Monday, March 3, 2008

Designing Training Programs- Creating Training Goals

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 you have learn how adults learn, and I placed some of the theory behind it that should be able to assist you in the design. So let's go to the writing training goals.

To writing training goals, you take a look at your TNA and see what has been agreed with the requestor/ supervisor. I think most people would know how to write a SMART goal:
Specific- be sure to tell them what they are going to learn, adults don't like surprises. If there is going to be a roleplay, tell them about it and what is expected of them. If there is an elearning course, tell about it and how to go about doing it and if there is a quiz or test so that they can prepare for it.

Measurable- tell them how you will be measuring the success of the training. If there is a quiz, tell them, when it will be conducted, how it will be conducted, WHY it is being conducted and of course what is the passing mark.

Achievable- set achievable tasks that they gradually move on with learning. Make the goal challenging but most importantly make it achievable. This also ties in with the next point.

Realistic- set realistic a environment and goal. Don't make it too ideal until becomes a dream fantasy. Don't give them tasks that even you as a trainer cannot do.

Timeliness- set a time limit for them to achieve the goals. I.e. you will be able to promote to the customer with ease in 3 minutes. So that they can challenge themselves bearing in mind achievable & realistic as well.

Writing SMART goals take time but it should not take all day. Mostly when I write the goals I keep one thing in mind- what do they need to perform or do in order to complete the training goal i.e. promote, sell, illustrate. Let me give you a couple of examples.

You will be able to confidently promote at least 3 benefits of the product using the product brochure to a customer in 3 minutes.
I used the word confidently as a goal for the participants to achieve when they are doing the roleplaying and although I can't measure confidence, it is more of a realistic goal. I specifically stated I wanted them to use the 3 benefits stated in the product brochure so they know how I want them to achieve the goal and I gave them a time.

You will be able to accurately illustrate the Product X registration procedure in 5 minutes
I used another word accurately to describe the measurement of the goal and specifically mentioned the which registration product I wanted them to illustrate. I like using illustrate because it is better to draw it out and that becomes the achievement of the training goals

I try to avoid goals like Understand or Know because you can never tell whether they have learnt it. You can ask them "Do you understand?" and they can just yes but in their minds they go "I have no idea but I don't want to look stupid in front of the rest"

I am still trying to write better training goals and sometimes I learn something new and improve on what I am doing now. So my advice to those who are starting to write training goals- just write them and improve as you go along. Don't be afraid of making a mistake.

No comments: