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Archive for the ‘Instructional Design’ Category

Just continuing to look at the different ways people measure training.  Measuring behavioral change isn’t a bad one.  If you really know what to do look for, you should start to see changes being made after training.  Often creating  behavioral checklists and doing direct observation is a popular way of measuring at level 3. 

Here are the pitfalls.  First, when you divide things into behaviors you can loose how they work together.  You can do all the new behaviors but miss all the connections.  More than likely, participants begin to get better at these behaviors but haven’t yet reached a level of proficiency or mastery.  That takes a lot of time, practice and feedback.

Look at the example of learning to do great presentations.  You can train to a set of new behaviors in front of others during a presentation.  You can then look to see if those behaviors are starting to appear.  You should see some change.  This is a good thing.  However, to continue on to a higher level of proficiency won’t happen immediately.  In fact, the new behaviors can quickly dissappear under the pressure of doing things for real.

The solution is to look at how you can continue to build those behaviors and work on all the subtleties that may not be on the checklist.

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 by FernandoLins.com

by FernandoLins.com

This is a very popular discussion question.  It goes along with how do you actually measure training.  This is the first of a series of posts on the topic.  In this posts, I want to talk about the evaluation sheets that are passed out after every seminar, lecture or course.  It includes questions such as:

  • How did you like the workshop?
  • Did you get anything out of it?
  • How did the instructor do?
  • Did you like the lunch?

It’s a lot like a customer satisfaction survey.  It’s never a bad idea to ask customers what they think. 

However, I think the value of these evaluations is very limited.  Just liking something doesn’t necessarily lead to learning, skill building or real change.  This evaluation really won’t tell you if anything will have a lasting effect a day, a week or a month later.  Here’s an example,

One of the training programs that always gets great reviews is style training.  Style training comes in lots of different varieties and people like them.  Everyone likes to here good things about themselves.  However, being able to actually use this information to do anything significant on the job seldom happens.  In fact, it’s more likely to be misused.

So, the point is..it’s nice to have happy participants.  Much better than unhappy participants.  However, don’t confuse happiness with learning.

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One of the short falls of today’s education and training is that is built on old ideas and an older way of doing things.  I’d like to put out the question.  If you could start with a clean slate and design education any way you wanted what would it look like?

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We are launching some new webinars for Learning Paths.  The first one is going to be about Learning Paths for Learning Leaders.  Let me know if you want an invite.

Here’s a quick overview:

Learning Paths for Learning Leaders

A Strategic Approach to Driving Business Results

In this webinar, we are going to be discussing the role of the Strategic Learning Leader and how Learning Paths can support any successful Learning Leader.  

The role of a Strategic Learning Leader is to align the current workforce with the strategic objectives of the organization.  In other words, being able to answer the questions:

·       What are we capable of doing today?

·       How can we change to meet future objectives?

·       What are the costs and risks for making the change?

Learning Paths is a proven methodology for driving business results through dramatically improving proficiency throughout the organization.  It provides Chief Learning Officers and other learning leaders with:

·       A comprehensive approach to workforce development

·       A better way to link training to business goals and objectives

·       Real measurement data that links directly to the bottom line

·       Learning principles and change management strategies that help build a learning organization

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I’ve been unsually business doing Learning Paths projects.  Each time I learn something new and the process gets better.  I guess that’s the goal of process improvement.  For those of you who have read the book or have done initiatives on your own, I’m going to do some blog posts on what we’ve learned and changed.

One of the things we know like to do at the end of the first phase is do a formall stakeholder analysis as a way of building a communication and implementation plan.  This helps us identify those who were not on the team that might be major allies or obstacles.  While it takes some time to do, it’s worth it.

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Learning at Light Speed, 101 Ways to Speed Up the Learning Process

#1:  Experiment

One of the important things we learn from the quality movement is the importance of experiments.  If you know how long something takes, you can set up experiments to see if an approach to learning is faster or not. 

So if you test a reading assignment versus a lecture or a game or elearning, you can see which one actually effects learning speed the most.  Other experiments might involve looking at the amount and timing of practice or the effects of different types of feedback.

The big point is that if you want to speed up learning, you need to know how much time it takes now and then experiment to make things faster.

Copyright LPI 2008.

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Uploaded by criscollrj

This picture has nothing to do with the topic but misery loves company. 

Anyway, a lot of emphasis is placed on soft skills training.  Sometimes referred to as people skills or non-technical skills.  This includes things like, listening, presentations, team building, sales, etc.  All good skills to have.

The problem is that they take a long time and a lot of practice to master.  If you go to a presentations course, you learn about how to make effective presentations and if you’re lucky you get to practice one or two times.

People who make presentations for a living tell me it takes about 200 times through to really make a great presentation.  So without that extensive practice what tends to happen is that people think they’ve developed the skills but really haven’t. 

Can you learn to be a good listener in 30 minutes?  That’s part of a lot of curriculums.  I think it might take a little more practice.

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