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5 Instructional Design Tips to Keep Training Simple

Posted by Lynne Koltookian on 11/17/14 3:00 AM
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Why can’t everything be simple in life?! Take, for example, my bicycle computer. It is a nifty gadget. It records how far I ride, how fast I ride, how quickly I pedal, and how much time has passed. Another cool thing about the computer is that it is wireless. I have the control screen up by my handlebars and the sensor is attached to my rear tire. There are no wires anywhere! Yesterday I had to change my bike computer batteries. The directions were so complex, with so many steps; it took me 45 minutes to complete this task!

In contrast, I also had to replace a broken shoe lace on my bicycle shoe. I ride a lot and I wear things out. I purchased some new laces, returned home, and re-laced both of my shoes in less than a minute. Nice and simple – no written directions required!

Well, a trainer needs to keep things simple so participants can learn. Someone once told me that the essence of being an excellent instructor is having the ability to make complex things seem simple and easy to learn. I try to keep these words in mind every time I design and deliver instruction.

I would like to share five instructional design tips with you that I use to help my training stay clear and simple:

  1. Use an agenda each day so learners can stay on track.
  2. Provide written directions on a flipchart or PowerPoint slide to help you explain complex activity instructions.
  3. Use the motto, “Give them just the stuff and not the fluff,” to help you separate the need-to-know content from the nice-to-know information. This helps you reduce the amount of material you need to cover.
  4. Create small groups to maximize participation and save time.
  5. Use many different types of visual aids to help illustrate and explain difficult concepts or skills.

In our instructional design and instructional techniques workshops we review these techniques, as well as many others too numerous to mention in this blog.

To facilitate, not hinder, the learning process, simplicity and clarity must be built into our course design so the instructor can bring the design to life!

How do you keep things simple in your training?

Instructional Designer Starter Kit



Lynne has been a course leader with Langevin since 2007. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Penn State University and a Master’s degree in Education from Boston University. After working many years in human resources and sales, Lynne transitioned into training, her true passion, where she’s been facilitating since 1994. Her training philosophy is simple—learning should be fun! The essence of a good instructor is someone who can make complex things easy to understand and fun to learn. In her free time, you’ll find Lynne cycling, hiking, downhill skiing, and scuba diving.

Topics: instructional design

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Our very own world-class course leaders share their experiences, tips, best practices, and expertise on virtual training, instructional design, needs analysis, e-learning, delivery, evaluation, presentation skills, facilitation, and much more!

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