When you are planning an instructor led training (ILT) session, work goes beyond collating the course material and putting them together as PowerPoint presentations to deliver to learners. ILT sessions have other components too –facilitator guide, participant guide, handouts, activities and interactivities and of course the PPTs. This blog will give you a brief overview of these components and what goes into making them and how they are used.
PowerPoint presentations or PPTs are integral to an ILT training session. They are used to show learners the main points of the topic and serve as visual reminders or act as cues to help the instructor. Creating them requires collating the source material pertaining to the subject that may be in the form of PPTs, notes, articles or case studies and talking to experts. When creating an ILT program for new hire training for a client, we received raw inputs in the form of PPTs and PDF documents. To create the training session, we reworked on the PPTs pertaining to each topic, used the information in the PDFs to create presentations that were in tandem with the template provided by the client. The other aspects we followed while designing these presentations:
- Keep the content in the slides short and limit them to two learning points Use graphics, charts and simple animations in the slides to convey information
- Limit the bullet point to three to five in each slide
- Match the number of slides to the duration of presentation
After completing the PPT, it is better to do a trial run on the system it will be run on to check for any technical glitches. This will prevent problems during the actual presentation.
The facilitator guide is designed to help the instructor conduct the training session in a smooth manner. This guide provides instruction and information to the facilitator. It provides detailed information on the content and instructions on how to conduct the session. Taking the example of the ILT program we created for new hire training, we created a detailed facilitator guide because the client required that the guide must be easy to use and understood even by external facilitators they planned to hire for the training.
The facilitator guide should be designed keeping in mind how the instructor will present the materials in the session. The information should be clear to help the facilitator and in turn the learner. The guide should first give details on how to use the guide. The points to be included are:
- Items required to conduct the training program
- Suggested timelines for each topic
- Correlating the pages with the participant guide page numbers if necessary
Directions to use the guide must include:
- Background information about the training program
- Purpose and objectives of the program
- Program agenda
- Key points to emphasize in the presentation
The information included in the guide should provide overview of the units and the suggested process to conduct each unit. When creating the new hire training program, we included audio notes below each slide of every PPT that were in tandem with the suggested process content in the facilitator guide.
This document is designed as a guide to the participants of the session. This guide contains the course overview, the description of the course and the learning objectives. It also contains the time duration for each session. The guide contains an image of each slide in the course with space for taking notes alongside the image.
The participant guide helps learners know what to expect from the course and acts as a notebook for learners to take notes which they can later refer to. It also includes instructions for activities and assessments. It contains written assessment questions and can even include a feedback form on the session which the participants can fill and hand over at the end of the session.
Integrating ILT Initiatives with eLearning
Handouts are given to participants to supplement the information shared during the session. They serve as reference material which can be accessed even after the session. Handouts are useful to help learners understand complex information or a complicated process because they can always go back to them whenever they have doubts. For instance, when teaching the process on how to apply for reimbursement of business travel charges in new hire training, the trainees will be taken through the process in the ILT session, but a handout that explains the process will be useful to them for later reference when they need to actually apply for reimbursement.
Follow these guidelines when creating the components of an ILT program.
- Graphical theme of the PPT, guides and handouts must be in line with the branding guidelines of the organization.
- Use information that is simple and direct.
- Use bullets and borders to organize the information
- Use headings for important topics.
- Leave plenty of white space in the participant guide and handouts to provide room for making notes.
- Use large type to help in easy reading.
- Make handouts in different colors for different topics for easy identification.
These are the basic components of an ILT program and they are designed to help both the instructors and participants. How do you design these components for your ILT program? Do let us know.