Are you creating training materials? Do you know where to start? Read this blog post to learn about the Five W’s of developing learning resources. These are five prompt words which lead to important questions to ask yourself when getting ready to start creating!
Remember back in elementary school, or high school when you had to write a newspaper article, as an English assignment? Do you remember having to cover the 5 W’s? Or perhaps you have just heard of this concept. This will help focus your direction for learning and development.[Video towards end of post. Scroll down.]
I am talking about answering the prompt word questions: Who, What, Where, When, & Why. Ask these question statements when you are creating or developing training and learning resources; (and want to be ready to evaluate the learning success):
WHO: are you offering the training to?
Think about their needs, learning gaps, skills needed to do their work. Is it a new employee, or someone that has worked for there for years, or maybe both are attending the training at the same time.
What: is your intended learning outcome?
What is the topic that you are focusing on today? What are the skills you want the employees, participants to learn? What is your goal for the learning event?
Where: are you providing the training?
Think about the location of the training, room set up, materials needed, i.e. multiple computers to practice on during the session…. Or are you developing mini-learning resources, and employees can access them on their desk computers or even on their phones? Exploring the context of learning can provide additional details to consider.
When: can people apply the learning after the training?
This is an important aspect of great learning outcomes, after you invest time and money into developing your employees. The sooner the better for using the skills and knowledge that has just been learned. Just reading a manual when starting a job, does not set people up for success, if they cannot use what they have learned right away.
When: are you providing the training?
Can all staff from all the office sites, or locations attend? Do you have to shut down a program or service in order to have everyone to attend?
Why: do the employees need to learn this?
Unless this is answered and communicated, people may not experience the deep learning that happens when employees are interested and want to be there. Answering “WHY should I care?” produces better results.
Those were the FIVE W’s! Here is one more prompt word to ask yourself some Bonus Questions:
How: will you know they have learned what you wanted them to learn?
How can the employee demonstrate that they have learned the new skill, or will follow the new policy? How will you evaluate the learning? This can be especially difficult to observe if you are trying to change attitudes, and get people to accept a new policy or procedure.
How: will you provide the training?
Lecture style and a power point, or interactive experiential learning? E-learning, or a formal ‘talk’ at the beginning of the staff meeting? How do they need to learn the skills? Role playing, watching a video, or a group discussion? How will they remember and practice the new skill? Do you need to develop a handout, or quick resource guide?
JUST GETTING STARTED
These are questions to get you thinking and brainstorming. Many additional questions and details can be explored, related to your particular context.
What other questions can you think of that are part of the FIVE W’s (plus H)? What else should you consider when creating training materials for your context?
Patricia Regier, MEd is the Online Expert who’s built a career on the belief that training and online learning doesn’t have to be boring. As Owner of Regier Educational Services and with a Master of Adult Education, Patricia is known for making her audience feel empowered, engaged, courageous and confident. Her debut book and keynote, The Online Shift teaches newcomers to the online space and seasoned professionals alike how to optimize their online presence and maximize engagement. She’s tried, tested and refined using the latest behavioral science, research and psychology to make sure your next online experience is a hit!
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