Most of us in the training industry have heard the oft quoted statement, “Training is not a one-time event.” And yet, no matter how frequently we hear this mantra, this is often exactly what we deliver to our learners. So why do we settle for less than the ideal? Why do even most top training companies deliver a one-time training course when they know that learning is a process that requires multiple layers of learning? While a number of reasons may come to mind, two of the most common challenges are lack of time and lack of budget. So what’s a designer to do when faced with a limited budget and a tight timeline?
Although there are many exciting and sophisticated ways to extend learning beyond the initial training experience, if our schedules and budgets don’t permit those solutions, we don’t need to slam the door on providing a multi-tiered learning experience. Here are some simple ways to continue the learning process:
1. Include action planning activities in the training course and coordinate with managers to follow-up on these goals.
2. Provide delayed practice opportunities. We all know that learning requires repetition. Spacing simple practice activities to occur at several intervals after the initial training event will strengthen recall and deepen understanding.
3. Provide a post-course quiz to help learners gauge how well they are retaining and applying what they learned.
4. Design job aids and other resources that can be used after the initial training event. After some time has passed, remind learners about these resources and how to access them.
5. Use social media to provide a place where learners can exchange best practices and tips for applying what was learned in the workplace.
We’ve all experienced the challenges of designing under tight timelines and limited budgets, but that doesn’t mean that we have to settle for less than the ideal. Remember, the learning process is most effective when it’s spread over a period of time. So next time you start to design a one-time training event, ask yourself, “What simple strategies can I use to create a multi-tiered learning experience?”
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