Although designing traditional training courses forms the majority of my workload, I also design quite a number of self-directed programmes. Personally, I’m a big fan of self-directed learning especially for areas like induction, or technical subjects. They encourage the learners take responsibility for their own development, involve a range of people, and recognise that the business can’t always stop to accommodate someone’s training needs.
I have just finished a really enjoyable project (in conjunction with Instep UK) which was to design not one, but two management development programmes for Warburton’s. The first of these programs was a fairly standard program for new or less experienced managers. Each module built on the last, and the amount of stretch and challenge increased as the programme progressed.
As my core business is designing training (and as such, I like to think that I know a bit about it), I thought that it was about time I shared some of the useful tips and techniques I’ve learned over the years. So, for the next few months, I’ll be rolling out a series of ‘How to…’ blogs, around designing different types of learning. This first blog in the series will look at designing training workshops for other people to deliver.
I’ve just enjoyed a wonderful holiday in Tuscany, where I had a great mix of lazing about and taking in the atmosphere, and frenetic sight-seeing trying to cram as much into 1 day as possible. Although we were technically self-catering, no-one really wants to cook on holiday, so meals became a simple choice…eat in or take out?
My shower doesn’t work properly. It hasn’t done since it was installed. Having put up with it for over a year, I decided enough was enough. The bathroom fitter had been back a few times, and said that the only thing to do now was to get a combination boiler fitted. Hang the expense I thought, I want a proper shower!
It struck me recently as I was planning my summer holiday, that my job as an invisible trainer, has many similarities with that of a travel writer. Unlike the locals (employees), I am not immersed in the community; I do not know all of its ways and customs. But also unlike the locals, I am fascinated about the world in which they live in, and see the beauty and wonder that they take for granted.
This was the challenge I gave to my daughter’s teacher at our recent parent’s evening, having been told that aspects of her work were excellent, whilst others needed a bit more attention. She tried to reassure me by stating that the things she was excelling at were the things that counted most in the SATS. But in my opinion, the things she needed to work on were just as important for life in general, and I found her dismissal of these aspects a little unsettling.
This second blog in our ‘How to…’ series has been produced in collaboration with Paula Jones, Owner of 6th Level Training. Paula is a highly experienced designer and deliverer of technical (as well as soft skills) training, and was a finalist in the 2010 IT Trainer of the Year Awards. I picked her brains over coffee, as technical training is something that I have less experience of. Here are her words of wisdom…
Trainers who focus on delivery of training or coaching have a product or experience that they provide. Clients like it (or not) and make purchasing decisions accordingly. The trainer then has to then continue with that product/experience which has both upsides (they enhance their reputation in that area) and downsides (people stop considering them for other things).
Last weekend, my son had his very first swimming lesson. He spent the week prior to this lesson lurching between being very excited, and mildly petrified about what was in store for him. We tried to make things easier for him by explaining what was likely to happen, and taking him to the pool the week before so that he was familiar with the environment. The big day arrived, and we crossed our fingers: This could go either way…In the end, he did brilliantly. He even had the courage to jump into the pool (holding the teacher’s hand) at the end of the lesson. We were very proud of him.