You have a unique position of trying to meet the needs of the industry (standards and programs) and the needs of your corporate peers, while making training something desired, rather than something mandated. (See eye roll at the mandate) Most corporate trainers are looking for gimmicks, tricks, strategies or programs to help them hook their audiences. That is a fine thing and those things are discussed when trying to develop a curriculum. There other things to consider
1. What is it that your participants need to know when the training program is completed? What are the goals?
Setting the goals of what the participants need to know at the end of the course can be daunting. Take your time.
2. What are the objectives to meet those goals?
What are the things the participants need to be able to do on their way to achieving their goals? This requires a Task Analysis. Think about the tasks and the skills they will need to meet the goal and then decide the objectives. Make sure these are observable and measureable. Objectives are usually one sentence and contain the A=audience, B=behavior, observable and measureable, C=Content/Context, consider where and what will be taught. Anyone should be able to tell from the objective what exactly is being taught. D=Degree of competency, define how well they should do on your assessment for you to be confident they can achieve the objective and finally the goal.
3. How will you determine that the objectives are met?
This is that D=Degree of competency. You will need to design an assessment tool to measure the success of your participants in achieving the objective and/or goal.
4. What do your participants already know? What objectives do they already meet?
Before you start your instruction, make sure you assess what tasks and skills your participants already have in their “toolboxes”. This allows you to streamline the instruction to meet the needs of your participants as well. There is nothing worse than going to a training session and listen to them teach the same stuff you’ve been taught a hundred times (well…that’s how it feels, like a hundred times, if you know it already).
5. How will you set up your program to meet the needs of your audience?
Think about how you will present the information. If you are using presentation software like Powerpoint or Prezi, and you are face-to-face with your audience or narrating the slides, make sure the slides have images that relate to the topic you are discussing. If you put a lot of words on the slides, the participants will read the slides (no, they don’t want you reading them – you can give a brief description) and not pay attention to what you are saying. The point of a presentation is that they are listening to what you have to say. The focus should be on you. The images help them remember the point or concept you are talking about.
6. What kind of activities will you use to help your participants apply, synthesize, evaluate and create as a result of your program?
Adults have the attention span of about 10-15 minutes these days. That means you need to have some kind of activity every ten or 15 minutes in your presentation. The activity should relate to the concept just taught or making the connection of the concept just taught and what they already know or both.
7. What kind of a plan will you develop to improve the program for the next go around?
At the end of every presentation I ask myself three questions: 1. What went well?; 2. What needed improvement?; and 3. What can I do to improve the presentation next time. You need to ask yourself this on a regular basis. You will determine this by the look on their faces, their ability to answer questions, their participation in the activities and their enthusiasm.
Once you have considered these questions, you are ready to develop any program needed or desired by your company.
Dodi Hodges, PhD, Instructors Learn More, LLC, 2016