Far too often, we forget the primary reasons at the core of the training solutions we choose to offer. We spend too much of our time enchanted by the bells and whistles associated with the technology. And we, mistakenly, believe that all training solutions offer the same benefits just because the title of the program appears to fill our needs.

However, the truth lies in the learning objectives associated with any training initiative we may choose to offer.

Yes! — learning objectives, and their associated learning outcomes, should always be the bottom line reason behind whatever training you provide.

Here are some tips on evaluating your courseware choices from a learning objectives point of view.

There are three primary aspects of learning objectives. The first is the makeup of the population being trained. What are the characteristics of the learners in your organization?

For example, does the course you are evaluating use college level vocabulary when labor statistics clearly show that the majority of the people you need to train cannot comprehend above a fourth grade reading level? Are the pictures and illustrations used in the proposed course similar to the types of equipment the learner will encounter on your shop floor?

Secondly, what “behavior changes” do you expect after the training has been completed? Do you want the individual learners to be able to identify specific pieces of equipment? Do you want them to be able to demonstrate their ability to perform a maintenance task correctly while also using good work and safety practice.

And thirdly, does the course you are evaluating prepare your trainees for the conditions they will ultimately encounter when they are on the shop floor? Are they armed with the references, illustrations, graphs, and, most importantly, the electronic help desk — all readily available in knowledgeably-designed courseware (and, vital when those trainees are actually on-the-job)?

Expect a vendor’s sales representatives to be able to reference these objectives in any courseware you are asked to evaluate. If they can’t, move on to another option.

Good training objectives identify the desired learning outcomes; are consistent with your company’s goals; and, are specifically meaningful to your organization’s needs.

For the best in training outcomes, being able to evaluate any training option in these ways is far more important than the bells and whistles that are seductively impressive in the sales presentation.

And, of course, all these same criteria apply directly to you if you are tasked with developing your own training programs for your own organization. Your focus must always be on the learning objectives and the resultant learning outcomes of whatever courseware you provide.

More on Thursday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com