As a learning developer, you have been asked by your manager to design an instructor-led training (ILT) for a client. The caveat is the training has to be comprehensive using existing material, so that trainees have a good learning experience. At the same time, you have to ensure the training is engaging so learners are actively involved throughout the training.
Sounds like a pretty tall order. How do you ensure that the ILT is designed as per the client’s requirements and is appealing to learners? Fret not, we did something similar for one of our clients (a contract research organization for drug development) and we will let you in on the secrets of creating a successful ILT program for new hire training in collaboration with the client.
The ILT program had to be designed for new hire training where new recruits would learn about the organization; it included common induction training, knowledge on the business verticals of the organization, and role-based training.
We received inputs related to the training in the form of PPTs, PDFs, Word documents, and other printed material. This is the scenario we started with for the project. The subsequent steps we followed to create the ILT program is covered in this blog.
1. Analyzing the Content
As a first step, we analyzed the content which were the inputs sent by the client. This is an important step to understand the content of the training and what it intends to teach learners. Content comprehension provides an opportunity to identify gaps in the content and jot down the inputs and clarifications needed from the client.
In subsequent meetings with the client (which can be online), these doubts and clarifications can be solved and the expectations for the project from both sides decided and documented.
This discussion makes it easy to set the scope of the training session – the teaching format to be used and the duration of the session. At the end of this process, the scope document is signed and formal work on the project starts.
2. Content Chunking
After deciding on the learning objectives and creating a broad outline of the training session in tandem with the client, the next step is to chunk the content to give it a logical structure to fit the course. For this project, since the content was already given and most of it was in the form of PPTs, we found it easy to structure the content in a logical flow.
Content chunking essentially involves analyzing the content to define topic themes and identify topic hierarchies. This will help break down the strings of information into units of content. Once the learning objectives are decided, it becomes easy to choose the content that will cover each objective. It also helps in finding gaps in the content that has to be filled either with further research or by asking for inputs from the SME or client.
3. Coordinating with SMEs
Filling the gaps in the content may require the help of an SME who will provide the right inputs. The SME’s inputs will also help when you design inter-activities. Activities are a must in ILT sessions to keep the audience engaged.
SMEs will also help you in identifying the job-aids and handouts you need to develop to assist learners and this will help you add content that is not included in the course but which the SME feels the learner needs to know.
4. Developing the Course
Once the content and activities are finalized, it is time to develop the course. The whole session was planned – the time for each presentation including the introductions, activities, discussions, knowledge checks, and even the breaks during the session. Fixing the content for each session helped design the related facilitator and participant guides that are integral to an ILT program.
The readymade bank of content provided by the client made it easy to create the training content, there were still revisions, multiple versions, and clarifications with the client before the content could be finalized.
Creating an ILT program with available inputs follows the same process as that of developing an e-learning course, though the final product is different. What do you think are the other aspects involved in developing an ILT program? Share your comments.