Sunday, January 20, 2008

How to Develop, Design and Deliver a Learning Course (Part 1)

I am putting down in my blog what I learnt in my 10 years as a trainer. I have delivered courses in classroom, created web based courses, coached via face to face, email and other means. Now I believe I have acquired new ideas and skills that will enhance the way I deliver training programs. But what I put down here is not something that is perfect and I know if I put it down here and there are people who can comment, I will learn more. So here goes, part one- Instruction Design 101 by Chris Chew.

To develop a learning course requires a process which I m sure almost all trainers would follow the diagram above.

Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
This part is where the trainer finds out what are the learning gaps of the learners, what needs to be trained. There are various ways to do this-
  1. discussion with line managers, supervisors, or even the senior leadership team
  2. new product/ services or even new processes implemented
  3. development plans of an employee
  4. competency assessment, and more
This section is crucial because if the wrong assessment or training objectives are done then everything else, no matter how good or how perfect the design and development can be- everything will fail. What I call a perfect failure.

Design and Developing Stage
After conducting the TNA, it is time to go to the blueprints of the developing and designing the course. To start off, we need to create course objectives which are what the learners will learn at the end of the course. Generally I like to use the phrase "By the end of the course, you will be able to...", the other rule I always adhere to is that the objectives is an action e.g. illustrate, design, etc. This is because I believe that if the person can demonstrate what he has learnt then that becomes actual proof that learning has take place. This does not mean the learner will adopt new learning back in the workplace however. I will discuss this more in detail in the future.

Most people would think that the best delivery is via classroom- however, given factors like time (most people cannot come out for long training sessions), personal learning methodology, etc classroom would not be effective enough. Today, we have so much opportunities in technology to deliver training. What I believe classroom is really effective if the session was conducted in a workshop format- there is where classroom training or face to face instructor has it's most benefits. Consider options like a simple pdf file for people to read about the topic or short audio files. Theories and presentation are effective if delivered by a trainer who can present very well but sometimes a movie or a multimedia type presentation would do the job better and more effectively. Five years ago, people would have difficulty looking for all these multimedia but with YouTube, Google, Flickr, Blogs, Slideshare, etc looking for these content is not impossible anymore and the internet has so much to offer. More coming your way.

There are many ways to evaluate your training. There is a slide that I found and put in my blog about Measuring ROI in Training by exploreHR has some interesting insights and I do encourage you to take a look at it. This is also relatively new to me but I am going to learn and then share with you whatever I know.

Next: Analysing Training Needs Analysis Process


Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Hi Christopher,

How is blogging?

Anyway, I have actually promoted your blog here:

Just keep on posting, and increasingly more people will be coming to learn from your experiences and ideas :)

We will probably bump into one another soon in some e-learning workshop or gathering :)

Warm Regards,


Christopher Chew said...

Thanks Zaid for the kind words in your blog. I was really embarrassed by it but I hope to live up to those words.

Blogging is not that hard, keeping the discipline is but like any discipline, it takes commitment and passion.

I hope to catch up with you in the gathering soon. Just waiting for Dr Jai to let us know where.