Instructional design for skills training courses

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Knowledge about Instructional Design for skills training courses is critical – whether you are a trainer or a trainer, training manager or curriculum expert in the field of skill development. And, there’s nothing like an Instructional Design mobile app to make the job quick and easy.

To achieve excellence in skills training, it is imperative to win over the key stakeholders and influence learners in the right way. For many organizations, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), skills training doesn’t feature in their priority list. The reasons for this could be many – lack of financial resources, fear of loss of productivity, infrastructural issues and so on. In such a scenario how does one champion the cause of training and ensure that it brings in the desired results? Whether you partner with a training provider or develop the deliver training in-house, it is essential for training to be instructionally sound and learner-centred. This can be easily achieved by following principles of Instructional Design.

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Instructional Design (ID) is the systematic process of designing, developing, implementing and evaluating instruction. It begins with the perception of a training need; it proceeds to the creation of a learning experience and a learning environment. It ends with an evaluation of the learning solution. Instructional Design involves consideration of factors such as the profile of the learners, the purpose of learning, the context of learning, the content that is being taught, the medium and the place of learning.

Following are some of the ways in which trainers can appreciate and apply ID principles in skill development programs. This is one of the ways to ensure effective training and efficiency of training process without compromising on the quality of learning outcomes.

5 ways to get started with Instructional Design for skills training

Being aware about ID:   Conventionally, the trainer’s job is to deliver training as per the prescribed curriculum.  This makes training a monotonous routine – both for the trainer and the learner. Since ID is the foundational discipline for designing, developing , delivering and evaluating training, it brings better professional value for trainers to be aware about it, through orientation programs and other avenues of learning. This is particularly relevant when SMEs cannot afford to hire a professional instructional designer in their training team.

You could download this free mobile app on Instructional Design and use it as a quick reference for all your training needs.

Combining subject expertise with ID: Ideally, when the subject expert and the instructional design synergise well, it leads to effective learning outcomes. Let’s assume you are an expert in the field of Automobile Engineering or you could be an expert in the field of Beauty and hairstyling and you are assigned a course in training for basic skills. The program may have been designed as per National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) and apparently your role is confined to just delivering it. In spite of these limitations, your knowledge about ID is sure to help you in making your training excellent because you can appreciate the processes better; you feel accountable for results and most importantly share your observations on the pre-designed training material and the recommended training method.

Working with a professional ID: In case, it is possible for you to work with a professional ID, you could team up well and exchange your expertise in subject matter. When you complement for each other’s skills, there is tremendous scope for exchange of ideas and inputs to continuously improve training and accomplish the goals. When design meets domain expertise, learning becomes enjoyable learning and contributes to rewarding performance. This is mostly the case when developing technology based training interventions through e-learning and mobile learning.

Designing a training program from scratch: When there is a chance to design a training program from scratch, just grab this opportunity. There’s nothing like learning by doing, and you will enjoy the experience of going through the process of ID. You will get a chance to know your learner better, understand the principles of learning, the cognitive aspects of learning, use the right methods and techniques and choose the training content that suits the training goals. In the end, you are sure to find this experience empowering and perceive your role differently.

Studying the existing training in your domain: Another way to imbibe ID is by studying the existing the training processes in your domain. Look at the way your organization approaches training: do you work with specialized training provider, do you buy e-learning courses? Is the training implemented in a blended way? How do you evaluate the outcomes? Is the content relevant to the job? Are you following the right ways the measure ROI on your training? Answers to questions like these will help you appreciate the discipline of ID better and how it can make your an empowered trainer.

It may still be debatable whether trainers should learn about ID or certified in it. Certainly, these two roles can be totally separate and there’s no loss in remaining so. However, with the increasing demand for multiskilled professionals in training, there’s lot to gain, by extending our area of expertise and enriching it with related knowledge.  Isn’t this the way to become an enlightened trainer and an excellent learning facilitator?

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