What Is Training Design?

by Nat Howard - Updated June 28, 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, and who 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 performances. 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 the scope of 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 set 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 universal 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

The signs of effective training are learners who are engaged with various methods, the lessons flow logically for better learning, resources are used wisely and the end result 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 is a writer, editor, journalist, and jack-of-all-trades, covering topics from home improvement and design to healthcare and career advice.

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