What Is Training Design?

  Reviewed by: Michelle Seidel, B.Sc., LL.B., MBA
  Written by: Nat Howard      Updated November 08, 2018
Digital technology in the classroom

New employees go through training and orientation. But what about the employees that have been on your team for years who also need the chance to improve and grow? Training design is developing new training and educational courses and lessons for your existing employees. It roots out the gaps in training and fills them in with new material for better performance. It also allows your team to grow their skills rather than becoming static in their roles.

Assess Needs and Training Objectives

Training design allows a company to assess its needs and present solutions in clearly defined goals. When training current employees to learn a new task, you first have to understand what they already know and how they could improve. Needs can come from an overall organizational and strategic point of view, from departments or teams or from an individual evaluation. Assessing the needs of the organization can determine the training objectives. These objectives will become the building blocks of your training design. By finding the weak spots in previous employee training or knowledge and addressing company needs, you can see where you want the training to go – the next step is how to get there.

Delivery of Lessons

Once the training objectives are set, consider the delivery mode of the message. Web-based training, webinars and interactive websites have changed how we train and learn. But is this the right way to your objectives? Mentoring, self-paced workshops or instructor-led small classes may be the best way to tackle your objectives. All training design must fit into a pre-existing budget, or be proposed with a budget.

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Action Plans

The training objectives are the end goal. Once these are set and once you know what you want your team or company to learn, you can begin to design the training program to teach and reach your objectives. Adults and children have one thing in common: they do not want to sit through a boring lecture. Action plans need to have action. Adults learn by doing, and interactive learning through workshops, hands-on exercises, activities, role plays and group discussions are all actionable training that engages employees. Remember that some learners are visual and others are auditory. When you embark on a training design, keep the word “action” in mind when it comes to lesson planning.

Design Your Training

A program design may include the mode of delivery, a set of teaching plans that will be delivered through instructors, web, or self-guided reading and assignments that test and challenge the employee’s understanding of the content. When implementing a training program, the time limits and ending dates are as important as the objective goals. The training must meet an end, and the end result must meet the objective solutions. Design a schedule for training activities, as well as all resources needed to participate.

Evaluate the Process

Effective training helps learners to be engaged with lessons that flow logically for better learning, with wisely used resources and an end result that meets learning and training objectives. Revising and adjusting plans can lead to new assessments and training objectives. Training design is a means to continuous improvement.

About the Author

Nat Howard holds an MA in Professional Writing from the University of Roehampton. Her background is in user experience, marketing and content management for both small businesses and large Fortune 500 companies.

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