Tips Newsletter – July, 2011
Don’t Stop Now: Keep Improving The Course
Most of us are familiar with developmental testing – the try-out and revision of training and educational programs on members of the target population while the materials are being developed. The developmental testing process commonly ends as the training program is implemented. But should it?
The purpose of developmental testing is to improve the training and educational materials (Formative Evaluation). Over the years we have developed some great strategies for this process. Take a look at http://dsink.com/tips/20091111.php for a great tip on this process by one of DSA’s lead designers, Dr. Paul Swan.
In a project that Dr. Swan and I are currently working on – training technicians to troubleshoot large mechanical equipment in the field – it occurred to me that we can extend the try-out and revision process to the field where we will surely run into issues and challenges that won’t be present in the more controlled lab environment.
As a part of the implementation process, it is our client’s plan for the lead SME to co-facilitate the course with each of 5 trainers at their training facility in 5 different locations worldwide.
We are adding to this coaching opportunity the continuation of the formative evaluation process just as we did in the initial try-out of the training and the Train-The-Trainer session. When the original SME goes to co-teach the trainers in the regional centers, we have a plan to continue the try out and revision process based on the learner’s performance. We will examine
- The performance results of the students’ learning using a performance checklist.
- The results of the developmental testing questionnaire filled out by the learners.
- The verbal comments of the learners and the instructors made in a debrief session.
This data will then be coordinated and revisions will continue though the early phases of implementation.
So, what I am proposing is that we keep testing our programs in a rather formal way as they are being implemented. Please give this idea some thought and see how you could continue to make important improvements to your programs during the early stages of implementation.
If you would like a copy of DSA’s standard developmental testing questionnaire that we are using please send me an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Developmental Questionnaire” in the subject line.
Until next time,