Don't Stop Now – Keep Improving The Course!

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Darryl L. Sink and Associates, Inc. (DSA) helps organizations design and develop learning and performance solutions that get results. DSA works cooperatively with organizations to:

  • accomplish internal custom projects
  • train and educate their internal staff in Instructional Systems Development.

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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.

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:

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.

See you next time,