. This documentation is needed to not only to let employees know what is expected of them, but also for personnel to maintain a common standard of training for all employees, and to protect you against lawsuits if you need to discipline or terminate an employee for not meeting the standards set out by the objectives.
The final step in determining what training is needed is to conduct a person analysis. A person analysis is the identification of people in your company that need training. There are many ways that this identification process can be handled. First an examination of past and current performance appraisals can be made to identify employees that have areas that need improvements. Surveys can also be used to identify skills that the employees themselves think that they should have or that they need to have to perform their jobs more successfully. Interviewing employees can also be used to identify skills that are needed or desired by employees, as can skill and knowledge tests.
The final way a person analysis can be conducted is to evaluate and review critical incident reports that have been filed in personnel. These incidents can pinpoint specific skills like customer service, assembly, etc. that specific employees or departments need to improve.
After we have identified who needs to be trained in what areas, we will need to determine what training methodology to use. Today there are many options managers and business owners can exercise to train their employees. Seminars are a popular choice for large-scale training issues like professional standards updates and customer service issues.
The benefits of this type of training methodology are: that they are usually given by an expert or organization that has extended knowledge of the area, they cover all the issues related to the issue is a short period of time, training materials are provided, and employees enjoy the fact that they get out of work to attend the seminar.
The drawbacks of seminars are based on the time and money that they require. In order to overcome pacing issues of training materials, programmed instruction can be used to deliver training materials. Programmed instruction is basically a hard copy format of training that is delivered either through: step-by-step booklets, latent ink booklets, or through computer-assisted instruction or computer-based training.
Examining Case studies is another training methodology that can be used. Employee meetings can be held in which critical incidents are reviewed and alternative solutions or actions can be discussed. Simulation is yet another training methodology that can be utilized. Simulation is basically just walking an employee through the motions of a skill in a controlled environment until they master the skill. The benefits of this training methodology are that they train employees to perform specific skills needed for their job, and simulations help train employees to respond appropriately to unexpected events in a controlled environment.
The drawbacks to simulation are again based on money. In certain cases where simulating machines are needed, the cost can be extraordinarily high. Therefore simulation exercises that utilize these kinds of devises are often times limited to larger businesses or to companies that are located close to companies that lend out simulators. Role-playing is an inexpensive training methodology that most companies can use. In this case employees act out scenes from their job in which they face challenges and situations that they normally will come across during the average day. The benefits of this type of training are: (1) it is relatively inexpensive, and (2) it covers skills that are specific to the job in question.
The drawbacks are that some employees may not feel comfortable in this situation, and they may not learn well under the pressure. Apprentice training is another category of training methodologies that can be used to train employees. In this type of training programs new employees follow the lead of an experienced employee in order to learn new skills and to learn how to function properly in the job in question.
This type of training is most commonly used in trade and craft industries, however, it can be used successfully in office situations as well.
Once we have identified the skills that need to be focused on, the employees that need training, and the methodologies that will be used, you need to put everything down in writing. Documentation is the key to protecting yourself against lawsuits relating to employee relations. The following training materials need to be cemented in writing.
1. Training objectives: Training objectives need to identify (1) the skill, (2) how training is to be conducted, and (3) what proficiency the employee needs to attain by the end of the training process.
2. Training materials: Training materials, depending on the nature of the skill, should be written out in a manner that is easy to understand and easy to follow. Step-by-step instructions should be written out for every job, no matter how insignificant it may seem to the employer. An instruction sheet should include:
3. Evaluation materials: Evaluation materials are as important to a training program as the actual training materials. They will let us know how effective our training materials are and whether you need to adjust any of your methodologies. The evaluation materials that we need are:
4. Out-of-house material: If a company utilizes outside sources for training it will need the following materials:
Now that we have all of your training materials in order we will need to let our employees know about the programs and their processes. They will need to know what our training objectives are, how their progress will be monitored, what training methodologies are available and which ones are required, and what paper work is required. This documentation will help to protect you from unfounded lawsuits.
After an employee has completed a training program we will want to have them fill out an evaluation form of the program that goes over how well the information was presented, if they found the training helpful, if there are any areas that need improvement, if there are any areas that seemed redundant or unnecessary, and if there are any other skills that they feel that they need to perform their jobs. A manager, will also need to fill out an evaluation form on the employee’s progress and proficiency in the skill or skills that were focused on during the training program. Proficiency tests can be used to measure the employee’s abilities, or physical observation of the employee performance can be used.
If we notice that there are still areas that need to be trained in, then we should make the changes to the training program as soon as possible so that the next trainee will get all of the training that they need. Also we can use the evaluation forms to identify areas that really don’t need to be covered and you can eliminate these things from your training program and save your company time and money spent on employee training.
Designing formal training is time-consuming and expensive. Once it is designed, however, it needs updating only as operational changes are instituted. Every new employee may then be trained using the training plan and all materials that are already prepared. There is an initial investment of time and money, of course, but thereafter training is consistent and convenient.
The idea is similar to management delegating certain responsibilities. Once the initial effort has been expanded, the employee can take the delegated responsibility and free the manager for other tasks. Many employees excel when given opportunities to take on more responsibility. And so with formal training—it better prepares an employee to do the job and, after the initial effort of design, is ready and available for use every time a new employee joins the team.