Much of the information on this topic is adapted from the books Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business
and Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision for Nonprofit Staff.
Training and development — or “learning and development” as many
refer to it now — is one of the most important aspects of our lives and our
work. In our culture, we highly value learning. Yet, despite our having attended
many years of schooling, many of us have no idea how to design an approach to
training and development. This topic in the Library provides an extensive range
of information about training and development, including depicting how the many
aspects of training and development relate to each other. Also, this topic explains
how training and development can be used, informally or formally, to meet the
nature and needs of the learner.
Sections of This Topic Include
Introduction to Training and Development
Different Types of T&D Designs and Activities
Preparation for Developing T&D Programs
Design Your T&D Program
Business of T&D
Resources for Teachers and Trainers
Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Training and Development
In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs
that have posts related to Training and Development. Scan down the blog’s page
to see various posts. Also, see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in
the sidebar of the blog or click on “next” near the bottom of a post
in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.
Library’s Human Resources
Library’s Leadership Blog
Training and Development Blog
WHAT IS TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT? WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
It’s amazing how so many of us go through so many years of schooling, but have
such little understanding of T&D. Before reading about the many aspects
of T&D in this topic in the Library, it’s best to start with a basic understanding
of T&D and how to best benefit from it.
Traditionally, learning is viewed as new knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA).
Knowledge is gleaned by organizing information. Typically, information evolves
into knowledge by the learner’s gaining context, perspective, and scope about the
information. Skills are applying knowledge in an effective and efficient manner
to get something done. One notices skills in an employee by their behaviors.
Abilities result from applying the skills to the extent that the applications
become natural or intuitive to do. Some professionals view learning as enhancing
one’s capacity to perform.
It’s important to note that learning is more than collecting information —
more than collecting unreferenced books on a shelf. Ideally, the skills are
applied to the most appropriate tasks and practices in the organization, thereby
producing performance — results needed by the organization. Here’s another perspective.
This term is often interpreted as the activity when an expert and learner work
together to effectively transfer useful information from the expert to the learner
(to enhance a learner’s knowledge, skills, and abilities) so the learner can
better perform a current task or job. A trainer might use a variety of methods
to enhance a learner’s learning, including other- or self-directed, formal
or informal. Here’s another perspective.
This term is often viewed as a broad, ongoing multi-faceted set of activities
(training activities among them) to bring someone or an organization up to another
threshold of performance. This development often includes a wide variety of
methods, e.g., orienting about a role, training in a wide variety of areas,
ongoing training on the job, coaching, mentoring, and forms of self-development.
Some view development as a life-long goal and experience. Here’s another
Here are more definitions of terms in T&D.
Training and Development: Reasons and Benefits
We often think that the biggest benefit of learning is that we get a diploma
or credential. As we get wiser, we realize there are so many more benefits than
that. Knowing the benefits will help motivate you to design your own training
plans and programs, and to motivate others to participate as well. Perhaps one
of the biggest benefits is the appreciation that you can be learning all the
time, even if you are not in a formal training program.
Training and Development: Reasons and Benefits
Principles of Adult Learning
If you will be doing training and development with yourself (and almost every
adult will be at some time in their lives) or with others, you should know the
differences between training children and teens versus training adults. Adults
have very different natures and needs in training.
of — and Myths About — Adult Learning
Theories of Learning
When designing training, it helps to consider the influences that might be
causing the learning to occur. That’s where theories of learning can be useful.
A theory is a set of highly integrated ideas meant to explain how something
works. Thus, a theory of learning is meant to explain how a person or group
attains new knowledge, skills, and abilities.
of Learning Theories
of Learning and Development
Educational Learning Theories
Learning Theories for Mobile Learning
Research suggests that each person has a style of learning that best suits
their nature. Educators and parents are encouraged to learn the style of their
students and children and to adapt their educational activities to the nature
of the learner.
of Learning Styles
Guide to Understanding and Adapting To Different Learning Styles
Learning Styles Controversy – Arguments For and Against
A person or group will not learn unless they want to learn, regardless of how
well, the training was planned and how well the trainers do their jobs.
of Learners in Training and Development
Although the learning is primarily up to the learners to accomplish, the role
of management is critical in the support and continuation of learning. That
includes executives, managers, and supervisors.
of Management in Learning and Development
In larger organizations with sufficient resources to operate a carefully designed
and managed T&D program, it is useful to have a Chief Learning Officer.
of Chief Learning Officers
There are different, major forms of designs for training and development activities.
We’re most familiar with formal and other-directed forms of learning and development
that include strong attention to the systematic structure and evaluation
of the learning and development, especially as used in schooling. That is somewhat
ironic because the most common forms are informal and self-directed — they
occur without strong attention to a systematic design and evaluation and without
many experts guiding us through those experiences.
Ways to Look at Training
and Development Processes: Informal/Formal and Self-Directed/Other-Directed
There are many approaches to learning and development and many types of activities
that can be undertaken to learn. An awareness of these other types will broaden
your possibilities for intentional learning and for designing training for yourself
for Learning Activities
The field (or many would argue the profession) of training and development
has undergone dramatic improvements, especially with the inclusion of computer-
and Web-based technologies. We’re also expanding the concept of learning beyond
the learning of individuals — we’re thinking that groups and organizations
can learn, too. (Although the topics of the learning organization and knowledge
management are fairly recent and still popular, many people would disagree that
they’re actually learning and development programs — those people might assert
that they’re actually forms of organizational performance management. However,
the two topics still seem to be so broad and changing, that they’re referred
to here as movements.)
PREPARATION FOR DEVELOPING T&D PROGRAMS
Instructional system design (ISD) is the activity to ensure that the design
of training is very successful in achieving the goals of the training. One of
the most common ISD model is ADDIE, which is an acronym for assessment, design,
development, implementation, and evaluation — you can discern from the acronym
that ADDIES is a systematic design of training.
Training Processes — Instructional Systems Design (ISD) and ADDIE
Formal approaches to learning and development often have the highest likelihood
of transfer of training. A formal approach to learning and development usually
follows a systematic and consistent framework. Systematic means that the framework
is designed to guide learners to achieve an overall set of goals — goals to
address a need or situation, then associates objectives and activities to achieve
those overall goals, and evaluates the activities and results to be sure the
goals were achieved.
Guidelines to Design T&D Programs
Before this Library topic goes on to explain how to design and develop training
programs, it’s useful to get a quick impression of various types of training
programs. A training program is an intentionally designed,
(hopefully) highly integrated set of activities that are aligned to accomplish
a certain set of results among learners. Many of us might not be used to thinking
of the following as programs in the workplace, but they are.
of Various Formal Training Processes
New Employees (New Hires, On-Boarding)
It might help to broaden your understanding of how learning and development
are applied in life and organizations by considering various forms of development.
Development is often referred to as the activities to raise the performance
of a person, team, process, or organization to another level. The development includes
a wide variety of forms of learning and development. The following links are
to a wide variety of forms of development in people and organizations.
Solutions for the “Dumbest Management Concepts of All Time”
Now we’ll tie the many guidelines together into a set of suggestions that will
be useful, especially when undergoing or designing training programs for yourself
and others. The second link is to a guide you could consider when designing
a training program.
Suggestions to Enrich
Learning Any Training and Development Plans
DEVELOP YOUR T&D PROGRAM
What overall results or outcomes should be accomplished by learners? Those
outcomes usually are identified from the results of assessments, or measurements,
of what a person or workplace needs to accomplish in order to achieve some desired
level of performance. An outcome might be the ability to perform a complex job.
Needs Assessment and Analysis: Identifying Training Goals
for Conducting Needs Assessment
Purpose of Training Assessment and Analysis
Approach — Four Steps to Conducting a Needs Assessment
Approach to Needs Assessment to Determine Your Overall Training Goals
Resources for Training Needs Assessment and Analysis
What learning objectives must be accomplished by learners in order to achieve
the overall outcomes, and what activities must be undertaken by trainers and
learners to accomplish those objectives? The integration of the overall outcomes,
objectives, and activities and also how they will be evaluated comprise the design
of the learning and development program. Learning objectives often are described
in terms of new learning — new knowledge, skills, and competencies.
Training Plans and Learning Objectives
for Designing Your Training Plan
Your Learning Objectives
Your Learning Objectives for Relevance, Alignment, Sequence, and Testability
Training Rooms (Classrooms)
Information About Designing Training
Ideas for Ways to Learn (including distance and online learning)
One of the biggest concerns of trainers — and those paying for training —
is whether the learners will indeed understand and apply the new information
and materials from the learning and development activities, that is, whether
the new information and materials will transfer to the learners. The following
link is to many resources with guidelines to increase the likelihood of transfer
to Ensure Transfer of Training — How to Reinforce Learning
Now it’s important to get even more clear on what resources must be obtained
and developed in order to undertake the activities to achieve the objectives.
Resources might include certain expertise, facilities, and technologies. Development
might include several trainers and learners reviewing the design of the training
to ensure it meets their nature and needs.
Training Activities and Materials
for Developing Your Training Activities and Materials
Considerations to Develop Your Training Activities and Materials
Consideration — Selecting a Trainer
Possible Types of Training Activities
Resources to Develop Your Training Activities and Materials
Now you’re ready to have trainers and learners participate in the program,
to undertake the activities and evaluations of learning. Implementation often
results in refining the original design of the training program.
Training: Conducting the Training with Learners
for Implementing Your Training Plan
Considerations During Implementation
Advice for Any Trainer
Resources to Guide Implementation of Your Training Plan
Group and Team Facilitation
How to Know When to Facilitate, Train, or Coach
to Improve Your Communications Skills
Tools for Trainers and Teachers
to Do Public Speaking and Presentations
As trainers and learners participate in the program, evaluation should occur
of the quality of the activities and the extent of achievement of the objectives.
After the program, an evaluation should occur to assess the extent of achievement
of the overall goals of the program. Evaluation might focus on short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes.
Training and Results (ROI of Training)
for Evaluating Training Activities and Results
on Evaluating Training
for Evaluating Training
Approach to Calculate Return on Investment (ROI) of Training
Resources to Guide Evaluation of Your Training
Activities in Organizations
BUSINESS OF T&D
Various Types of Practitioners in Learning and Development
The following links are too numerous types of positions that often have official
responsibility for various forms of learning and development.
of the Field of Organization Development
Education for Learning and Development and Social Change
Trainers) (includes guidelines about training)
Do You Need An Instructional Design Degree?
Best Performance Enhancer
This topic assumes that you already have some expertise in
training and are thinking about starting a business to be a professional
trainer. The guidelines in this topic are focused on helping you
to start a new organization, expand a current organization, or
start a new service. If you do not yet have expertise in training,
you should review much of the contents of the topic Training and Development, and then certainly
practice training in a variety of venues, including evaluation
from other trainers and participants in your training.
How to Start a Training Business
For the Category of Training and Development:
To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may
want to review some related topics, available from the link below.
Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.
Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been
selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.