10 questions to ask before you begin designing a training program

If you’re anything like me, anytime a training request comes your way, you’ll be tempted to jump right in. “Ok, what’s the topic? What should people be able to do? Great, leave it to me, I’ll come up with something amazing!”

There are, however, some additional questions we should be asking before we jump into the development of a training program. Depending on the answers to these questions, perhaps training isn’t going to be the best solution after all.

Here are ten questions you may want to ask the next time a training project comes your way:

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What kind of facilitator are you designing for?

A few weeks ago I asked: “What kind of facilitator are you?” and I shared this model:

As part of this post, I also asked the following two poll questions:

Into which quadrant do you think that you fall?

Into which quadrant do the people you design training for generally fall?

If you haven’t had a chance to respond to those questions, I invite you to share your thoughts now by selecting the choices that best fit you and your situation. The answers I’ve received so far offered some interesting data points.

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Addressing Challenges and Getting Help (podcast)

How do you move forward when a project challenges you and you don’t see a clear path? On the podcast this week, Brian sits down with his colleague and Director of Instructional Design at Endurance Learning, Heather Snyder to dig into this topic. During this chat, they discuss some challenges they encounter during the training development process and how they can be addressed. Heather and Brian talk about a few recent projects and how they made them successful, some resources they use when they are stuck, and why and how to ask for help.   Continue reading

What kind of facilitator are you?

Designing effective training is one thing. Designing training that can be delivered effectively (by you or by someone else) is a bit of a different animal. It doesn’t matter whether the training is being delivered in-person or virtually, the person delivering the session is an enormous X Factor in whether the training will be effective or not.

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Training In The Age of COVID (13-min Podcast)

What does training look like in a COVID-19 or even post-COVID-19 world?  A lot of people are talking about how their jobs are changing. Whether it be working from home, adapting to new norms, or changing their skill set as an essential worker, these changes are impacting the way we work and how we approach and embrace technology.

In this week’s podcast, we sit down with Brent Schlenker of dominKnow and the Instructional Designers In Offices Drinking Coffee Crowdcast (better known as IDIODC) to gather some of his thoughts on workplace change as a result of the pandemic. Brent took some time with us to point out some interesting trends we didn’t expect, share some wisdom about how to up-skill as we move forward, and gives us advice on how to be successful in our own careers.

You can join Brent every Wednesday morning on the IDIODC Crowdcast to learn more about his colleagues’ and his perspective on learning and development. If you can’t make it on Wednesday mornings, all Crowdcasts are recorded and available on the dominKnow Crowdcast page.

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Engaging People Virtually: Advice from 11 Really Successful L&D Folks

In a world under lockdown and quarantine, organizations are still needing to train their workforce. Virtual sessions have been adopted almost universally as companies (and school districts) find creative ways to make sure learning continues to happen, skills continue to improve and knowledge is shared.

I’ve talked with a lot of people over the past month, and most of them agree that even when restrictions are lifted and people can safely return to their offices, working remotely is here to stay. Several weeks ago we polled Train Like A Champion readers with the following question: When we can go back to our offices, I anticipate my team will…

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How to Approach Training Like a Marketer (podcast)

Do you ever find yourself putting on your marketing hat and trying to “sell” a new process or implementation in your training? In this week’s podcast, we sit down with Mike Taylor of MikeTaylor.org and discuss what instructional designers can learn from the advertising and marketing approach and apply it to training.

If you are a training professional, we suggest you follow Mike on social media. He regularly puts out a wealth of information on training and design. During this podcast you can hear how he lifts inspiration from the advertising industry, a few best practices on things as simple as naming your training, and his recommendations on how to begin thinking like a marketer.

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5 Job Aids to Help with Your Next Virtual Session

Over the past month, our Endurance Learning team has offered several free webinars on basic ways to put together an engaging virtual session and the importance of the “producer” role. If you missed either session, you can access a recording with the following links:

During each session, we shared some data and several job aids, which I also shared on LinkedIn and received a lot of positive feedback. Instead of having to search through the webinars or my old LinkedIn posts, I thought I’d collect all of those job aids and put them in one place.

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Keys to Successful Training with an International Audience (Podcast)

Good instructional design may be universal, but are there considerations we need to take into account when training an international audience? This week on our Train Like You Listen podcast, Mary Cropp, Director of Learning and Development at Bluetooth SIG,  joins us again to talk about her experiences working with international audiences and how that can change your approach to training design.

Mary has spent the past several years presenting to participants from various cultures, countries and continents. During this podcast she discusses some lessons learned, how to approach designing for a culture with which you are not familiar, and some things you’re really going to want to avoid in your approach.

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When technology attacks (Virtual Training Edition)

What happens if there’s some sort of technological glitch (or worse, a catastrophic freezing up of your computer) when you’re delivering a virtual session?

This week, my colleague Lauren Wescott offered a series of virtual sessions focused on the role of a producer (there’s one more session tomorrow in case you’re interested in signing up!). A producer exists to ensure your presenter can focus wholeheartedly on presenting information and engaging the participants.

One important way a producer can do this is by helping troubleshoot issues with the technology while the facilitator focuses on delivering a high quality session. Below is a guide that may help you identify some potential issues your participants are having specifically with Zoom (we’re working on a similar job aid for other platforms).

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