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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How Deep Does Your Training Go?

As organizations grow, the need for employees to apply new skills become more and more important. As a Training professional, I have seen organizations make attempts to equip their employees but their choice of interventions fail to deliver the desired results. My assessment is that it happens because they often fail to recognize how deep they need to go in training their employees. They choose programs that are limited to cascading information or facilitate appreciation and understanding and not much more.  For some more self-driven learners, knowledge and comprehension is enough. They go the extra mile by taking risk and applying what they learned on their own. It's great if all your employees are as self-driven. In many occasions, however, learners need to build confidence to try a new skill on their own. This means, that they need to be helped until that confidence is built. I made a simple matrix below based on Bloom's Taxonomy of Cognitive Learning.  I hope you find it useful. If you want to start a conversation with me on how to setup your learning program to achieve this, just give me a call.

Learning Levels (Cognitive)
Examples
Sample Method
Considerations
Knowledge
Name parts of a car, repeat steps in driving car, recite traffic rules
Lecture, Presentation, Diagrams, handouts, making learners repeat information
Saying it, doesn't mean they got the needed information. How do you make sure that they are capturing the information you are sharing accurately?
Comprehension
Describe the functions of each part and how combination of actions make the car run or stop, gives correct reason for traffic rules
Interactive demo, Discussion, question and answer, asking participants to describe tasks in their own words
Without checking for understanding, learners will have their own take on what you are saying.  What can you do to make sure that they really comprehend the concept?
Application
Demonstrate starting, running, stopping and other related car driving skills
Allowing learners to do the tasks, correcting and letting them do it repeatedly
Some learners need more than one go to really learn to apply a skill.  Classroom training has limited capacity to do this. What can you do to extend training outside the classroom and build learner confidence to do the task repeatedly?
Analysis
Identify appropriate driving techniques for certain driving situations
Giving learners scenario and allowing them to analyze and supply the needed action
Without a component where the learning activity facilitator coaches the learner, he/she will be at risk of making wrong choices
Synthesis
Negotiate through traffic. Follow traffic rules
Allowing the learners to carry out the tasks in real life situation, giving them the opportunity to use their learning to address the challenge of the task
Real life situations provide learners with opportunity to build confidence in making decisions. If there is no one to act as a coach, the learner will depend on his/her own courage to try out what he/she learned. This is where learning often fizzle out because learners become afraid to try their learning in the real world.
Evaluating
Appraises car condition, can differentiate good driving from bad driving,
Allowing the participants to evaluate their own work or the work of others. Providing feedback on whether they made the right evaluation
Coaching encourages evaluation that helps the learner improve his/her understanding and appreciation of information needed to carry out a task or apply a learning.  This is an important ingredient in the transfer of learning that those responsible for training and learning should consider.  

1 comment:

  1. I agree fully. Some organizations think that training is an event, expecting that after a training session the employees will achieve mastery of whatever it is that was discussed to them, not realizing that training is a process that requires consistent follow-up to instill the expected skill or behavior.

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