How to Create Training Materials

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Properly designed training materials enhance learning.
Properly designed training materials enhance learning. (Image: writing image by DBarby from Fotolia.com)

In order to create training materials you must first do a training needs assessment to determine what courses are needed. After compiling the data, determine the method of training--formal classroom, e-learning or webinar, whichever method will be the most effective. Formal classroom training will require a training manual or participant guide. Discretionary materials that can be used are wall charts, flipcharts, PowerPoint slides and any materials in addition to the training manual.

Write a description of the course and learning objectives. Learning objectives should explain how the course will benefit participants and should align with organizational objectives.

Divide individual topics into modules. At the beginning of each module write the purpose, process and payoff of the module. The purpose should tell class participants what skills the module is intended to give them. The process should explain the learning activities they will participate in, such as skills practices, role plays, group discussions and video segments. The payoff should clearly define what they will be able to do upon completion of the module.

Incorporate different types of activities and practice sessions that will engage all learning styles--visual, auditory and kinesthetic. You should incorporate all three because each type of learner will probably be in attendance. Activities and practice sessions should tie into and reinforce the training and course objectives.

Include two sections near the end of the training manual with directions for class participants to write their insights and actions. In the first section, they should write the insights they gained from the training. In the second section, they should write the actions they will take to apply the information they have learned.

Complete the table of contents and the appendix after you have finished designing the training manual. Although the table of contents should be positioned first in the training manual, you should complete it after you have written and designed all modules because you will then have a clearly defined format and know the order of all modules and activities. The appendix should immediately follow the table of contents and should include all documents for written activities, such as self assessments, action steps, feedback forms and an overview of the training, if necessary. The manual should be formatted in this order: table of contents, appendix, course description and objectives, modules interlaced with activities, insights and actions and an overview of training, if necessary.

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