I would urge the cohort to focus on creating and adapting learning materials in this week.
Till now we have understood the learning needs, set learning objectives, created a program structure / learning architecture and now it is time to create or adapt the learning materials that fulfil our requirements.
Step 1: Research for existing learning materials.
Apart from books, periodicals and magazines etc the Internet is a important source of information and one that we trainers are increasingly relying on. Therefore our ability to quickly extract the most relevant information from Google is very important.
Step 2: Curate the material that we collect. Here tools such as Google Bookmarks, Digg, Stumbleupon,Delicious etc are useful to curate information gleaned from the Internet. I use Google Bookmarks because I have downloaded the Google toolbar and so it is very convenient. It does not have a social share feature.
Step 3: Synthesise the information we have curated. This is a critical skill. Each workshop, program, learning object we create is a synthesis of information.
In this step we run the risk of getting carried away with the material we have collected and curated. There are so many interesting things we have picked up.
Carole Fenn had pointed us to this fascinating resource “Understanding by Design by Wiggins and McTigue”. It really helps both trainers and teachers focus in on the essential teaching points and keeps bringing educators back to that focus as they build curriculum and plan educational activities to meet and master learning goals. Please see the videos below for explanation of Backwards Design Lesson Planning (I must warn you the video’s are long and focused on K-12):
Backwards design lesson planning essentially means to ensure that everything we do ties back to our learning objectives. This is many a time a tough one as we tend to get super excited about some things.
Step 4: Ensure content and methodology fitment. From our program structure / learning architecture and now our research we need to see if there needs to be any changes in the original program structure / learning architecture. Here we see if the learning methodologies we initially selected to cover a learning topic is still the right one given our research. We debate the pro and con’s of major training and learning methodologies.
Resource: Instructional design for corporate trainers by Dan Brown.
Step 5: Finalize the learning object. A few things to keep in mind whether creating learning materials from scratch or adapting pre-existing learning materials to suit our requirements :
- Use insights gained from learning theories, learning styles, andragogy/ pedagogy etc.
- Along with the creation of the learning material decide the assessment methodology
- Focus on the logical flow
- Chunk the material
- Source the material so as to avoid plagiarism
In fact what is unique about Larks “Train the Trainer” program is while all information is available free online through the “Trainer MOOC”, we have “Training Clinic’s” where learning facilitator’s apply the learning to create a learning object / idea and then we provide feedback on the learning object / idea and ideate on alternative method’s to achieve the same learning objective.
- Lovely Kumar – Chief Projects
- Anila Rattan – Chief Strategy