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Developing Training Activities and Materials

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Preparation for Developing Your Training Activities and Materials

The design phase and the development phase of systematic training planning often overlap. During the design phase or development phase, the various training activities must be selected, for example, to be instructor-led, computer-based, Web-based, self-directed, interactive or multi-media. The development phase of systematic training often includes selecting the most appropriate media and materials, for example, developing audio-visuals, graphics, manuals, preparing any needed facilities, and piloting course content to ensure it is understandable. Often the design and development phases are highly integrated. The design of the training is often piloted, or initially tested, during the development phase to ensure the content is understandable and applicable to the learners.

What is the Immediacy to Achieve the New Learning?

The more immediate the need to achieve the learning, the more important that the activities and materials be understandable and readily accessible to the learners. In these situations, it often is warranted to use an expert who can promptly design, develop and deliver the training plan, activities and materials. Also, it's very useful if the activities and materials can be based on activities already underway in the workplace so that learners do not have to take time away from work, but rather can promptly affect their work even as they participate in the learning program.

What Are the Learners' Preferences and Learning Styles?

One of the biggest mistakes in designing training plans is to choose activities and materials that do not match the preferences and styles of the learners. Probably the most common example is putting adults through extended hours of lecture. Those activities usually lull adults into a stupor, rather than sustaining sufficient interest and engagement to accomplish sustained learning among the adults. One of the best ways to discern the most appropriate styles of activities is to have learners undertake a learning styles inventory or at least to consider the various styles that seem common to the types of learners who will be in the training program.

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