Langevin's Train-the-Trainer Blog
Photo by: Karolina Grabowska via Pixabay
When training adults we often assume they know how to learn and have already developed techniques to help them acquire knowledge and skill. This is not necessarily the case. After being in the workplace for years, some adults have been out of their “learning mode” for quite some time and may have forgotten how to learn. It is important that we remind adult learners of the techniques that will help them learn while in class.
As instructional designers, we write course materials that can make or break the success of a carefully designed and delivered workshop. First impressions count, especially in the written form, and participants often make judgments about the quality of the workshop based solely on the way the materials are written.
Often when an instructional designer is tasked with building a performance-based, blended learning solution to address a training need, the first constraint they consider is the available technology. The technology you choose can have a huge impact on the success of any blended learning solution. Questions to consider are: “Can we use video?”, “Can we build a robust online simulation?”, or “Do we have enough broadband?”
At Langevin we define training as “giving people the knowledge and skills required to do their current job.” There’s been a lot of research on the history of training and development, and a quick internet search can provide you with a detailed account of how training people to do their jobs has evolved over time. The history of training is quite interesting.
A recent conversation with a client revolved around the self-esteem of adult learners. In the 1970’s, Malcolm Knowles wrote extensively about learning principles relating to self-esteem specifically in adult learners. He believed that adult learners have something to lose and a strong need to maintain their self-esteem. Courses they attend should be set up to ensure successful outcomes, and adult learners need to feel they are being heard.
In the instructor-led training world it is quite common to roll out courses with little or no validation. Validation involves testing a course before it is delivered to the end-user. We often validate or test a course by conducting a pilot session—the first live classroom session for real end-users. When designing elearning courses, best practice advocates a thorough validation before the module or course is rolled out.
When designing elearning training sessions, instructional designers may spend a lot of time, energy, and resources on how the content will look on the web page. Learners respond well to a graphically pleasing elearning module but it’s also important to pay attention to the actual content of an elearning quiz! Remember that “need to know” content presented in an interesting and well-thought out elearning quiz, along with meaningful feedback, will help make your elearning even more successful.
One of the biggest complaints learners have with elearning is dealing with the idiosyncrasies of the technology. Learners become frustrated when they discover they don’t have the required software or hardware or have questions they can’t get answered. They may get discouraged and not complete the course.
The training needs analysis has been done; there is a definite need for training. The project sponsor has decided on an e-learning solution; we need to assemble a project team. There are several roles that need to be filled; one person may even fill multiple roles.