Oh No, Not Another Lecture! (Part 3)

The Situation

In parts 1 and 2 of Oh No, Not Another Lecture!, I shared with you the situation that I encountered when I evaluated training that was all lecture! I explained how I would rescue the design and development.In part 3 of the series, the trainer still wants me to rescue his training. Now, of course I can because I’m the Wonder Woman of Training. I have already helped him rescue his design and development, and now I’m helping him rescue his delivery. (Just in case you forgot, I specialize in helping in diverse areas of expertise design, develop, and deliver extraordinary training. That’s what I do :-)

The Delivery

Now, let me share what I observed about the trainer’s DELIVERY. Are you sitting? Here’s the short list…

  • Publicly critiquing the training materials that the company gave him to facilitate.

  • Expressing his disagreement with the certification exam practice test answers.

  • One break in the morning, one for lunch, and one in the afternoon.

  • The trainer told the participants that everything to pass the test is on the handout.

  • The trainer was teaching test-taking techniques instead of focusing on the content.

  • Sitting down in front of the class and telling personal story, after personal story, after personal story, etc.

The Solutions

The delivery is usually what is most memorable to participants. I’ve attended and evaluated many learning events that were entertaining because the trainer was a great presenter, but at the end of the event, participants weren’t prepared to transfer what they learned into action.Although the reason why you attend training is to gain skills to apply back at the workplace and achieve results, it still makes a huge difference if the delivery is effective. An effective delivery removes many barriers to learning.Here are a few suggestions for how I could rescue the training delivery that I evaluated from part 1 and part 2 in this series...

  • Resist being judgmental. It reduces the trainer’s credibility and trust with the participants.

  • Ideally, it’s better to have scheduled breaks, at least one 10-minute break per hour of instruction, to encourage participants to digest and informally discuss what they’re learning. At a minimum, give participants permission to take breaks as they need them. Adults don’t like to feel like they are being held captive.

  • Keep participants engaged. Encourage participation.

  • Focus on the content and process to ensure learning outcomes instead of the format of the exam.

  • It’s extremely important for the trainer to establish credibility by sharing previous expertise and relevant real-world stories. Try hard to not overdo it because it can turn the participants off and creates another barrier to learning. Make the learning experience about the learners and not the trainer.

The Outcome

So if you’ve been following this 3-part series, you are probably wondering how this training ended? I will say that if the outcome was for the participants to be able to pass the exam, the outcome was accomplished. It’s not hard to do with a 67% pass rate. Everyone passed except for one person.However, if the outcome was to create an actionable and positive learning experience, this course was not as successful based on the feedback that a few participants shared with me. Here’s what they told me…

  • “Can I take it again with a different vendor even though I passed the exam? I didn’t learn much.”

  • “ I felt like I was more confused after the course than before taking it.”

  • “I don’t know how I passed!”

  • “I’m afraid to go to the next level because I didn’t learn anything in the first level, but I passed.”

Yes, almost everyone passed the exam, but here are my lingering questions…

  • How effective was the training?

  • What did the participants actually learn?

  • How much learning was transferred to the job?

  • Did the training achieve desired organizational results?

My expert opinion is that it wasn’t very effective learning event. We’ll see how well the participants do in the next course and their ability to apply their learning on the job.

Take Action

What I can say is this… If your training goal is to transfer your expertise to others for taking action, don’t settle for passing an exam. Ensure that your training is creating actionable learning experiences and achieving desired results. Here are three ways to make your training extraordinary...

  1. Check on your training effectiveness is to do a FREE Training Check-Up self-assessment if you’re not certain about the design, development, and delivery.

  2. Alternatively, you can rescue your design, after doing your own Training Check-Up, with the But, I’m Not Instructional Designer! Toolkit.

  3. Do you want to ensure that your training is instructionally sound? Schedule a FREE Please, Rescue My Training Call so we can discuss your design, development, and delivery. After our 30-minute call, we can determine if one of my Please, Rescue My Training! Consulting Packages is right for you.

Whatever you choose to do, make your training extraordinary! Your learners deserve your best.