Saturday 28 March 2015

How to Design an Outcome Based Learning Module?

Typically, in any business environment, the three key components required for any training measurement cycle is Aware – Apply – Ascertain. When trainings are measured based on level one feedback alone - how many attended the program and how they rated the module, the training content and the learning takeaways is designed more for popularity and scores based on the “Aware” piece. In this model, apply and ascertain is not in scope for measurement.


Most behavioral trainings and some technical workshops too generate awareness only . Participants gather theoretical inputs, draw some insights, find some concepts great eye openers and therefore rate the workshop high.  


When it is time to apply learning in daily work, it is either the project lead or reporting manager who has to keep track if the trained resources are regularly using the new learning, whenever and wherever applicable. There is hardly any individual ownership. 


Is it possible to ascertain positive impact of the training on a team or an individual only through awareness and by tracking how often learning is applied? When participants are made to realize certain outcomes and deliverables are expected out of them within an agreed time frame, after training is concluded – attendees tend to rise above awareness alone and remember specific sections relevant to their work to deliver expected results and ensure training effectiveness. An outcome based learning module can be designed if we go backwards – Assess needs first, Apply learning themes to address those needs and be constantly aware how the outcomes are aligned to the training module that you are designing to be measured at a later date, against those needs.

During this reversal of process, you first have to determine measurement criteria, measurement time frame and measurement owners.  Designing a training module to address outcomes, you have to know current capability of your trainees and project. Without that gap analysis, your training modules are either addressing only projects needs or individual needs. Ideally for outcomes, the program designer should incorporate both, set the yardstick to measure and identify stakeholders to drive the learning for the required impact.

This is an edited version of what was originally published by Triond

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