Today’s learners want opportunities that allow them to be more effective, have more impact and make change. Creating learning opportunities that best support learners and organizational goals is a rigorous and time-consuming task. In fact, professional trainers estimate an hour of training requires between 40-100 hours of preparation. Consider these three things before you begin creating a learning activity.
1. Determine your training ‘why’
Take some time to consider the “why” of your learning. Defining this will ensure you are developing something that is going to help meet your goals. This will also engage learners and “sell” your course or training. Lastly, having a clear “why” will keep you motivated over time.
Spend time clearly identifying the specific challenge you want to solve or goal to meet. Do some brainstorming to identify one to two behavior changes you would like to see in the learners. Be strategic so your learning has impact.
2. Engage others
Learning is a team sport. Learning professionals usually engage a variety of diverse people to create a high-impact learning experiences. Consider engaging some of the following to support your learning efforts:
- Learners – Put learners at the center of each thing you do. Engage learners to understand their learning needs and learning preferences. Individuals are increasingly seeking personalized learning that is aligned with their values as well as their professional and personal goals. Therefore, it is important to understand what learners want and need. For instance, engage learners to understand how they may or may not implement learning when back on the job.
- Subject matter experts (also known as SMEs) – Bring in the best people you can to bring information and content forward that learners want and need. Be aware that a subject matter expert is not a learning professional. Your content expert may need some guidance in narrowing the scope of their presentations or engaging audiences.
- Tech support – Don’t let technology be a barrier to your learners. Get support to ensure all the microphones work. Find support that helps make sure your computer is hooked up appropriately. Have tech support ensure all links and interactive features are working well.
- Graphic designers – Good design and graphics are important. Create good visuals that help learners to integrate what they are hearing.
- Learning designers – These professionals understand all the aspects of developing learning and can help create a high-impact learning experience.
3. Commit to post-training follow up
Post-learning support requires additional planning & implementation. A one-time training, considered “one and done,” is not effective for most adult learners. Most actual learning and behavior changes take place after the training when learners are “trying out” what they learned. Therefore, prepare to create plans and processes to sustain, strengthen and extend the learning beyond the actual training. If you want to create learning that has impact, you likely need to reframe how you see training. Training should be seen as the learning that takes place long after the training is complete. For ideas about how to create ecosystems for learning after your learning events, you can learn more reading my earlier blog here.
Interested in becoming a Featured Contributor? Email topics you’re interested in covering for GovLoop to [email protected]. And to read more from our summer/fall 2021 Cohort, here is a full list of every Featured Contributor during this cohort and a link to their stories.
Traci Warnberg-Lemm is the owner of Social Motion, a training, coaching and consulting company that energizes civic, policy and community-based solutions and supports leaders that drive them. Traci has over 20 years of experience working with and within government in the U.S. and internationally. She specializes in interagency and cross-sector projects and all things related to learning, collaboration, leadership and collective impact. Traci is a trained facilitator, social innovator, instructional designer and coach working with government leaders.