Before deciding to train, there are several factors that should be identified.
- Who is your target audience? What are their demographics (age, gender, job description)? What types of learners are involved?
- What are their motivations or goals?
- What are the intended outcomes of training them?
- Does your target audience have the same prior skills and knowledge?
You need to know more than these factors about your audience. You also need to be aware of your budget, and any facilities and equipment needed, before you decide what you will train and how you will train it.
Training used to primarily be stand-up training conducted in a classroom by one or more instructors standing in front of a group of people and imparting knowledge. It may be interactive by incorporating quizzes, case studies, small group discussions or question and answer (Q and A) sessions.
A more effective way to train certain skills is to conduct hands-on training. This is effective for Train-the-Trainer sessions, training involving machine maintenance and service, or other similar situations. Classroom instruction may still be a part of this type of training, but there should also be additional methods used, such as:
- Time for the students to exercise the skills taught in front of others or on the required equipment
- Coaching from the instructor or other subject matter experts (SMEs)
Training has evolved over time, due to technological enhancements and the search for more cost-effective methods. Nowadays it can be conducted in many different ways, either through computer-based training (CBT) and testing, online learning, webinars, podcasts, or other forms of e-learning. You may also conduct a blended type of training that incorporates various forms of these methods.
Once you assess your target audience, their learning styles and background, their training needs, your budget, your facilities and equipment availability, you will need to assess the type of training that will best meet your audience’s needs. You may have some additional requirements to consider if you’re training a multinational audience or if your students are intended to become trainers for others. If you would like to learn more about training and its methods, please contact me at Projects Accomplished!
About the Author
Sandra Glanton is the owner and managing consultant of Projects Accomplished! She spent 10 years developing and delivering training for a local multinational corporation. She has spent the last five years offering her training skills to her clients and to local nonprofits. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (585) 230-0649.