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Once you’ve recognized the need for training in your organization, the thought of creating a comprehensive training program that meets all of your business goals can seem overwhelming. Breaking it down into several easily-attainable steps can take the panic out of the process.

About a year ago, several members of AXIOM’s leadership team took the Training Industry’s Certified Professional Training Manager course. We learned so much that has made our job – delivering high-quality, customized learning programs to our clients – not only smoother but easier, faster and more tailored to your needs.

There are several ways to design a curriculum, and they depend on identifying the learners’ current state, and the desired state at the outcome of the training. How do you move learners from one to the next? This is a question for an instructional designer.

What we learned in our CPTM class is that there are a few ways to approach the design, and a few ways to develop it.

Behavioral/Objectivist Approach

If you take this track, you’re in the camp that says observable behavior is what matters most… not thoughts or beliefs. The goals of your training will be specific and observable. If you are the designer, you need to make sure you are linking previous knowledge with new information. What works best here, is case studies or problems to solve. Repetition helps drive home new behaviors, along with positive feedback. The goal here is to change the learners behavior.

Cognitive/Constructivist Approach

As you may guess, this approach takes the opposite view. Here, designers believe that thoughts and mental processes are more important. The thought is that learners construct their own knowledge with active participation, cooperative projects, group work, and activities that require self-reflection and feedback. Goals are met by changing how the learner thinks, not just what they do.

Once you decide which approach is best for your program, then you need to decide how to develop the curriculum.

ADDIE

This model was developed by Florida State University to address military inter-service training needs. ADDIE stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. It was created in these steps to allow designers to catch problems at any stage to avoid costly errors when the training is done. It’s a linear process with checks and sign off required at each stage that ensures an almost perfect product. But, it can be long and isn’t ideal for quick roll outs.

Agile

This process is borrowed from software developers. They actively involve the client as well, and prototypes are developed early. There are 2 types of Agile models, the SAM and the RCD. SAM is the Successive Approximation Model, which focuses on creating a product early and then iterating through the design and development phases until objectives are met. RCD is Rapid Content Development and also creates a prototype early. The difference is all the checks and adjustments for parts of the program are reviewed concurrently, so this version can be faster.

The approach you use to design and the model  you choose to develop are based largely on personal preference, the goals of the group, the learners, the budget and the timing. As long as your training meets the goals, is engaging, accessible, meaningful and transferable, you will be successful!

If Lesson 8 is the first post you’ve seen, read more about the other lessons we’ve learned here:

-L&D thoughts
-Have a thought on our blog post? Please comment below, we love to start new discussions!

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