The purpose of training program and supporting materials design phase is to identify:

  • A viable training solution

  • Stakeholder roles and responsibilities

  • Audience

  • Objectives

  • Performance factors

  • Training effectiveness

  • Means to assure transfer or adoption of the solution

The design portion of the plan for training serves as a business case for change, and provides necessary criteria for evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the solution.

A. Evaluating Applicability of Current Delivery Systems

Training needs can be met only when the:

  • Trainees are ready and available for the instruction

  • Trainer can deliver training in a timely and effective manner

  • Resources are available for delivery of the content

Each of the next five sections presents scenarios that include the pros and cons for delivery that need to be factored into the design of the materials.

1. Instructor Led, Classroom Training

Traditionally, educators insist that the most effective method for delivering training to large groups of people is through classroom training. The training facility includes a place for trainees to sit comfortably, electric outlets are provided where commonly needed, and projection room equipment is convenient to the instructor as well as to the trainee. Depending on the classroom size, interaction between the instructor and trainee can be available readily in this type of instructional environment.

As the ratio of students to instructors continues to increase and the difficulty increases for assembling a lot of people at any given time, the less attractive instructor led, classroom training becomes. But, it's more than logistics. The days of a professor rambling in a lecture about some off-the-wall subject in a Biology class in a lecture hall containing 250 students is virtually non-existent. It's not conducive to interaction, and the content could be recorded and replayed at a more convenient time. Who hasn't heard of somebody in the dorm who drew the shortest straw and has to drag 20 tape recorders to class? In the age of Internet computing, you logon to an instructor's site or Webinar and download or listen to the available *. wav file before the next scheduled test.

2. One-on-One Training

One-on-one training is undoubtedly the most effective training method but the least efficient especially given the diversity of training needs and the number of training recipients in a rapidly changing technology environment. When comparing the per person cost-savings capable through computer-administered environments with one-on-one training and value, "one-on-one" training is the most expensive and least efficient training method. This method is valuable when tutoring someone with special training needs or during on-the-job mentoring in which the person being trained is assigned to a training mentor for specific one-on-one training.

3. Interactive Web-Based Training Environment

In a distance learning environment, interactive Web-based training enables many trainees to simultaneously logon to a live or pre-recorded session to listen to, and ask questions of the moderator or presenter. The moderator can conduct a dialog with one or more individuals to answer questions or review specific cases. Travel costs for participants are negligible or nil, and the level of interaction is the same or greater than the traditional instructor led, classroom training situation. In the situation where the class is pre-recorded, the level of interaction may be reduced but the ability to logon at any time enables busy people the capability of getting training at any time.

The instructional design capabilities are much expanded for the Web-based training event than for the lecture hall event. Using a Web-based conferencing solution such as Adobe Connect or WebEx, e-learning content is presented in which participants work interactively with exercises, quizzes and tests, and can ask the moderator questions on an individual basis. Using computer-administered instructional components, the depth of learning can be considerably greater than with traditional types of instructor led environments.

B. Developing Training for Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) Environments

CSCL is a socio-technical process that requires careful planning and preparation by both teachers and students. The primary benefit of CSCL is that it is a process that intensifies and deepens the learning experience enabling students to collaborate in solving a single problem. It requires research and collaboration via computers and then presenting results in a face-to-face consensus-building environment to work out differences, and to generate and present a single group solution. Information about the CSCL environment is based on a CSCL study to learn how to conduct and use collaboration as a learning tool; the study was published by students from the Ruhr-University and University of Dortmund in Germany.

C. Developing Interactive, Problem-based, Scenario-oriented Instruction for Delivery of eLearning to Remote Locations

Deep learning is really only possible when it is problem-based and focused through a scenario orientation. Effective eLearning takes place when the on-line student is presented with a series of related problems. The student gains knowledge of problem-solving methods when the problems are solved through on-line solutions followed by subsequent collaboration. Collaboration also leads to knowledge of how to apply the outcome or results that are related to, or can be applied in solving other problems.

D. Implications and Impact of Knowledge and Performance Management Principles and Practice on Design

If knowledge management can be defined as the Creation, Organization, Application, Transfer and Evaluation (COATE) of knowledge in a defined and managed environment, then there is a direct relationship between acquisition of knowledge by the learner or student, the management of that knowledge, and the management of expected outcomes of task performers.

E. Developing a Curriculum Development Plan

The Curriculum Development Plan, resulting from the design process, is the defining design document that identifies the training audience, training pre-requisites, objectives, topics, training methods, training sequence, required training resources (physical and fiscal), and estimation of time each training segment takes. The Curriculum Development Plan provides dimension to training development and implementation.