Training Mistakes

By | January 23, 2006

Learning2005 learningwiki.com – Mistakes
Elliot Masie’s Learning Wiki has a page for common mistakes trainers/instructional designers make, as reported by subscribers to his newsletter. He received over 700 responses — the wiki page is just an ‘executive summary’.

Some of the quotes, I can relate to completely. The ones that ring my gong the loudest are quoted below:

Skill Level/Needs Analysis Mistakes:
– Responding to ‘crisis’ situations with quick-fix training – invariably, it doesn’t work and credibility of training plummets.

Measurement Mistakes:
– Level 3 assessments: we don’t do enough of them. These are crucial and how we show our worth. We have to prove that learners can actually transfer training to the field, because if they can’t, why did they go to training?

– Assessments don’t match the objectives. We have to measure what we said we’d train.

– Not gathering product improvement feedback during training session – too focused on delivery to record.

Inspiring & Relating to Learners Mistakes:
– Designing for the “lowest common denominator” and then expecting everyone (regardless of experience and knowledge) to use the whole program.

Management & Learning Mistakes:
– Being an “order taker.” In other words, failing to help the business understand what the best options are to meet the performance need and, instead, just fulfilling requests as they come in.

Content & Design Mistakes:
– Teaching more than needed: not sticking to objectives.

– Always providing “sunshine” training: what happens when things go right. Customer critical moments typically occur when things go wrong, so preparing learners in some way for those situations can have a dramatic impact on business results.

Innovation & Interaction Mistakes:
– Require people to use pre-course e-Learning and then trainers repeating the content in the follow up workshop through (endless) PowerPoint presentations.

– Failure to use adult learning techniques such as collaborative learning and role playing.

– Courses are not designed or facilitated with a focus on intensity: challenging assumptions, a focus on problem solving and a focus on reasoning complexity.

Technology Mistakes:
– Being guided by what the technology can do rather than selecting technology that can do what you need.

– Not anticipating problems with technology when rolling out e-Learning programs across an organization (assume it will work on everyone’s computer).

– Not understanding the technology and how to use it effectively.

Development, Delivery, Follow-Up Mistakes:
– Learning is very much like marketing: working to influence human behavior towards certain actions/choices. Until learning and development programs are developed with a keen eye towards repetition, reinforcement, and emotional connection (yes, emotional!) – a complete learning package, not a learning event – knowledge and skill retention will suffer.

One thought on “Training Mistakes

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