Well-organised and facilitated learning activities produce better outcomes in terms of a worker's learning and motivation. All those involved in the learning experience, whether they be trainers, mentors, coaches or recipients of the teaching, will also benefit by being less stressed and more confident in the success of the learning process when it runs smoothly and efficiently.
Being organised begins with knowing your objectives. Unless you have your objectives clearly defined and in writing, you are risking at best, disappointment and at worst, failure. Although you may have to prepare a different list of objectives for different types of learners in the organisation, all types of learning activities must have clear objectives in place before starting.
This rule applies whether the activities comprise one-on-one mentoring or coaching, or learning in groups during a training program or information session. Objectives specify what a learner should be able to do at the end of a learning activity so that they can be considered competent-they focus on results.
Well-defined objectives are: described in specific terms stated in measurable terms rendered realistic and achievable bounded by time.
As a business manager, you will not be expected create a training program or workshop for workers to learn about an information or knowledge management system. Nor will you be responsible for writing training manuals or e-Iearning courses-those are the responsibilities of instructional designers. You may, however, be required to select a training program for its suitability to learners.
To select a training program, consider the following: Does the content fulfil the learning objectives? Is the structure suitable for the group of learners? Is there a sufficient variety of activities within the program to sustain interest? Is the length of the program appropriate to fulfil the objectives?
You may also be required to present an information session or to brief mentors and coaches based on your research and understanding of the information or knowledge management system. The process of structuring information and briefing sessions is easier when you have a list of objectives to refer to.
When you are preparing your presentation, you can apply the same set of considerations as you did for selecting a training program to ensure that it is appropriate and covers the needs of your audience.
Keep in mind also that one-on-one learning allows the facilitator to specifically take into account a worker's individual skills and knowledge, so your broad goal is to fill in the knowledge gaps. A group of learners, however, will have to be approached more generically, but will still require particular issues and competencies to be addressed.
Although many training programs will come with facilitators who are already qualified to deliver the learning activities necessary for the information or knowledge management system, you may find yourself having to source an appropriate facilitator as well.
Having the right person or persons to teach learning activities can make all the difference to learning outcomes
Competent facilitators, trainers, presenters and lecturers share the following qualities: the skills and expertise to pass on relevant information an awareness of the group's level of understanding an engaging and confident delivery manner the ability to inspire and generate interest the ability to adapt to different types of learners.
As well as organising the principal facilitators, you will also want to think about having support personnel to assist the experts. Support personnel can be engaged to: help the experts to set up equipment distribute learning materials coordinate lunches, morning and afternoon teas, snacks provide one-on-one assistance with computer hardware or software help to assess learners' acquisition of skills assist learners with special needs.