Let's start at the very beginning.
In looking at the many ingredients that make a training program an effective one, the task of blending these elements can be likened to that of a skilled chef. The finished product of the culinary professional—like the end result of the HRD professional— depends on the correct mix and the artful use of the proper ingredients.
To be effective, a training program must be result oriented. A knowledge of the many activities and processes involved will help you design a productive and viable learning experience. You can assure an effective program by developing objectives and evaluation criteria for the results expected. Moreover, each element of the program design must be weighed against the expected results. Too many training programs seem to be designed and conducted with little, if any, attention paid to results or evaluation. Evaluation is an ongoing process that begins even before the first thoughts of training.
The idea is not that we consider evaluation as the first step, but rather that it overrides and provides the framework for all the activities in the total human resource development program. As we consider a particular training request, we might first evaluate the request by asking if training is what is really needed. Experienced training directors often find that well-intentioned but misinformed colleagues may assume that all problems are training problems and, therefore, can be solved by a training program.
In this chapter. we describe a step-by-step approach that will help ensure your success in designing training programs. We will cover problem diagnosis to determine the necessity for training. Next, you will see how to define training goals in terms of specific objectives that can be evaluated. Various instructional techniques will be covered, and you will learn to match them with specific training problems. We'll discuss techniques that gain participant involvement and result in a favorable learning climate. Finally, we will cover methods for determining evaluation criteria.