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Is training the answer?

Learning Standards
This tool takes a closer look at each phase of ADDIEthe
standard for FHI 360 learning design. But before you say
YES! to that next training request, start with the question,
Is training really the best solution?
The five steps that give ADDIE its name create a learning
solution from start to finish. Why should I follow this ADDIE
process? you ask? Its simple: The ADDIE model, which has Implement
been in use for more than 30 years, provides a logical, step-
by-step roadmap for building training that ensures learners
will meet specific objectives. Click through the sections on the
right to learn about FHI 360s learning standards. Evaluate
Is training the answer?

Its a familiar scene: A manager runs into Before you Start Your Training Analysis
your office. Her staff cant seem to get work
done on time. She says she wants a training
First, drop the word training because it adds bias to
on time management.
whether training actually is the best solution.
Are you capable of putting together a time
In the example on the left, the manager jumps straight to the
management training program? Of course.
solution without examining facts. Perhaps the team is
Do you know that the reason staff have
missing deadlines due to a systems failure. Or maybe theres
been missing deadlines is truly because of
miscommunication about expectations. Or process
poor time management? Not necessarily.
bottlenecks. Or mismanaged performance on timekeeping
adherence. Regardless, training isnt always the answer.

Data! Data! Data! So take a step back next time you receive a training request,
and gather some facts using sample questions like these. If
I cant make bricks you find that training is not the answer, consider other
strategies that might be more effective, like this list from

without clay! organizational learning expert, Marc Rosenberg, Ph.D. Also

review the 70-20-10 Framework that illustrates components
~ Sherlock Holmes of modern workplace learning.
Is training the answer?

Use scoping questions like these to identify Desired Outcome

whether training is needed at all. This
analysis identifies the true organizational or What is the specific change you would like to see
business need, desired outcomes or in the participants following the event?
performance change, and whether people, What would you like participants to know, do, or
systems and follow-up mechanisms are in believe differently as a result of this training?
place and ready to support learning.
Support and Follow Up
Organizational Need What organizational mechanisms are in place to
support the change?
Why does this need exist? How will a change How do participants immediate supervisors
affect the organization? believe in or support the change?
Tell me about your development needs and How does the organizationat the highest
how training could be part of a solution? levelssupport the change?
How do you see training as helping you to Are all resources and technology needed to
meet your need? Is training the best or only support the change in place?
manner of effecting your desired change? What happens if the participant doesn't comply
Is the desired change consistent with with the change? Are there consequences?
organizational or business goals?
Is training the answer?

Reason What to Consider, Instead of or in Conjunction with Training

1. They (employees, workers, team OK, this is a learning opportunity, and training is certainly one important way to enable learning. You
members, etc.) dont know how to also may add informational, collaborative, and experiential/simulation components to your learning
perform. solution, in addition to an instructional component.

2. They dont know how well to These two are standards issues. Some people believe that what they are doing and the quality level
perform. with which they are doing it is what is expected. Communicating clear expectations about the level
and quality of the performance may be all thats needed. Try this first, before you train. And if you have
3. They think they are already no performance standards, forget training until you do, because without standards, how do you know
performing acceptably. what your training goals should be?

Here, a good communications strategy from the organization down to immediate supervisors can be
4. They dont know what they should more helpful and efficient, than training. Sometimes people are skilled at a job or task but dont
perform. perform simply because they dont know whats expected of them. Consider using a work breakdown
structure (WBS), RACI chart, or other tools.

Here, you are looking to create or strengthen commitment. Its a change-management challenge rather
5. They dont know why they should than a training challenge. You can train people to do something different or new, but if they are not
perform. convinced that its the right way to go, it will feel like you are constantly pushing a rock uphill. Getting
6. They dont believe in it, or dont buy-in first will make any training easier and more effective. Or, if getting buy-in is the solution in this
think it will work. case, training may be something to consider later.

7. They have too much invested in the

status quo.
Is training the answer?
Reason What to Consider, Instead of or in Conjunction with Training

Priorities and time management are the culprits here. If people have no time or items are too low on
8. They are too busy. their task list, they wont do it in spite of any training you offer. Often, freeing up the performers
time is all thats needed. Effective workload distribution and delegation may be helpful in this case.
9. They are not rewarded for the right
Here, the focus should be on incentives, feedback and performance management. If doing something
10. They are punished for the right
new or different is perceived to be more painful, less appreciated, or simply more of a hassle than
doing it the way it was always done in the past, youre going nowhere. We often find a bad
11. There are no (or weak) organizational culture will defeat the best-intended training.
consequences for doing it wrong, or
not at all.
Training people to do something and then denying them the resources to do it is all too common.
12. They dont have the financial,
Sometimes smart people can overcome meager or non-existent resources, but dont bet on it. Give
technical, workplace, or staff
people the tools and resources, including performance support, they need to perform to a standard,
resources to perform.
and you may find additional training unnecessary.

After trying everything, sometimes its just a mismatch between the job and capability. It is an issue
13. They dont have the capacity to
of competence which can lead to a reasonable conclusion that the person, even after training, will
never perform to the expected standard. Replacing the worker may be the only alternative.

Its not likely that you can train someone to do the impossible, or to be successful in a process or task
14. The job or task is poorly designed, so convoluted and poorly designed as to make even experts throw their hands up in frustration. Job
or impossible. design (or redesign), not training people on work-arounds, will go a long way to improving
Is training the answer?
70-20-10 Framework for Learning and Development
Modern workplace learning is more than just training and eLearning

Learning by doing Mentoring Workshops

Ongoing feedback Coaching Webinars
Problem solving Communities of Practice eLearning
Projects & special assignments Listservs Online learning portal
Social networks Articles and books
YouTube videos

Analyze the need

If its determined that training is the best solution to
address gaps, start with a thorough analysisthe
foundation of a learning or training intervention.
Results will guide subsequent design and
development activities. Analysis explores three areas:
Organizational or business needs
Develop Job or task needs
Individual needs

Start with these Learning Needs Sample Questions

from the Association of Talent Development (ATD).
Two other helpful tools explore whether the required
elements are in place to support the training: the
Evaluate Elements of Organizational Learning and the 4 Ts
model (adapted from IntraHealths coaching tool).

Systematic exploration of how things Once youve completed these analyses, you have a
are and the way they should be. The much better idea of the who, what, where, and why
difference is the performance gap. of your learning.

Learning Needs Sample Questions

Adapted from the Association of Talent Development (ATD)

What do we want to achieve as an organization?

Organizational Needs How does this align with organizational priorities?
Is there a business opportunity we should be pursuing?
What financial goals do we need to consider?
What new technology will be required by the organization?

What needs to change or improve in how people do their work?

Job or Task Needs What are the performance measures that need to be achieved?
What work processes or procedures need to change?
What new tasks do people need to start performing on the job?

What knowledge or skills does the individual need to acquire?

What other factors are affecting an individuals performance on the job?
What is the motivation of the individual to learn new skills?
Individual Needs How do the best performers do their jobs?
What experiences do they have that support the learning?
What do they know already?

Learning Needs: Are the Elements of Organizational Learning in Place?

Katie Smith Milway and Amy Saxton, The Challenge of Organizational Learning.

Executive commitment Beliefs and values aligned

Accountable supervisors Reinforcement incentives
Champions and role models Culture of
Supportive Commitment to
Continuous measurement and results

Intuitive Defined
Defined process to set Learning
learning practices to
Learning The network into which the
capture, apply, and share Process Structure learning gets disseminated
Defined roles for capturing
and sharing knowledge
Technology platforms

Learning Needs: Consider the Four Ts

Adapted from IntraHealths Coaching Tool

Are learners given the Are learners given appropriate

support they need from their time to complete relevant
manager, the organization, tasks and form collaborative
and their team members? relationships?

Team Time

Are processes and systems in

Tools Task What tasks are learners
required to do?
Do learners have access to What performance factors and
the resources, tools, and competencies are expected?
templates they need? Are the tasks and expectations
Is technology in place? clearly articulated and

Design the learning strategy

Starting your course without completing the design phase is like building
a house without a blueprint. Its better to start with a clear plan of how
everything in the course will be laid out and how content will fit
DESIGN together. Youll want to use the data from your analysis to create sound
learning objectiveswhat the learner will do as a result of the
intervention. These should be something the learner performssome
Develop form of action that can be observed and verified.

In the Design phase, the goals are to

plan and specify performance objectives (refer to Blooms Taxonomy)
select appropriate delivery method
design learning activities (refer to Experiential Learning Cycle and
Adult Learning Principles)
Evaluate create pre- and post-assessments; select pre-course assignments
create storyboards and media, and
identify evaluation methodologies.
If a performance gap is identified,
Basically, this is where the content and methodologies are mapped out
this phase outlines the
in a detailed fashion. And once you have the roadmap for your course,
performance objectives.
youre ready to jump into the fun part: development!

Before you prepare instruction, it's important to clearly

Performance Objectives state the desired outcomes of that instruction. Robert
Magers performance-based learning objectives will
help you clarify what the learner will be able to
perform as a result of the learning experience (see next
Condition what type of learning page) .
activity will be used

Given a list of procedures, the learner will identify

the error in each statement.

Performance what the learner needs to Condition: list of procedures

do or know Performance: identify the error
Criteria: each

As part of a participant-led session, learners will

develop and lead a training activity which
Criteria to what standard they will incorporates the four elements of the adult
perform learning cycle (ALC).

Condition: participant-led session

Performance: develop and lead a training activity
Criteria: four elements of the ALC

Blooms Taxonomy
You wouldnt learn how to ride a bike by reading a book, would you? Consider what your learners need to DO as a result of training,
and align your methods with that objective. Here's a cheat sheet of action verbs to use, with examples on the next page.

Remember Understand Apply Analyze Evaluate Create

Describe Explain Complete Justify Plan

Name Compare Use Examine Assess Invent

Find Discuss Examine Explain Prioritize Compose

List Predict Illustrate Identify Recommend Design

Relate Outline Classify Categorize Rate Construct

Write Restate Solve Investigate Imagine

Blooms Taxonomy
Level Activity Examples

Remembering Find an item in a diagram

Condition Name three steps of a process
Recite the organizations mission

Understanding Describe a department or projects features

Translate a description into an example or case study
Compare one situation to another

Applying Design a process

Performance Calculate answers to problems
Demonstrate a task

Analyzing Review information for whats relevant

Categorize items
Hypothesize an outcome

Evaluating Review of set of documents

Select the best method
Criteria Judge the quality of an argument

Creating Propose a set of recommendations

Prepare an outline
Build a project

Experiential Learning Cycle David Kolb's Experiential Learning model (shown left),
emphasizes that adults learn best through EXPERIENCE
coupled with reflection, discussion, and application.

Experience Heres an example of how FHI 360 might design a course on

Learning to Coach.
Concrete Experience (Experience) Observe video clips of
sessions where other people are coaching.
Reflective Observation (Reflection) Meet with a
licensed coach; discuss what worked well and what could
Application Reflection have been better.
Abstract Conceptualization (Discussion) Debate in small
groups on pros and cons of different methods.
Active Experimentation (Application) Practice coaching
with other participants while getting feedback from a
licensed coach.

Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.
~ David Kolb
Six Key Principles of Adult Learning Use this job aid as a checklist when youre
Malcom Knowles, The Adult Learner, 1973 developing learning objects to ensure youre
applying these principles in your design.

Adult learners need to know why the learning is important to them

Relevant and what they need to gain from the learning to perform on the job.

Adult learning should be self-directed, with the learner in control of

Learner Controlled the pace and order when possible.

Learners can use their experience and knowledge as a source for

Based on Prior Experience learning. Learning should allow adult learners to assess their current
knowledge and skip to information that is new and relevant.
It is important that adult learners immediately apply the new
Timely knowledge or skills to current work scenarios.

Adults learn new knowledge, understanding, skills, values, and

Scenario or Case-Based attitudes most effectively when presented in the context of
experience-oriented learning situations.
Adult learner motivation should be tied to intrinsic motivators (job
Self-motivated competency, professional pride) rather than to extrinsic rewards
(grades, gold stars).

Develop the materials

During the Development stage, youll create and assemble content that
you created in the design phase. Youll also develop and/or integrate
technologies where relevant.

This stage is where the storyboards, prototypes, project plans, course

outlines, syllabus, and other detailed descriptions of course elements
DEVELOP you created during the Design stage will be helpful.

In the Development phase, the goals are to

Implement build course content (using authoring tools for eLearning; session
plans for live or virtual training events)
create learning materials (activities, quizzes, participant notebooks)
pilot the course, and
resolve any technical issues and make last revisions based on
feedback from reviewers.

The performance solution is created.


Sample Session Plan

Session Title: Session Objectives: By the end of this training session, participants will:
Session Time Frame: 2.

Time Procedure Materials


Implement the plan

Once your course is fully developed and piloted, youre ready to share it
with learners! Youll want to have a plan for your event: see these
training prep checklists for live face-to-face and virtual events as
Design examples. And as youre preparing to lead your course, review these tips
on effective facilitation.

Develop In an eLearning environment, you might include interactive components

like virtual roundtables for discussions and questions with the instructor,
as well as group sharing activities and panels with subject matter
experts. Regardless of the format, consider these tasks:
reserve classroom space
schedule event; notify learners
ensure any pre-session work is sent ahead of time
Evaluate ensure all course materials (lesson outlines, learning activities,
slides, etc.) are ready for the instructors
gather all equipment and supplies
The performance solution is delivered. Additionally, you may need to hold a Train-the-Trainer event to prepare
facilitators for their roles. Contact FHI 360s Learning and Development
team to learn about upcoming sessions or visit the Learns site.

Preparation Checklist (for live, face-to-face learning events)

1-3 weeks before event Meet with co-facilitator(s) to coordinate roles and responsibilities.
Order training supplies.
Check in with person handling registration about number of participants, continued
availability of the facility, any changes anticipated.
Organize training packets with hand-outs, agenda, participant roster.
Prepare flipcharts.
Visit facility/room where training will be held.
Prepare supplies, materials for training.
Review and rehearse training curriculum.

Day of event Arrive at least 60 minutes prior to scheduled start time.

Place welcome and directional signs in the facility.
Set-up room (include manipulatives or toys for tactile learners and fidgeters!).
Check for comfort of room (e.g. change temperature or adjust window shades).
Prepare to register participants and distribute materials.
Conduct training.

Immediately after event Debrief with co-facilitator(s).

Give each other feedback about what was done well and what could be
strengthened before the next session.

Preparation Checklist (for virtual learning events)

1-3 weeks before event Inform learners of time and date of the class.
Provide log-in information needed, such as the website link and telephone number
(send via Outlook so the information is included in their calendar).
Make sure participants understand the platform. If this is their first virtual class, they
should test connections several days before class starts to solve any problems.
Make sure learners know who to contact if they have trouble accessing the learning
platform. This person should not be the instructor.
Provide pre-work due before class begins, such as reading assignments, surveys, etc.
Send reminders to all attendees, again providing the log-in information.

Day of event Start on time.

Quickly involve participants in an activity that engages them, such as a text chat
question or polling question.
Tell participants you want the class to be interactive and explain how they can
participate (text chat, polling questions, speaking through the phone, etc.)
When using chat, ask participants to unmute and elaborate on responses.
End on time.

Immediately after event Ask for participant feedback.

Send additional resources to reinforce the sessions goals and increase retention.

Effective Facilitation Skills

When was the last time you were in a room with a truly exceptional facilitatorwhere the group was
engaged, progress was made, and issues were raised, explored and then resolved? Before your next training,
review the following list and see how many of these techniques you bring to your learners.

Stimulates interaction
Plans and prepares; manages time
Encourages free sharing of thoughts and ideas
Knows the material or content
Knows and involves the audience
Is available to learners
Watches and responds to learners energy
Provides structure for discussions
Acknowledges participants contributions
~ John McKennon and Simon Kneebone Remains flexible
Manages challenging situations

Evaluate the results

In the Design phase, you identified your assessment methods. Now its
time to evaluate the specific performance improvements that your
Design training addressed.

Did your training result in the real, measurable performance

improvements you identified in your needs analysis? An online survey is
Develop often a quick way to elicit some of this feedback from learners and their
supervisors, but dont stop there. While the learners opinions and
feedback about the course matter, its critical to ensure that your
Implement training achieved the goals you set at the start. For that, FHI 360 uses
the Donald Kirkpatrick training evaluation model, which is the standard
for evaluating the effectiveness of training. This model helps answer the
EVALUATE Is continuing the learning program worthwhile?
How can the learning program be improved?
How can the effectiveness of training be improved?
Measurement of how well the Is the training corresponding to the learning strategy?
performance solution achieved the How can the value of the training be demonstrated?

The Kirkpatrick Model

Level 1: Reaction
Degree to which participants find the training favorable, engaging
and relevant to their jobs. Method: Feedback forms.
The Kirkpatrick Model is the worldwide
Level 2: Learning standard for evaluating the effectiveness
of training. Created by Dr. Don Kirkpatrick
Degree to which participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, and in the 1950s, the model is applied
attitudes, based on their participation. Methods: Test, surveys, teach-backs. before, during and after training to both
maximize and demonstrate training's
value to the organization. It assesses the
value of any type of training, formal or
Level 3: Behavior informal, across four levels.
Degree to which participants apply what they learned during training when
they are back on the job. Methods: Observations, focus group testing.

Level 4: Results
Degree to which targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training and the
support and accountability package. Methods: pre-/post-test; control groups.
For More Information

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Email us at learns@fhi360.org.
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Visit us on Connect for more resources for your next learning project.

Job Aids
Analyze Design Develop Implement Evaluate

Sample Needs Performance Objectives Sample Session Plan Preparation Checklists Kirkpatrick
Assessment Questions Blooms Taxonomy Effective Facilitators Levels of
Elements of Blooms with Examples Evaluation
Organizational Learning Experiential Learning Cycle
The Four Ts Adult Learning