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Design the Training Programme

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Having established the course objectives the training designer must now shape the course. Let us assume that we are designing a two-day course programme.

There are six stages to what we call the “macro design”. These are:

A – Identify the subject material to be covered in the two days.
B – Sequence the material in the most appropriate order for logical learning.
C – Choose the learning (training) methods.
D – Decide on the time needed for each training activity.
E – Prepare the macro design of the course.
F – Establish the programme’s physical requirements – who and what we will need to complete the programme.

In Appendix 2 you will find a sample macro-design for the course on Cleaner Production concepts and practices. We will use this to identify the various stages of the design process.

However, before we begin the stages we must recognise that in all training there are limiting factors which will impact the shape of the event and how the content is dealt with. Here are some examples:

– If the participants can only attend four afternoons rather than two full days, then you have a different event even if the time available is the same.
– If one hundred participants wish to attend, then it’s a very different training event than if only twenty are present. Each can be very successful, but they have a different design.
– If the course has to be held in a venue that has no blackboards or screens, this will change the design of certain sessions in the course.

Stage A – Select the subject material to be covered

The objective of the course determines the subject material. In our courses the main subjects are Cleaner Production and Cleaner Production Investments.

In consultation with the subject experts the training designer must decide:
– What topics or areas are to be covered in this very large subject in two days?
– For what reason (the objective)? Do the participants need to be able to undertake analysis work or only be aware of how it is done?
– What do the participants know already about this?
– How long do we wish to spend on one other area?
– Will there be follow-up learning? We may include some parts for self-study.

Stage B – Sequence the material in the most appropriate order for logical learning

Most topics can be sequenced in some logical order. This may be:
– From easy to complex, as related to the topic.
– For ease of learning – simple to start with, then more difficult.
– According to the order in which a task is done.
Skills development sequence to highlight progressive mastery of the skill.

For example in the course illustrated in Appendix 2 the sequence is:

– A short introduction to the issues. Listening, but not for long.
Discussion questions – break the ice and finding out what people know about Cleaner Production. Time is allowed to hear from the participants.
– Illustrated Case Studies – a chance to experience the use of concepts in a practical situation.

This is the structure from “easy to complex,” based on understanding that the participants know the general area of the subject.

Stage C – Choose the main instruction and learning methods

Earlier in the Guide we described the main methods of instruction which we are planning to use in the CPI training. These are:
Illustrated Presentations,
Discussion Questions,
Case Studies,
– Role-play,
– Panel of Experts, and
– Self-Learning.

Which is chosen and where, depends on a range of issues. These include:
– The nature of the topic.
– The current knowledge of the participants.
– The skills of the instructor. Not all are comfortable to run a role-play.
– The expectations of the participants, what they are comfortable with.
– The time of the day. Avoid presentations after lunch.

In selecting the methods of training to be used, variety during the week or day is also important.

Stage D – Decide on the time needed for each training activity

Estimating how long it will take can be difficult. This is particularly true of discussions and case studies. Because the instructor controls the presentations, time is easier to measure.

We will look at this later in the design and time issue of one session but remember:

– Training always takes longer than planned. The most successful learning sessions over-run. This is particularly true with adults, who ask more questions and are better participators.
– Avoid giving the participants a detailed timetable. The instructor has one, but can change it without appearing unplanned. Put in the day start and close times and perhaps the lunch break, but leave the session times open on the participant programme.

When you write the Instructor’s notes (see next section) you may have to change the timing. Changes to the time plan are common at this planning stage. In Appendix 2, an example of timing for one day of training is given.

Stage E – Write the Macro Design of the Course

The most important work of the Training Designer is the developing and writing of the macro design for the course.

This documents:
– Why the course is being held
– For whom it is being held
– The training philosophy
– The entry requirements
– What is to be covered
– How it is to be taught
– How long it will take
– How and when it will be evaluated

In Appendix 2 there is an illustration of the macro design for a course “Introduction to Cleaner Production Concepts and Practices”.

The macro design highlights the overall structure of the programme. Each section has its own detailed plan. This is called the micro design and determines what will happen in each individual session. We will look at this in part 4.

Stage F – Prepare the Course Requirement Lists

When we have completed all the previous five stages, we now know what the training aims to achieve and how we wish to accomplish it. Now we need to make it happen.

This final stage can be divided into two areas:

1 Training Material (See the next section for Guidance)
– Preparation of the detailed instructor guidance and file.
– Production of the teaching material and participants notes.

2 Training Event
– The accommodation and equipment requirements. In appendix 3 we have included two checklists for guidance.