Designing & Delivering On-the-Job Training
The quality of any training effort is based largely on whether it is thought through and planned before any action is taken. A simple five step process, representing the basic instructional design principles, can help ensure success. Training Location Leaders are expected to have a basic knowledge of these steps and apply them to the training activities they conduct. This does not mean that each time you conduct OJT with an employee some formal design process has to take place. What is intended is that you plan what you intend to do by thinking through the steps. With a little practice these steps become automatic and seamless, sort of like riding a bicycle. But until you do it a few times the process may seem awkward. Step 1 - Once a legitimate training need has been established, the next major step is to design what goes into the training itself. Think about the learner in terms of how he/she learns best, what knowledge the employee brings to the event and how the trainee has performed so far. Think about the time you have. Don't try to cram too much into one session. The essence of this step is to establish performance objectives, which are expressions of the desired results of the training event. If not written down, at least have in your mind what you expect to happen. A simple example is, “The trainee will be able to set up a dumpy level.” Also think through how you will evaluate or test the trainee to determine progress in learning. Step 2 - Once the learning objectives are established, the development of the training can be accomplished. This step establishes the training strategies. A wide variety of options are available, and range from simply discussing an issue with a trainee, to hands-on doing, to field trips. Factor in what you have learned about adult learning and motivation to ensure the methods you choose are sound. Successful adult training is problem centered and experience centered. Active trainee participation, a supportive learning environment and feedback on learning progress are musts for quality adult training. Step 3 - Make sure all the necessary equipment and materials you need to do quality training are in place before instruction begins. Being well organized will leave a lasting, positive impression on the trainee. If you are going to the field to do some hands-on training, make sure the site supports what you want to teach. Step 4 - Success in delivery of training is based on the combined factors of subject matter knowledge and communication skills. Neither subject matter knowledge nor communication skills alone produce quality Training Location Leaders. Make sure you know your subject and hone your communication skills.
Step 5 - Be sure to evaluate the progress of anyone you are training. Do this often and provide feedback to the trainee frequently. Also evaluate your own performance as a trainer. Ask for feedback from the trainee.
Critical Elements of Learning
There are four critical elements of learning. These are: motivation, reinforcement, retention, and transfer. Motivation - A learner must be motivated to learn before any learning takes place. Even the most accomplished trainer delivering the best material available will not get through to learners who remain indifferent or reluctant. Use of adult learning theory is the best way to motivate trainees to learn. Reinforcement - Trainees must receive some encouragement or reward if learning is to continue. This reward need not be tangible. But learners need to experience a sense of progress or success. Nothing motivates further learning than the realization that one is learning something - nothing succeeds like success. As a trainer, design your activities to ensure learner success in the early stages of the training. For reinforcement to be effective there must be feedback to convey and determine the results of the training. Feedback should occur both from you, the trainer,...
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