Tip #921:  Lesson Design Distilled Down to Four Key Questions- Part One

“Concentrating on the essentials. We will then be accomplishing the greatest possible results with the effort expended. “ Ted W. Engstrom

There are four lesson design questions that can help a trainer design an engaging and effective learning program, no matter what the format is:

(1) What specific, observable, and measurable results are desired?

(2) What level of learning will be required?

(3) What key content needs to be learned to achieve the desired results? and

(4) What learning activities will achieve the desired learning results, attain the desired level of learning, and meet different learning style needs?

These questions are intended to focus the training designer and the resultant training on what the learners need to accomplish the desired learning. They are discussed below.

  1. What specific, observable, and measurable results are desired?

In other words, what do we want the participants to know or do differently when they leave the training session?

When we answer this question, we are also identifying the specific constructive actions or behaviors that the participants should demonstrate during the session.

We’re not talking about having the participants spending their time in an attentive listening mode. We know that participants are much more likely to apply what they’ve learned if they have had an opportunity to practice applying it during the session.

All communication is teleological: it has some goal.  When designing a training program, the trainer has to have a clear idea of the end goal. To paraphrase Stephen Covey’s famous mantra, the design needs to “begin with the end in mind.”

If we want the participants to learn how to perform a new procedure, the desired result is that they will effectively perform the procedure back on the job.

If we want the participants to treat each other in a more civil manner, then the desired result is that they will interact in a civil manner, despite provocation by customers or co-workers.

  1. What level of learning will be required?

In other words, at the conclusion of the training program, how well should the participants have learned what they needed to learn? Are we aiming for knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation, or creation?

For example, if the desired result of a training program is for the participants to perform a new procedure, then they will ultimately need to apply what they have learned.

If the desired result is for the participants to treat each other in a more civil manner, then they will ultimately need to analyze when and how to use civil behavior.

The answer to this question also provides a good reality check to determine whether or not training is even advisable or necessary. Should the desired result be that the participants simply attain knowledge, they could read the information instead of spending time in a training session.

We’ll look at the remaining two questions in the next Tip.

Question: What do you think about these lesson design questions?

May your learning be sweet- and safe.

Deborah

#lessondesign #curriculumdesign #learninglevels

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