How Do You Design a Training Course?
These days, the options are almost endless when it comes to providing training in your organisation. If you want to outsource your training you can hire professionals to lead classes, explore the extensive range of off-the-shelf courses available from training providers, or work with experts to create custom-made resources which you can then use to train your employees.
Most businesses with successful training programs have a unique combination of resources, varying in format, content and origin. Every organisation has unique needs, and training should reflect that. Effective training relies on commitment, and a long-term training strategy is crucial for any and every organisation. This means frequently monitoring how things are working and adapting continually to reap the benefits on the individual, team and organisational level.
This monitoring process may highlight a unique gap in your training program. Despite the wide range of off-the-shelf resources available, sometimes nothing feels right for your specific needs. Many providers offer custom content or personalisation of existing content in their range, or perhaps you are considering putting the entire thing together yourself.
We’ve put together 5 key steps to get you started when looking to design your own unique resource…
Step 1: Needs Analysis.
If you’re looking to fill a specific gap in training, then you’ve probably already taken this step (for now!) The first step in the creation of any training resource is to recognise the gaps in business performance. A training needs analysis involves an assessment of every level of the organisation, identifying and assessing any gaps between the current performance of employees and the overarching organisational goals.
- Where does the business need to be in the near and distant future and what skills do employees and teams require to achieve that?
- What needs to be improved in the present to help move the business forward?
A training needs analysis should be carried out regularly to ensure your training program stays up to date with the constantly evolving needs of the business and wider industry. It should involve consultations with employees directly, observations, and assessments of existing training approaches or materials.
Throughout the remaining steps it’s important to keep in mind at all times: what is the objective of this training?
Step 2: Expert knowledge.
So, you’ve identified a gap, or gaps, in the training your business provides and it’s time to bridge them. Perhaps you’ve identified a lack of job knowledge from a group of employees, and you need to get them caught up. Maybe job requirements have changed for part of your organisation and they’ve yet to be effectively trained in their new responsibilities.
At this point, you will have some idea of what information, or at least what type of information will be required to upskill or inform employees on the topic at hand. Training content usually involves theories, case studies and scenarios – for which consultation or collaboration with a subject matter expert is required.
In some cases, when the content is organisation specific, there will be people in your business with the particular knowledge required to ensure the course is comprehensive and effective. In other cases, you may have to outsource to an expert.
Step 3: Training format.
The options for training delivery methods are constantly growing, and each option has its own unique benefits. It’s important to consider the learners at this point and referring to your detailed needs analysis may help you understand what the best format is to meet their specific needs.
Formats can include e-learning, online classroom sessions, and offline classroom sessions, or even coaching or mentoring, to name a few.
Think of it this way… small teams may benefit from a small, in-classroom session. On the other hand, they may benefit from the inclusion of interaction and the ability to return to content and thus e-learning may be more appropriate. Maybe the learners expected to complete this course are spread across multiple time zones and cannot complete a live classroom session at the same time. Each situation is unique, and it is crucial you spend some time assessing the needs of your learners, and how those can be met.
If you are looking to a training course provider to help you create your course, they should be able to advise on this and will likely consult with you a great deal as you collaborate to create the most effective course possible.
After or alongside this consideration you must think about the type of content itself. What will your course consist of… interactions, quizzes, videos and case studies? Again, they all offer specific benefits and different combinations of content-types work for different topics and different learners. Usually, the subject matter expert will help make these choices, but as the training professional you must once again consider your learners and their needs, and the organisation’s needs as a whole.
Step 4: Creation and implementation.
As the course is developed, be that in-house or outsourced, refer to your needs analysis and make sure you have set out a plan for implementation. Some questions to consider…
- How will your learners access the resources?
- Does a session need to be scheduled?
- Do you have the appropriate means to share the course, be that organising a physical space, or ensuring the business has a sufficient learning management system for e-learning?
- What will be your KPIs and metrics to measure success, have they been integrated into the materials?
Once the course has been developed it’s time to launch and deliver the content to learners.
Step 5: Evaluate
Unfortunately, the launch of the resources does not mean the work is over. The course must be consistently monitored and evaluated to determine its success.
Employee engagement should be monitored, and feedback collected. This can be done relatively quickly. However, it will take a little more time before the long-term success can be measured. This is where it’s crucial to regularly carry out analysis and assessment of your training program. When you monitor skills gaps in the months after course implementation, you can identify whether the previous gaps identified have been closed.
Using your pre-determined KPIs combined with engagement rates and employee feedback, you can evaluate your program and make any necessary changes before considering the next opportunities for your organisations’ growth.
This post lays out a simplified overview for creating training content and is a useful source to consider in the early stages of course creation. A detailed approach is required to create the most effective content for learners and we have broken down the approach to writing training course materials in our article here. If you want to develop other people’s skills in developing training, you might find out instructional design training materials useful.
Remember, any training resource functions best as part of a wider, long-term training program. Trainer Bubble offers an extensive range of training resources across a range of topics, including communication training, business development, leadership training and compliance. Explore how we can help you fill your skills gaps here.
For more information, and to discuss the learning needs of your business, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.