Let's assume I have the answers to those three questions:
- What does the participant know about the topic?
- What do they want to learn?
- Why do they want to learn it?
This is where we apply the CRI principles: The goals of the training (or syllabus) are adjusted to the goals of the trainees and become a contract between the trainer and trainees. Each participant may have different goals.
Now the question is: How to best deliver the training?
- First, what facilities are available?
- Is the training to be delivered on an inhouse network?
- If so, does that network have access to the Internet?
- Is the training to be delivered from manuals? Are the manuals customized, or customizable?
- Do the manuals have to be developed separately?
- How many participants will be in the course?
- Will the course be synchronous or asynchronous? -- or a combination?
- Will there be a fixed time period for each session or course?
The answers to those questions define the preparation for the course, session, or sessions.
If I could train the way I want to, every course or session would be a mentored web tour with asynchronous feedback. The participants would be encouraged to explore additional resources and to contribute resources from the Internet or books.
There are two levels to mentoring:
- On each core topic, the first part of the web tour would be outright training. We all move from page to page -- either in a manual, on screens in the training room, or webpages.
- The second part is clarification and exploration, possibly different with each participant, depending on their skill level or goals.
The participants would respond with their efforts or questions via either email or in a forum.
How does the old rock anthem go? -- You can't always get what you want...
As a contrast, I'm going to lay out a fairly standard corporate training day.
- Trainer arrives at 8.30AM, collects Training room key from and greets students
- Turn on PCs and ensure exercise files are loaded and the software is correct
- Check the Training Room for obvious safety hazards like exposed cabling and cords, inappropriate objects in the room, and monitor placements.
- Check manuals, name tags and pens.
- Chapters from the manuals to be covered are written on the whiteboard
- Put the Trainer's name prominently on the whiteboard
- 9.00AM sharp collect Students from the lounge area and show them into the Training Room.
- Students are required to fill out the Service Acceptance form.
- Introductions – clarify Students objectives and existing knowledge verbally and complete the Pre-Training Survey.
- Preview the course referring to the Table of Contents in the course manual.
- Briefly discuss Occupational Health and Safety from the manual, and discuss proceedures such as fire drill
- Begin covering the course material paying particular attention to the goals of certain participants.
- Morning break of 15 minutes around 10.30am
- Break for lunch at 11.55am
- Afternoon break of 15 minutes when appropriate
- 4.30pm completion of the formal course
- Let the students know where they can download the exercise files referred to in their manual or provide a CD
- Direct students to fill out the online Evaluation Forms and be sure they are aware a copy of the evaluation may go back to their organisation for feedback purposes.
- Sign certificates.
- Complete the Trainer Feedback Form
- Return the Trainer Feedback Form and keys.
To whom is this course relevant? Based in the design, I'd say it was more relevant to the contracted company or the organization that ordered it. Is it any wonder that the participants often see this as a paid day off?