How Do I Design an Effective Training Course or Training Programme?
Aug 24, 2012 Teacher Training 3068 Views
Good research, meticulous preparation, good quality presentation material and a training instructor with the right skills and personality are only a few of the key components that make up a good, effective training course. Some trainers are very good at presenting training courses, but if you are a trainer and about to embark on designing and preparing your own training course, you must follow a well prepared plan and see it through without compromising.
A lot of trainers or training consultants think they know exactly what clients require when it comes to designing a training course. Although the training consultant might be an expert in his field, it does not mean that he or she fully understands a client's needs. One of the first tasks to be completed by a trainer deciding to write a training course is to research not only the subject matter, but also potential clients, which basically amounts to market research. When a large company or organisation embarks upon a large training program then normally they will or should conduct some form of Training Needs Analysis (TNA), to determine the specific needs of the particular group or groups that need to be skilled in a number of disciplines. This TNA can be broken down into some specific steps:
1. The organisation must conduct some form of scoping study to essentially provide a overview of the reasons behind the need for the training course or training programme. Could it be the introduction of new hardware, new software or maybe a change in the way the company or organisation supports clients or partners. Within some areas of TNA methodology it is sometimes referred to as an Operational Task Statement, and identifies all the deliverable attributes.
2. A detailed list of the tasks that need to be performed following the completion of the training programme need to be identified. This may include sub-groups of tasks to be performed by different groups within the company or organisation. Individual tasks need to be assigned some form of importance criteria so as to be able to differentiate between absolutely essential tasks and those with a lesser importance.
3. What skills do the existing staff or delegates already have and what new skills will they need. Differences are often referred to as Training Gaps and these are going to form the basis of any training programme subsequently delivered.
4. What options do you have for delivering the key competencies previously identified? All options should be considered and analysed, and when this is conducted by a specific organisation, the advantages and disadvantages of each option must be clearly presented.
5. A final report should detail all the findings from stages 1 - 4 and present senior management within an organisation with all the facts and recommendations which will include a recommended implementation plan.
Now those 5 steps outline in brief are how an organisation might approach a project to introduce new equipment or practices, but a similar approach must be undertaken even when designing a training course to be offered for public consumption. One of the main differences being that you probably don't have access to the management or specific, individual staff who will receive the training. This should not mean that you just make assumptions on what individuals or organisations may require. What I am saying here is that you should get as much advice and constructive criticism at each stage of the course development, particularly when setting the course aims and objectives. Don't feel tempted to deviate from the objectives once they have been set, without further consultation with your potential audience.
Once those objectives have been set then the hard work of producing the training material begins and regardless of the media used, try and ensure a professional and consistent look, which should be informative, eye catching and free from error. If your training course is on a topic that is subject to change then ensure that the training material is updated at regular intervals, which will help ensure its longevity.