Posted on 10:00am Tuesday 17th Apr 2012
Listed under: Trainer Blog
I have just got a new client who is looking for me to develop a new training programme for them. If I am honest I am really excited by the opportunity that this presents. I have always enjoyed writing training materials, not quite as much as I enjoy delivering training, but none the less I always get a great deal of pleasure out of sitting down with a blank canvas and creating some real learning.
I was looking in an old training manual I have in my pile of training books and it sets out very nicely a path to follow when designing training, which I thought I might write about this week and next week.
The first task is to identify the ‘Needs’ that the training programme is intended to meet. In this case those have been already identified for me by the client. They really are a non negotiable. I don’t see any reason why the designer could not add to the already identified ‘Needs’ but it is not within my gift to take any away. The role of the designer is to build a programme of learning around the ‘Needs’ the sponsor has given you.
The ‘Needs’ then should be turned into the overall ‘Aim’ of the programme. What are you aiming for your delegates to be able to do at the end of the course/lesson. It is not a specific, much more a generalisation, but without it planning is difficult. It is a bit like going on a journey in your car. Before you set out on a journey you make a plan, The ‘Needs’ of that plan are “We need to get to Whitstable by this, afternoon.” The overall ‘Aim’ is the plan is the ‘How’ we are going to do that. ‘We will aim to avoid traffic jams and motorways, and will stop off at least once for tea and cakes.’ All a bit general, but it is a clear statement of intent. If you work on the premise that the training programme is built around a work issue, the sponsor could say I want my staff to be better/good at something. The Need of the training programme is exactly that. The aim is a bit more detailed. Specifying how you plan to achieve this, and how you will know you have done so.
At this stage you should not be looking at methodology, but working on the plan that will help you deliver the end product. Part of that plan should be what Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes, Understanding, and Behaviours you plan to influence with this work. It is not vital that you influence all or even the majority of these; they are headings that you need to consider. How do they fit into the ‘Needs’ of your sponsor? Trainers refer to these as KUSAB.
If we go back to the trip to Whitstable it will test our Knowledge, where is Whitstable? How long will it take to get there? It will test our Skills. Which gear should I be in to drive around this bend, where do I position my car on the road as I drive up to this junction? It will also test my attitude. It could be the children in the back endlessly asking, “Are we there yet?” or how you respond when white van man carves you up.
Understanding can and will be tested when you need to follow the map, do you understand the symbols on the map, if you don’t know the difference between a road and a railway line that could prove problematic. Lastly Behaviour, that will be tested in how you behave throughout your journey.
By looking at KUSAB in detail like that it will help you start to plan your Learning Outcomes. They should always start with the words ‘At the end of this lesson the delegates will be able to....’ The Learning Outcomes are what you as the designer expects your delegates to have achieved at the conclusion of the lesson. They are written in such a way that the delegate ‘Will’ achieve. Not may achieve, or hopefully will achieve. Your writing is such that they will achieve them.
Next week we will carry on and look at how to write good learning outcomes and continue with the process we have started this week until we have completed the planning process. See you then.
©Executive Guidance 2012