According to Merriam-Webster, a facilitator is defined as, one that helps to bring about an outcome by providing indirect or unobtrusive guidance.
In the learning and development world, facilitating is often used as a way to move a discussion and allow the participant to have more control over their own learning. Although often interchanged with “training”, a facilitator generally serves the role of providing leadership, structure and feedback to the group. Facilitation often occurs during high level training such as teambuilding and strategic planning.
The key to any effective facilitation is to move the discussion both efficiently and effective. I created a “cheat sheet” that will help you to stay on track during the facilitation process.
Key Points to Remember
- Make sure you are the first one to arrive
- Maintain a high energy level
- Summarize. Summarize. Summarize.
Do you have a mission statement for your training department? Well, you should. A mission statement serves the purpose of describing the beliefs and values of an organization and to help employees understand why the organization exists.
Training departments function to support the goals of the organization by enhancing job performance and identifying the required training needs of each employee. So why create a mission statement for your training department? There are many advantages to creating a mission statement including:
- Improving the strategic alignment between the training department and the organization
- Helping to prioritize the needs of both the organization and the training department.
- The ability to quantify and assess the effectiveness of any training developed by the department.
Here’s how to get started:
- Read your organization’s mission statement. The training department mission statement should align with that of your organization. Your alignment should also include reviewing the beliefs, values and priorities. Further questions should include: How does the training department fit into the big picture?
- The next step will be working on the mission statement. In order to write an effective mission statement, here are some questions to ask: Why does your department exist? Who are you training? and how will you evaluate the training?
- Keep your mission statement short. An effective mission statement is generally 1-2 sentences that should contain action words and is quantifiable. The mission statement should answer the following questions, what do you do, and why do you do it?
- Obtain input from other people including the stakeholders, other departments including HR and employees.
- Revise your mission statement when necessary
Once completed, don’t forget to celebrate!
Do you currently have a training department mission statement? I would love to hear from you!
Mastering the Instructional Design Process: A Systematic Approach
William J. Rothwell & H.C. Kazanas
Pfeiffer and Company
In Mastering the Instructional Design Process, William J. Roth well and H.C. Kazanas, provide a systematic approach for developing instructional design competencies based on the Board of Standards of Performance and Instruction (IBSTBI). Rothwell is currently a professor of workplace learning and performance and Pennsylvania State University, President of Rothwell and Associates and has written over 60 books in the learning and performance field. H.C. Kazanas is currently professor emeritus of education at the University of Illinois and authored or co-authored eleven books relating to technical training in manufacturing and human resource development.
There have been plenty of articles and blogs written on whether one should pursue a formal education or an informal education in order to become a proficient instructional designer. Well, this book is written for those who chose the latter.
The book begins with a pre-test on the instructional systems design and allows the reader to use it as a diagnostic tool as a self-assessment. The first chapter provides the definition of instructional design and ties in its relationship to human performance problems. This component is vital as the book like most performance books, gives alternatives to instructional solutions. Chapter 2 notes that not all solutions can be solved by instructional design, rather, other types of tools including feedback and job aids. Chapter 3 discusses the various methods that can be used for performance analysis. Chapters 4 through analyzing the needs, learners, and work setting by explaining the steps in the instructional design process including conducting a needs assessment and developing a profile of the learner.
Chapters 8 through 10 delve into writing performance objectives including figures, and a breakdown of verbs associated with objectives in the cognitive domain. Chapters 11-13 discusses delivering the instruction effectively including choosing appropriate instructional strategy including tables and worksheets. If you are more interested in learning how to design management systems, chapters 14 through 18 can be used to understand not only how to plan, and monitor an instructional design but also communicating effectively through visualization.
Finally, chapter 20 discusses ways on being an effective instructional designer through some personal reflection from the authors. The appendix includes resources on online instructional design, learning theories and instructional design and knowledge management. As an extra bonus, there are a number of supplementary materials that are available for download free with the purchase of the book including worksheets, checklist and activities.
Learning Development and Human Resource professionals can benefit from reading this book. It combines both instructional design and performance improvement steps with ease. Anyone seeking to improve their understanding of instructional design will enjoy reading this book.
Depending on the size of your organization, training records can grow out of control if not managed properly. There are many benefits to developing an effective training management system including, controlling the growth of records, improving efficiency, ensuring regulatory compliance and fostering professionalism. In order to maintain an effective training records system, Here are a few steps to follow:
Develop a plan. When you develop a plan, make sure you are able to answer the following questions.Why were the training records created? who will have access to them? What information will be discarded? Where will training records be kept? Other important questions when developing a plan may include how will records be maintained? and Where will training records be kept? Most non-profit organizations are heavily regulated therefore including a retrieval system as part of you plan will be the key to the success of managing your system.
Arrangement. The system that you develop should be effective enough so that you are able to retrieve information quickly. Most organizations arrange records using an alphabetic system. Files can also be developed using a number of different systems including chronological, numerical and geographical.
Inventory. This step will help you in weeding out any unnecessary paperwork. Training departments often keep copies of test scores, attendance sheets, evaluations, need assessments, compliance trainings, and attendance records. Decide which records should be kept with your current files.
Old Records. Now you can begin organizing your training records. This is a great time to also get rid of any extra clutter that you may have accumulated over the years. Develop a system to retire old records and determine how long you would need to keep your most current records active. Generally 1 year should be enough however if you are heavily audited, compliance records may need go back a little further so you may want to keep more information on-site for additional years.
Retention Plan. Now that you have developed a plan, know the type arrangement that you will be using, and you have created your inventory, The next step will be to develop a retention plan. This step should involve developing a timeline on keeping old records. This may vary according to your State and your organization’s policy. Here in the state of New York, the records are eligible for destruction after 7 years but this may also depend on the type of records that you have. Also, check with your organization on the procedure of discarding information. some organizations may shred documentation either on site or use a shredding company.
Re-organize. Once you have completed developing a retention plan, you can now prepare and organize all documentation.
Maintain. This will become easier once you have put a system into place. make sure that you file all material on a regular basis. find a time of day when you have the least interruptions. This may be the beginning of the day, the end of the day, or right after you have completed a training.
Do you have any additional suggestions on organizing your files? I love to hear from you.