How to Create & Design Training Materials & Programs

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Set training objectives and evaluate to ensure success.
Set training objectives and evaluate to ensure success. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

ADDIE stands for Analyze Design Develop Implement Evaluate and is the most popular model used for systematic training design. The model was born from the U.S. Military's need for training new conscripts and factory workers developing military goods during World War II. The U.S. Military still uses the systematic training approach today. Following its steps ensures a comprehensive and orderly approach to training program design and maintenance.

Analyze training needs. Find out the needs of the company or individuals involved. Profile the target audience. Write specific, actionable objectives for the training based on assessed needs. The lynchpins of the ADDIE approach are the “analyze” and the “evaluate” stages. The two phases are linked. ADDIE emphasizes a thorough training-needs analysis during which requirements and objectives are defined. These objectives should then be evaluated during the evaluation phase.

Design the learning methods and strategies. Choose the media for training delivery, be they electronic or instructor-led. Plan the training course, research the content and make course outlines. If designing an e-learning course, make prototypes.

Develop the training course. Write the content, do detailed lesson planning, create course books and assessments. Develop the software or customize the learning management system. If the objectives written during the analysis phase were detailed enough, they will be your guide for what the learner should know at the end of each module, and at the end of the course.

Roll the training out to learners using the methods you chose. This phase is also known as “Deliver.” For electronic courses it’s the “go live” phase.

Evaluate the training to ensure it was effective and the objectives have been met. Evaluate based on the objectives set during the analysis phase. If the objective was to train learners to produce 500 widgets an hour, test them to see if they can produce 500 widgets an hour. Evaluate the value of your content and training with questionnaires, interviews and observation. Query employees' line managers to determine if their performance has improved.

Feedback any improvements or necessary changes into the system. Change assessments if they are not accurate, reducing the number of screens in an e-learning module if need be. The output of the evaluation phase should refine and improve any aspect of the training. It should be a continuous process – after each training intervention, its effectiveness should be assessed.

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