Written by:

Holly Macdonald


December 2, 2015

When building your training solutions, it’s really important that you consider how your target audience is going to incorporate this new knowledge or skill into their practice, task or work. Whether it’s online or offline (or both!), think of how you can:

  • Specify and communicate (performance) expectations
  • Provide training and simulate a realistic environment where they can practice
  • Augment your solution with resources
  • Align access to those resources to the process
  • Provide coaching and feedback

performance equation

Considering these as part of your overall solution, during the design phase (from the beginning), is a good idea. Training is never an isolated solution, but works best if it’s supported. Within an organization, it’s also important that you specifically target management to set and communicate expectations and provide timely feedback. Expectations are not the “learning objectives” that are in a course, but a true conversation between manager and direct report, which should include the words “I expect”.  Often, if training is requested because of a performance problem, you can trace the root of it back to unclear expectations. However, building a training solution that includes guidance for managers around setting expectations, providing feedback and ensuring that they are aware of the training itself can avoid some performance problems. And if you are an instructional designer and are confronted with a request for training, explore the possibility that it could be poorly communicated expectations before you build instructional materials. You may save a lot of time and money by NOT building instructional solutions for those situations. And solve the actual problem. Like a good instructional designer should.

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