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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Turning Training into Learning
By Sheila W. Furjanic Laurie A. Trotman
AMACOM BooksCopyright © 2001 Sheila W. Furjanic and Laurie A. Trotman
All right reserved.
IntroductionDid you ever go to a training or education event and question why you were there? Did you ever find yourself tuning out the leader because there didn't seem to be anything in the presentation for you? When you discovered an interesting concept or potentially valuable skill at a training event, did you ever have it evaporate before you had a chance to try it on the job? In fact, how long did it take you to forget 80 percent of what you heard in the last training session you attended?
Three key questions in any training situation are: What's in it for me? Will it stick? Will I be rewarded for what I've learned in the training program? The only right answer to the first question involves a concept we call learning, which means being able to do something new or to do something differently or better than you've ever done it before. And if it doesn't stick, it isn't learning.
As a trainer, educator, consultant, or manager, you should be asking yourself, What's in this book for me? Turning Training Into Learning gives you the tools you need to identify, develop, and present the training your organization needs. More important, you will learn the techniques for "hardwiring" your participants with skills and abilities that won't evaporate before they can use them on the job. The book is packed with guidelines, models, checklists, forms, templates, and other easy-to-use tools that will help you turn training into learning.
The heart of this book is the LEARN process. It is the natural process we all experience as learners before we can own and use what we've received in a training situation. LEARN is an acronym that represents the five-step process participants follow as they take in, practice, apply, and internalize skills and concepts. LEARN is the secret for turning training into learning. Each letter of this acronym stands for an important part of the learning process (see figure below).
LEARN is the center and therefore the core piece of the puzzle that also includes the four parts of the traditional training cycle: assess, design, deliver, and evaluate. To present this concept, Turning Training Into Learning is divided into two major parts: Part One, The Training Process, and Part Two, The LEARN Process. Notice that all aspects of the training process touch and influence the LEARN process. The book includes a chapter for each of the four training process components as well as a chapter for each of the five steps in LEARN.
The LEARN process.
L Listen and Understand-If you capture my attention and interest, I'll listen to what you have to offer and try to understand it.
E Evaluate and Decide-When you help me see what's in it for me, I'll evaluate the compentencies you've introduced and decide how I can use them on the Job or in my life outside the job.
A Attempt and Build-If you help me build my skills step-by-step in a safe environment, I'll make a serious attempt to learn.
R Return and Apply-When I feel comfortable with the skills and abilities I've learned, I'll return to the job and actually use what you've taught me. I'll be able to apply them to my own situation.
N Natural Transition-Now these skills and abilities are mine. I own them. I may pass them on to other people or take them to the next level and learn more on my own.
Part One-The Training Process: Creating the Foundation
Chapter 1, Assessing the Need for Training, sets the stage for learning by helping you to determine who needs training and why they need training. Assessment helps you to identify the driving forces behind training requests. It also helps you to evaluate what impact your training will have on bottom-line business results.
Chapter 2, Designing Learner-Based Training, helps you to identify training goals, recruit mentors, develop materials, select training methods, and determine schedules and resources.
Chapter 3, Delivering Training That Ensures Learning, introduces the needs of the adult learner and three different styles of learning. The chapter also features five secrets for transferring skills and abilities from your participants' short-term memories, where they will quickly disappear, and "hardwiring" them into participants' long-term memory.
Chapter 4, Evaluating the Training Process, focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of your training and determining how well it is received and applied by participants. The output of evaluation provides significant input for new and revised training efforts and links directly back to the assessment phase of the training cycle.
Part Two-The LEARN Process: Linking Training to Learning
Chapters 5 to 9 are each devoted to one letter in the LEARN acronym. The subtitle for each chapter is its secret to success because this is what the adult learner really wants. These chapters will lead you through the LEARN process and help you put yourself in the learner's shoes (see figure below).
Outline of Chapters 5-9.
Chapter Acronym Meaning Chapter Subtitle Letter (Secret to Success)
5 L Listen and Capture my Understand attention and interest
6 E Evaluate and Help me see what's Decide in it for me
7 A Attempt Help me build my skills and Build step-by-step
8 R Return and Send me back to Apply use them on the job 9 N Natural Now they're mine Transition
Chapter 5. If you capture my attention and interest-I'll listen and understand. This chapter gives you techniques for capturing your participants' attention and interest up front, because if you don't, you will be hard-pressed to capture it later.
Chapter 6. Help me see what's in it for me. This chapter presents a "road map" for the important process of getting your learners on board to learn. It shows you how to create an active learning situation that can involve your participants in the learning process, and shows you how to convince your learners that they should participate.
Chapter 7. Help me build my skills step-by-step. You will learn how to add activities to your presentation that will help participants remember what they have learned, realize the value on a personal level, and build the skills they need so they can apply them on the job.
Chapter 8. Send me back to use them on the job. To transition your learners from "Now I've tried it" to "I'll return and apply it" calls for planned follow-up activities as well as tools (the Return and Apply Model) to assist your learners in achieving training results that will stick on the job.
Chapter 9. Now they're mine-there's a natural transition. This chapter will help you understand both the natural transition process and the highest level of evaluation-transformation-from the learner's point of view.
Chapter 10, Putting It All Together, fits the pieces of the puzzle back together and reviews the entire process of Turning Training Into Learning. As we fit the pieces of the puzzle back together, we will discuss some of the pitfalls that may inadvertently occur in the training process and give you both some safety net solutions and tips to remember. We will also cover the training summary report.
Excerpted from Turning Training into Learning by Sheila W. Furjanic Laurie A. Trotman Copyright © 2001 by Sheila W. Furjanic and Laurie A. Trotman. Excerpted by permission.
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