August 3, 2022

How to Create a Training Program

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In this guide, we show you how to create a training program for your employees, customers, or anyone else that you need to teach important information to.

Step

Description

Establish the goals of the training programWork out what you are trying to achieve. What lessons should be learned?
Understand how learning actually takes placeUnderstand the learning process and the fact that different people learn differently.
Outline key objectives and outcomesWork out your objectives and specific outcomes that you are aiming for.
Sketch out the learning resourcesUse the objectives to work out what resources should be created.
Design and refine learning resources and stepsCreate learning resources, including videos, text, and quiz content.
Test and implementTest your course for effectiveness.
Gain feedback and refineWork out the training program's effectiveness, get feedback and refine the course materials.

How to design a training program

Creating a training program is not always easy, but the steps should follow a very similar structure to those we’ve listed below. Whether you’re wondering how to develop a training program for employees or to sell as a course, or you are working in education, the process to plan and write an effective training program is usually pretty similar. Read on to learn how to design a training program.

Step 1. Establish the goals of the training program

It’s incredibly hard to start a training program unless you have a clear idea of the objectives. What are the goals? Create a list of all the knowledge that you want to impart over the course, and this will form the basis of your training. Without this in place, it can be almost impossible to keep on track, and you’ll end up missing crucial information.

If you are creating a how-to guide, then the goals can be very simply divided into steps, which will help you to build the framework for your employee training program or commercial course.

Step 2. Understand how learning actually takes place

This is something that many people overlook when putting together a course, but it is an important part of creating a training program.

People have different learning styles and value different information. Some people will take a lot from reading written instructions, while others will gain virtually nothing from this, and instead need things like video content.

In fact, visual content is arguably the most effective tool when it comes to teaching, enabling you to display the exact information or steps required. Different learning styles should be catered for. For example, in the course, you can ensure that you offer both written instructions and simple video content, and your consumers can use both to gain knowledge.

Step 3. Outline key objectives and outcomes

Before building the course itself, work out the key objectives and exact outcomes. The goals should be as specific as possible. For instance, areas where you wish for the employee to be competent by the time they have completed the course.

Objectives may include things like showing someone how to use equipment or software, or more abstract things like an increased understanding of a subject. This is why it is important to be specific, if not, there is a risk of the course and training ending up being flaky and not really establishing the goals.

Try not to be over the top with your ambitions, either. You aren’t going to teach someone everything about astrophysics in an eight-hour video course. Objectives and outcomes should be reasonable when you set up a training program.

Step 4. Sketch out the learning resources

Once you know the objectives and the outcomes you will be aiming for, then you can start to sketch out the learning resources that are going to get you there.

Write out each objective and work out what sort of material you need to communicate every piece of information. For example, you might need diagrams or video content to explain something, or you might need to write a text list or step-by-step instructions.

You should also think about who might be delivering the training and how, as well as what sort of training will be offered. There may be certain employees that already do a superb job, who you can use to deliver the training. In some areas of formal education, training courses will need accredited professionals and actual teachers and lecturers, too.

Step 5. Design and create learning resources and steps

It’s time for making the specific aspects of your course. This includes filming video content you need, writing any text sections, taking screenshots, making graphics, and putting it together.

Having created your steps or your framework within the previous sections, the content can be built around these requirements. It may be that you create rough text content before you create the actual finished product, and some refinement may be required, such as editing the learning steps.

One of the key things is to ensure you are providing as much information as possible, in as many different ways as possible, without overwhelming people. For instance, you might want to provide text instructions, graphics, and a video, to cover how to do a certain business process or task. Ensuring this doesn’t end up being too convoluted will help to ensure effective learning.

The learning resources depend on exactly what you are teaching. A dog training course will be very different to teaching someone how to use some accounting software. If you are an expert on the topic, you will know how to set up a training program that covers the most important information.

Of course, all the information and learning materials needs to be compiled into a method that people can understand. Course authoring software like EdApp will help you pull everything together into a software solution or a simple format for people to work through.

Step 6. Test and implement

Now you can put the training program into use. At this point, you should have a rough version of the training program. Once you have created all of your learning resources, it is time to test them out.

This involves a test of whether your specific platform works, such as the section of your website or the app you have created to deliver the training program, but also the effectiveness of the course.

A great way to see if it is actually working is to have the course split into sections and have tests at the end of each section to see if the knowledge is really going in. If not, you can check where you are going wrong, and if information has been missed.

Step 7. Gain feedback and refine

You can start asking people their experience with your course and refining it accordingly. Perhaps people find a certain part of the course too difficult, or perhaps there is a part where the information doesn’t really come across clearly. The feedback from your users can come from testing, as mentioned, but their actual experience should also be valued.

Remember that the easier the information is communicated, the more people will complete the training program.

What makes a training program successful?

When you try to make a training program, creating one that is successful is much easier if you know what makes a course or training scheme work.

Buy in and support

Does everyone believe in the training course and believe that it actually helps? If the benefits are created, especially for an employee training program, then it is easier to get that buy in than it would be if you just put a link in peoples’ email accounts and ask them to do the training.

Marketing the training program (or enforcing it)

It is one thing creating a good course, but if people don’t know that they can take it, and the benefits behind taking it, means that many will choose not to.

One way is to enforce the use of the course by making it compulsory, but this is something you can only really do in the case of having employees.

Ease of use

Don’t put unnecessary objects in place when designing and developing the course. Instead, make it easy for people to sign up, log in and complete the course. Functions such as allowing partial completion and saving progress will make a huge difference, ensuring more people complete the course in a positive frame of mind.

Relevancy and real-world use

Is the course actually useful? If somebody taking the course can’t actually see the reasons behind it, then there’s a chance that they will ignore it altogether or not really cling onto the knowledge.

If you can make it interesting and helpful for someone’s daily life or their job role, then it is much more likely that they will actually find it to be relevant and will complete the course.

If you are training someone for a job role, then it is important to find the tasks they will need to be proficient in before you make the training course for their role. This way, everything that needs to be properly communicated can be included in the course. Real, actionable use doesn’t just help people to be better at their role, it may count towards their personal development. A huge percentage of people would happily take on new courses within their workplace if they feel they can put them on a resume in the future.

Reinforcing the knowledge

It is one thing to just make a course and put it out there, but it is also important that you reinforce the knowledge. This can be done throughout the training program by testing and examining people, but it can also be done by adding refresher training to the program. Those who participate are encouraged to return to the course and increase their knowledge when it gets rusty.

If not, you might find that people take the course just to ensure they get a ticked box to say they’ve done it, but then don’t actually soak up the knowledge for the long term.

Tips on creating a training program

Our guide can help you to create the ideal training program for your purposes, whether you’re doing it as an educational tool for employees or as a course to sell to others. We’ve condensed some top tips to help you to create a training program that is effective:

  • Consult the experts. You want the best people involved in sharing their knowledge to create training that is always useful.
  • Utilize video content. Most people learn better when they actually see it happening in front of their eyes. Video content can include taking screen captures and videos from your webcam.
  • Plan content thoroughly. This way you can work out the objectives and key points of the training and create the program accordingly to ensure it meets those objectives.
  • Refine and take feedback. The first iteration will rarely be the final one, it is a good idea to keep taking on feedback from the users and making the course better.
  • Make it easy to access. This way, people will be more likely to actually complete the training program in full.
  • Offer refreshers and content that users can continue to access. People may want to revisit the course to top up their knowledge, which can be a great way to ensure the knowledge doesn’t just get lost.
  • Make use of testing. This is a way for users to check that they are understanding things, and it is also a way to check the effectiveness of your training program.

Summary

Creating a training program isn’t something you can do in a day. It takes a lot of planning to make something effective, but if you get it right then the results can be felt within your business, and you can help to teach huge numbers of people how to further their careers or even hobbies. Creating the right learning resources may take time, but it can be extremely effective if you follow the right steps.

Frequently asked questions

What makes a good training program?

A good training program shows which goals are achievable and sets clear targets and outcomes. They also use great people with a lot of knowledge to set the best examples for the people taking the course. Trainees should find it simple to follow the training and understand what they are getting out of it, or at least the reasoning behind it.

What is a training plan template?

A training plan template is an outline for your program. The document can give you a structure to work with and helps you to create clarity and stick to the goals of your training, to make sure it is effective and delivered efficiently.

Ben Jacklin

Ben is a writer from the UK with qualifications in Media and Music Technology, he specializes in software reviews and tutorials. Ben has been blogging about media and tech subjects since he was a teenager from his base in the East of England.