Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

How the Heck Should I Organize Training Content?

I’d like to provide a never-fail shortcut to organizing the training content that can clutter your brain.

Before we begin, I am assuming two things on your part:

1.You believe in the value of using learning outcomes (often called “objectives”).

2. You are able to create learning outcomes.

Just to review:

What are Learning Outcomes?

Learning outcomes are “activities that participants will be able DO by the time they leave the learning experience.”

So—a learning outcome might look like this:

“By the end of this class, you’ll be able to explain the three most important e-mail etiquette rules.”

So—once you have your training topic and your learning outcomes, what steps should you take to develop content?

What Comes Next? The Kite!

Picture a traditional, diamond-shaped kite. In your mind’s eye, draw horizontal stripes across its face—one stripe for each learning outcome. That will look something like this.

The Law of the Stripe: 3 Guidelines

1.Each stripe represents one of your learning outcomes.

2.Each stripe contains the content you must cover to achieve that outcome, along with a minimum of one activity.

3.The activit(ies) should allow participants to practice one or all of the content points in that stripe.

In this way, each Stripe contains everything you need to ensure the participants achieve that particular learning outcome.

Check out the stripes. Each contains content and activities to achieve its learning outcome.

Here’s an Example of One Stripe

Learning Outcome: “By the end of this class, you’ll be able to explain the three most important e-mail etiquette rules.”

Content Points: Subject line, greeting, think twice before hitting ‘send’

Activity: Provide 3 example e-mails. Participants individually choose most appropriate subject lines and greetings for each situation. Debrief in large group.

Once you have the bare bones of content in each Stripe, it is easy to flesh the rest out. Make sure that your content and activities in each Stripe enable learners to achieve that learning outcome.

Quick and Easy

Using the Law of the Stripe greatly reduces your design time. It also ensures that your training is outcome-focused and lively.

Does the Kite approach to instructional design intrigue you? Let me know if you have questions, and have fun building and flying your Kites!



2 Responses to “How the Heck Should I Organize Training Content?”

  1. Good advice. I add a fourth step where appropriate: “Teach Back” where the participants define now to apply the KSA in their real world.

    Thanks for leading the way on this thinking. Mike.

  2. Guila says:

    Hi, Michael. The fourth step that you suggest (“teach back”) is a great idea. I might also do this in the tail of the Kite. Thank you for your insights!

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