5(Development— Putting Theory Into Practice

5(Development— Putting Theory Into Practice

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Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

• Create training materials (end products).

• Identify appropriate instructional method and media.

• Describe characteristics of an optimal training setting.

• Summarize how to review and edit training materials for accuracy.

In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not. —Albert Einstein



Introduction Chapter 5

Pretest 1. One important aspect of evaluating a training session is finding out whether trainees

enjoyed it. a. true b. false

2. Informal on-the-job training is not organized in advance in any way. a. true b. false

3. The design of training materials can capture trainees’ attention and ensure they are engaged with the material and thus learn from it. a. true b. false

4. Seating arrangements such as clusters of tables or circles may be useful in school set- tings but are not effective for adult learning. a. true b. false

5. In a design review of instructional materials, an experienced graphic designer goes over the formatting, font, and layout of the materials to make sure they are optimized for learning. a. true b. false

Answers can be found at the end of the chapter.

Introduction Although the design phase of the ADDIE model is considered the blueprint for workplace training, the development phase begins the actual manufacturing of the training content itself. Specifically, this step involves the production of the end user training materials, known as end products. From the training materials and methods to the instructional technologies, we can think of development as the phase that converts the theory of instructional design into practice.

In the development phase all the prior work we have done in the analysis and design phases comes together. After creating the training materials, we then put them through a rigorous editorial process, not only to verify their accuracy, but also to assess whether any gaps or sec- tions need improvement.

In sum, whereas the design phase was “how we are going to do it,” the development phase is about “doing it right” (Piskurich, 2010).



Creating Training Materials Chapter 5

5.1 Creating Training Materials As previously discussed, the focus in the development phase is the procurement or produc- tion of the training materials to be used (Hodell, 2011). The data collected in the analysis phase—and subsequently used in the design phase—now inform our choices regarding both the use and development of the end products of training. Specifically, training materials may include end products such as:

• communication packs; • lesson plans; • session plans, trainer guides, and learner guides and resources; • trainer and on-the-job aids; • participant assessment instruments; and • program evaluation instruments.

With training material, we must consider both the horizontal and vertical aspects; that is, “How much?” and “How complex?” The answers to these questions are not only a function of the required level of trainer engagement and participant interaction with the material (Dick et al., 2009; Dobbs, 2006; Swanson, 2002), they are also related to cost and practicality, as well as based on the training content, number of trainees, and delivery method. Swanson (2002)—and subsequently others (ASTD, 2012; Fee, 2011; Wan, 2013)—specifically noted five stages of training material development in relation to the horizontal and vertical charac- teristics; specifically, the appropriateness of particular training material:

• Stage 0: No planned instructor materials; no planned participant materials • Stage 1: Training presentation slides; paper copies of the slides for the participants;

job aids • Stage 2: Training presentation slides; trainee print materials in the form of a struc-

tured trainee notebook (including paper copies of the slides for the participants) • Stage 3: Training presentation slides; trainee print materials in the form of a struc-

tured trainee notebook; workplace objects and artifacts from the tasks to be learned; dynamic or interactive support materials such as e-learning products

• Stage 4: Materials are designed to the level that they can mediate the development of trainee knowledge and expertise seeking without the need of a trainer.

No training materials or limited training materials (stage 0) would be needed when work- place learning was informal or incidental, for example. Other training material would require much more depth and breadth (stage 4), such as when a trainee is required to do post- training self-directed study in developing further expertise in the training content. For example, if a trainee is the departmental liaison for the organization’s safety program, the trainee may leave the session with a thick reference binder of safety regulations, standards, and proce- dures such as lock out or tag out. Even with on-the-job training, where the trainee is on the job site in real time, training materials must be available to ensure an effective OJT system; these include task lists, job aids, schedule, and even lesson plans (Chase, 1997; Clark, 2013; Clark, 2010; Rothwell & Kazanas, 2011; Werner & DeSimone, 2011). Here is a typical OJT training material list:

• Task list. Following a job-task analysis, we should now have a detailed list of all the tasks the trainee must be able to perform to do his or her job. The list should include:



Creating Training Materials Chapter 5

– Conditions: What tools or equipment and environment are needed to perform the task?

– Performance measure: How well must it be designed as far as depth and specificity?

– Frequency: How often is the task performed (hourly, daily, weekly, and so on)? – Difficulty: How difficult is the task, using a standard scale such as from 1 to 5? – Importance: What place of importance is this task as compared to the other tasks? – Steps: What are the logical steps for performing the task?

• Job aids. Used during training and/or on the job, job aids are step-by-step instructions or checklists that guide the trainee through the correct way of performing a task. They should also include guidelines for employees to check their own work.

• Training schedule. A training schedule helps trainers organize their OJT and document who has and has not been trained for any given task.

• Lesson plan. As created in the design phase, the lesson plan is an outline of how to teach the class and what to include to ensure trainers teach each task correctly and consistently every time.

Trainer and Participant Assessment Instruments

As Chapter 7 will discuss further, the training session must develop and use materials that assess not only if the trainees enjoyed the session—what is called a level 1 assessment—but also if they learned anything, known as a level 2 assessment. This classification system for training evaluation was introduced by Donald Kirkpatrick, Professor Emeritus at the Univer- sity of Wisconsin and past president of the American Society for Training & Development. His four-level training evaluation model, known as Kirkpatrick’s taxonomy, includes four levels of evaluation—reaction, learning, behavior, and result—and was first published in 1959 in the US Training and Development Journal (Kirkpatrick, 1959; Kirkpatrick, 2009). It will be discussed in depth in Chapters 7 and 8.

These first two levels of Kirkpatrick’s taxonomy are particularly important to consider here when developing the training materials for the training session itself. (Levels 3 and 4, behav- ior and results, respectively, are discussed in Chapters 7 and 8.) Specifically, a level 1 assess- ment covers the trainee’s reaction and is sometimes called a “happy sheet” (Kirkpatrick, 2009; Wan, 2013; Werner & DeSimone, 2011). It can be paper based or online and asks questions such as: Did the trainees like and enjoy the training? Did they consider the training relevant? Was it a good use of their time? Did they like the venue, style, timing, amenities, and so on? (See samples in Figure 5.1.)



Creating Training Materials Chapter 5

Figure 5.1: Level 1 evaluation sample

Employers can use “happy sheets,” or evaluations, to gather feedback from trainees to ensure the efficacy of the training and modify future trainings, if needed.


1 – Strongly disagree 2 – Disagree 3 – Neither agree nor disagree 4 – Agree 5 – Strongly agree

Workshop Evaluation


Job title: Department:

1. Class objectives were met and well communicated 1 2 3 4 5

2. Subject matter was useful to me in my work 1 2 3 4 5

3. Sufficient time was allotted for explanation/practice 1 2 3 4 5

4. The training materials were easy to follow 1 2 3 4 5

5. The instructor actively involved the class in discussions 1 2 3 4 5

6. The instructor handled the questions effectively 1 2 3 4 5

7. This class adequately prepared me to participate in an outbreak investigation 1 2 3 4 5

8. I will be able to implement the processes and skills I learned today when I return to my job 1 2 3 4 5

9. Overall the class was satisfactory 1 2 3 4 5

10. How skilled do you think you were in this area Not Somewhat Very before you attended this class? skilled skilled skilled

11. How skilled do you think you are in this area Not Somewhat Very class after attending this class? skilled skilled skilled

Level 2 assessments try to ascertain if the trainee learned anything from the training. Many times, this assessment takes on the form of pretests and, subsequently, posttests. Of course, the questions within any level 2 assessment would be linked to the original learning objec- tives of the training, as determined by the analysis phase. So, for example, with a materials and storage handling workshop, trainers might test the trainees prior to the session on ques- tions such as these:

• What are the potential hazards for workers? • What precautions should workers take when moving materials manually? • What precautions should workers take when moving materials mechanically? • What precautions must workers take to avoid storage hazards? • What safeguards must workers follow when stacking materials?



Creating Training Materials Chapter 5

And, let us say the average correct score on the pretraining survey was 66%. We could look at that as our baseline prior to the training, and then following the materials and storage handling workshop, we could again survey the trainees to see if any learning had occurred, given the new knowledge they would have been presented. So in our example, following the workshop, the average correct score on the posttraining survey jumps to 93%; in this case it would be difficult to suggest that some learning had not taken place.

Figure 5.2 is an actual level 2 assessment pre- and posttest using a Likert scale to measure knowledge gain for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) used at Harvard Medi- cal School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Figure 5.2: Level 2 assessment pre- and posttest using a Likert scale

Level 2 evaluation attempts to gauge if any learning occurred as a result of the training. To assess this, many times trainees are tested prior to the training and then again subsequent to the training to see if there was any change in knowledge, skills, or attitudes.


SD–Strongly disagree D–Disagree U–Undecided A–Agree SA–Strongly agree

ANCC 2013 Submission Criteria SD D U A SA

As a nurse I understand my role in Continuing Education. 1 2 3 4 5

I am familiar with ANCC 2013 submission criteria. 1 2 3 4 5

I know the difference between an Approved Approver and an Approved Provider of Continuing Education. 1 2 3 4 5

I know the difference between ANCC-awarded CE and Board of Registration-awarded CE. 1 2 3 4 5

Please mark your rating on each item below:

Source: Brigham and Women’s pre and post test guidelines. (2014). Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

You can calculate the learning gain—the improvement between the pre- and postlearning assessment scores—from the level 2 assessment. It can be calculated using the following formula:

(Postlearning score – prelearning score ÷ maximum score – prelearning score) × 100

For example, if the prelearning score is 50, the postlearning score is 80, and the maximum score is 100, then you get the following:

[(80 – 50) ÷ (100 – 50)] × 100 = (30 ÷ 50) × 100 = 60%

This shows that there was a 60% learning gain.



Creating Training Materials Chapter 5

Materials Development Process

As you begin the training materials development process, overarching yet practical questions should guide you (ASTD, 2012; Shaw, 2011). You would have considered some of these during the analysis and design phases. They include:

1. What is the immediacy to achieve the new learning? If there is an immediate need to achieve (and therefore apply) the new learning, it is especially important that the train- ing materials and activities, which include games and simulations, have a quick learn- ing curve; that is, the training materials should be easy to use and straightforward.

2. Do the training materials honor adult learning principles? Training materials (includ- ing computer-based materials) must also be developed with adult learning principles in mind (Larson & Lockee, 2013; Wan, 2013) and thus be problem oriented, be rel- evant to real-world issues, and lead the learner toward intrinsic motivation (Dobbs, 2006; Knowles, 1973; Stolovitch & Keeps, 2011).

3. Do the training materials build on current work activities? If the training materials and activities build on and extend current work activities and functions, trainees have a better chance of seeing the relevance of the training.

4. What is the budget for developing training materials? It is imperative to get some sense of the availability of funding to obtain and develop resources as early as the analysis phase. For example, technology-based and on-the-job-based activities often are much less expensive than hiring subject matter experts; however, those experts would be a more effective source if the training were highly specialized or technical.

Did You Know? Three Effective Components Make for One Great Presentation!

According to expert presenter Ellen Finkelstein, if you want an effective presentation, you must ensure that your content, design, and delivery are effective. Each of these components has to be well crafted, and they all have to work together.

First, with content, you must decide on two or three main points to which other points will refer. Content needs to be logical, simple, and clear so it will meet the needs of your audience.

On design, Finkelstein says the number one concern is legibility. You cannot put too much text on a slide and still keep it large enough to read easily. Likewise, the text color should be in high contrast to the background color. You also must ensure that your design complements your content: The background and images should not detract from the content, and the images themselves should clarify the text. The layout and size of text should underscore the major points of the presentation.

Finally, you must have an engaging delivery. Engaging your audience with eye contact and your overall energy is important. Finkelstein says to make sure you know your main points and emphasize them with inflection, and to spend an appropriate amount of time on each point.

Finkelstein reminds us that two’s a party but three’s a crowd. If you plan to just read your slides, you are putting PowerPoint® between you and the audience, and your presentation will suffer. Consider these guidelines and you will be well on the way to an effective presentation. Source: Adapted from Finkelstein, E. (2014). 3 components of an effective presentation. Retrieved from http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/pptblog/ 3-components-of-an-effective-presentation



Creating Training Materials Chapter 5

On the Aesthetics of Training Materials Training materials must engage the trainee. Visual aids such as PowerPoint® presentations or YouTube® videos should not only facilitate but also enhance the trainees’ learning experience, especially in an e-learning environment (David & Glore, 2010). Remember, training materi- als are effective only when they are easy to read and highlight the most important training themes. Especially when the training content is dull, the design of the training material can be the difference between the trainee being engaged in the content or not. The following are some principles for creating easy-to-read materials (Bray, 2009; U.S. Department of Labor, 2010; McArdle, 1999; Piskurich, 2010; Stolovitch & Keeps, 2011; Wakefield, 2011):

• Use a large, easy-to-read font for the main text. • Emphasize important points with underlining, bold type, italics, or boxes. • Include plenty of white space by using wide margins. • Use plenty of simple illustrations to explain the text. • Use simple line drawings that are free of clutter and abstract drawings.

Food for Thought: Interview With Ash Hibbert, Technical Writer

In this article, Ash Hibbert underscores how attention to the aesthetics of the training material goes a long way. Specifically, making training material clearly organized and visual helps trainees quickly conceptualize the flow of the instructions and encourages them to turn each page.

Source: Hibbert, A. (2012). Interview with the Technical Writer. Retrieved from http://www.ashhibbert.com/2011/05/interview-with-technical- writer.html

Consider This 1. Why does Hibbert suggest keeping user feedback mechanisms in place after publication

of training materials? 2. What particularly does Hibbert suggest to make training materials more relevant and

accurate? 3. What benefits does Hibbert see in working with graphic designers during production of

training materials?

Training Materials Speak As Chapter 10 will discuss further, training materials are important, too, because they become artifacts of both the organization and society at large. Although training itself may be value neutral, training programs historically have been the means to sustain stereotypes, racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, and prejudice in general. Today we can study historical training mate- rials that memorialized sexism (for example, airline hostess training manual) and fanatical cultural movements (for example, the Hitler Youth training manual). Reflecting on training and development’s objectivity is part of the critical perspective of HRD, which includes con- templations such as:



Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media Chapter 5

• the consequences of training and development to society, organizations, and individuals;

• the moral base and ethical dilemmas raised by HRD practice; and • the overall social responsibility of training.

What will future trainers think of training material 70 years from now?

Table 5.1 has some additional do’s and don’ts for training material.

Table 5.1: Do’s and don’ts of training materials

Do Don’t

Organize text into short, logical sections by using headings or subtitles.

Offer so much information that a reader could feel overwhelmed.

Define technical terms or jargon. Copy the material so many times the visual clarity suffers.

Keep sentences short and simple. Have any typos!

Use a conversational style and active voice. Use outdated references.

Source: Albrecht, 2006; Allen & Sites, 2012; Bray, 2009; Dobbs, 2006.

The Tone and Purpose of the Training Text An appropriate writing style (Alamargot, Terrier, & Cellier, 2008; Jonassen & Driscoll, 2013) also is important in training materials, and depending on the training content, one of these styles might be most appropriate:

• Descriptive tone. The primary purpose of descriptive training material is to describe the topic clearly so the reader understands it. For example, material might describe the specifics of a case of sexual harassment.

• Expository tone. The primary purpose of expository training material is to provide information such as an explanation or directions (for example, how to load paper in a printer).

• Narrative tone. The primary purpose of narrative training material is to describe an experience, event, or sequence of events in the form of a story. This method could be used, for example, in new employee orientation to describe the history of how the company was started.

• Persuasive tone. The primary purpose of persuasive training material is to give an opinion and try to influence the reader’s way of thinking using supporting evidence. For example, materials might urge employees to report safety infractions they witness at the work site.

5.2 Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media The decisions made regarding the particular instructional methods and media that will be used are a significant and consequential part of the development process. Although train- ing budgets often dictate the training modalities, developers should also consider trainee



Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media Chapter 5

learning styles, available technology, training setting, and the practicality of delivering the training to the trainee (for example, a U.S. trainer in Chicago, Illinois. may select videoconfer- encing as an option to train employees at the Mumbai, India, division.)

Training Methods

Generally, training methods fall into four major categories (ASTD, 2012; Noe, 2012; Pelet, 2013; Wan, 2013):

1. Instructor-led 2. On-the-job training 3. Self-directed training 4. E-learning (Many times, e-learning is used with the other three methods as part of

blended learning.)

Instructor-Led Training According to the ASTD’s 2012 State of the Industry Report, when it comes to workplace train- ing, instructor-led training still outpaced other methods, accounting for almost 73% of training methods used (ASTD, 2012). This figure included whether the training was led face- to-face, online, or remotely (see Table 5.2). Instructor-led training is any kind of training that occurs in a training room, typically in an office, classroom, or conference room, but now also via online classrooms, as shown in Table 5.2.

This form of training can have one or more instructors who teach skills or material to another person or group through lectures, presentations, demonstrations, and discussions (ASTD, 2012; Noe, 2012; Rothwell & Kazanas, 2011; Werner & DeSimone, 2011).

Table 5.2: Percentage of instructor-led training

Distribution method ASTD State of the Industry Report

Instructor led, classroom 59.4%

Instructor led, online 8.75%

Instructor led, remote (satellite, video) 4.5%

As discussed in Chapter 4, the instructional method—including icebreakers—can dictate the training setting, but training methods should support the learning activities in the session and the objectives of the training itself (Hodell, 2011; Noe, 2012; Piskurich, 2010; Stolovitch & Keeps, 2011). For example, instructor-led training is most appropriate when the learning activities are knowledge acquisition, problem solving, changing attitudes, or interpersonal skills (Noe, 2012; Piskurich, 2010; Vijayasamundeeswari, 2013; Werner & DeSimone, 2011). Instructor-led classroom examples of learning activities include:

• Knowledge acquisition—“In today’s session we are going over the history of our com- pany, including our organizational mission.”



Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media Chapter 5

• Problem solving—“Okay, pair up and let’s work on this hypothetical customer service problem.”

• Changing attitudes—“In today’s training, we are going to discuss the benefits of car- pooling and recycling.”

• Interpersonal skills—“Welcome to the Effective Communication Workshop.”

On-the-Job Training When knowledge retention is critical, on-the-job training is most appropriate. In 1969 Edgar Dale, an expert in audiovisual education, first introduced his “cone of experience” research that illustrated how various modalities of imparting information based on levels of abstrac- tion—words being the most abstract and at the top of the cone and real-life experiences the most concrete at the base of the cone (Dale, 1948; Hoban & Zisman, 1937). Dale’s and others’ research led to the concept of the learning pyramid that shows, for example, that up to 75% of the new information is retained after 72 hours when students are given an opportunity to practice the skill (see Figure 5.3). For more information, see the learning retention pyramid used by the National Training Laboratories (http://www.ntl.org).

Figure 5.3: Learning retention pyramid

A trainee can engage with training material in both active and passive ways. The learning retention pyramid illustrates learner recall for the various approaches. The first four levels are passive, and the last three are participatory.


10% Reading

20% Audiovisual

30% Demonstration

50% Discussion

75% Practice

90% Teach others


Source: Reprinted with permission from NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Sciences.



Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media Chapter 5

On-the-job training can be formal or informal (Jacobs, 2003; Werner & DeSimone, 2011). Formal OJT is planned and organized training that is conducted by trainers with trainees at the job site (see Figure 5.4). Informal OJT is not planned or organized in any logical pattern. Learning takes place when trainees perform the work or watch others perform it (Jacobs & Phillips, 2002; Rothwell & Kazanas, 2011).

With informal OJT, incidental workplace learning can also take place while trainees perform the work or watch the trainer perform (Wan, 2013). Incidental learning is a subcategory of informal learning and is characterized as unintentional and unexpected; it takes place when people are not conscious that learning is happening (Marsick & Watkins, 1990). Chapter 6 will discuss the particular challenges to OJT as it relates to how important the trainer–trainee communication process becomes.

Figure 5.4: Formal OJT example

On-the-job training materials give detailed guidance for completing job-related tasks in a training situation.


Results In

Typical Training Event— Manufacturing Example

1. Trainer shows the trainee the machinery.

2. Trainer describes what the machine does.

3. Trainer shows the trainee how to turn the machine on.

4. Trainer says, “I’ll be working at another machine, call me if there are any problems.”

✔ Trainee tries the steps.

✔ Trainee feels awkward about asking questions because it is his or her nature not to admit failure.

✔ Trainee has performance problems and trainer spends time retraining the trainee.

✔ Trainer feels that the trainee should have gotten it the first time.

✔ HR wonders why so much effort is being spent retraining the individual.

✔ Production manager is displeased with the overall performance drop he or she has seen in the line.

✔ Trainee feels extra pressure to perform because it seems to be his or her fault.

✔ Trainee finally learns the job through trial and error, becomes experienced, and trains a new employee in the same manner he or she was trained.

Source: Molnar, J. & Watts, B. (2000). Figure 4 “Typical Training Event”. Structured On-the-Job Training: Effectively Training Employees with Employees. Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development, Inc., p. 4. Reprinted with permission.



Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media Chapter 5

Self-Directed Training As discussed in Chapter 4, self-directed training refers to the form of training in which the learner takes responsibility for managing his or her own training, from the content selected to timing and delivery. Many organizational training programs have components of trainee self-study.

The attraction of self-directed training for organizations is that this form of training:

• complements and reinforces other, more formal development activities, increasing retention and reducing the falloff of learning;

• can be carried out continuously, as an integral part of day-to-day working activity; and • places greater responsibility on the individual to empower themselves and take the

initiative in planning their own personal development (Guglielmino, 2001).

Self-directed training, or self-directed learning, typically has two dimensions: self-teaching and autonomy (for example, instead of self-study, an employee may autonomously choose to be taught). However, when SDL equates to self-study, it typically is supported by materials, including:

1. explicit instructions that indicate what the required learning is, why the knowledge is important, the expected path through the learning materials, and the expectations and next steps when the training concludes;

2. self-paced lessons intended to convey the required knowledge; these may be available online or on paper; and

3. a series of self-tests that, although graded, usually are not recorded. The purpose is only to give trainees an idea of whether they are successfully learning the materials according to their employer’s expectation.

Also, before beginning the self-study, an effective tool especially for self-directed training is the learning contract. A learning contract (Knowles, 1973; Knowles et al., 2012) typically specifies for the employee:

1. the knowledge, skills, and attitudes the learner will acquire (learning objectives); 2. how the learner will accomplish these objectives (learning resources and strategies); 3. the target date for the accomplishment of the learning objectives; 4. what evidence will be presented to demonstrate that the learner has mastered the

objectives; and 5. how the employer will judge or validate the evidence.

Figure 5.5 is a sample learning contract from Train to Gain (http://www.traintogain.gov.uk). Train to Gain is a UK government–funded initiative to deliver vocational training to employ individuals.




Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media Chapter 5

Figure 5.5: Sample learning contract

One way to facilitate a trainee’s self-directed learning is to create a learning contract that not only memorializes the training objectives but also gives a timeline and means to evaluate accomplishment.

f05.05 _BUS375.ai

Learning Contract

Part One: To be completed prior to the training


Job title: Date:

Proposed training and development


Duration: From: To:

Cost per person: Name of provider:

1. Reasons for training (including how you perceive the training will enhance your knowledge, skills and attitudes).

2. Objectives: Provide a precise description of what you will be expected to achieve as a result of training and development. Use SMART objectives.

3. On completion of this training, how do you plan to demonstrate the benefits listed above, and when will this happen?

To be reviewed on:




Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media Chapter 5

f05.05b _BUS375.ai

4. Were the objectives listed at Q2 achieved? Yes/No (delete as appropriate)

Please explain how or why:

5. Which parts of the training and development contributed most to the achievement of your objectives?


6. List the new actions or tasks you can now perform as a result of the training and development. Confirm these with your manager, and what outcomes you would expect to see in the workplace.

7. How do you believe the organization and/or your work colleagues have benefited?

8. Who else could benefit from this activity?

Signed: Manager Employee

Source: http://www.traintogain.gov.uk



Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media Chapter 5


Type the phrase “e-learning in training” into Google and the search will produce no fewer than 75,000 hits! The extraordinary growth of information technologies in today’s world now requires that a trainer also make decisions about how to develop and use electronic support related to the training (Dobbs, 2006; United Nations, 2013; Onguko, Jepchumba, & Gaceri, 2013) and especially when e-learning is used to supplement traditional face-to-face training delivery, known as blended learning (Bonk, Kim, & Zeng, 2005).

The allure of e-learning in training is based on two primary issues: speed and savings (Allen, 2013; ASTD, 2012; Jochems, Koper, & Van Merrienboer, 2013; Pelet, 2013). Well-researched organizational examples of this idea include the Dow Chemical Company, which reduced average spending from $95 per learner per course on classroom training to only $11 per learner per course with electronic delivery; this reduction translated into an annual savings of $34 million (Shepherd, 2003). Ernst & Young cut training costs 35% by condensing 2,900 hours of classroom training into 700 hours of web-based learning, 200 hours of distance learning, and 500 hours of classroom instruction—a cut of 52% (LiveOps Receives Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Learning Award, 2013). Specifically, e-learning, especially when used to supplement traditionally face-to-face methods, can accomplish the same amount of instruction or information as in a classroom 25% to 60% of the time (Jochems et al., 2013; Rosenberg, 2001).

According to the Brandon Hall Group (“LiveOps Receives,” 2013), there are several reasons e-learning can reduce the time it takes to train people:

• Learners can go at their own pace, not at the pace of the slowest member of a group. • Time in classrooms can be spent on questions or topics other learners introduce that

are irrelevant to the needs of the individual learner. • There is less social interaction time. • It takes less time to start and wind up a learning session. • There is less travel time to and from a training event. • Learners learn what they need to learn, and they can skip elements of a program.

But What Is E-learning? E-learning is any technology-enhanced learning, computer-based instruction, Internet-based training, or virtual instruction (Larson & Lockee, 2013; Pelet, 2013; Vijayasamundeeswari, 2013; Wan, 2013). Specifically, e-learning includes numerous types of media that deliver text, audio, images, animation, and streaming video. It includes technology applications as well as local intranet/extranet, smart phone apps, and web-based learning (Wan, 2013; Werner & DeSimone, 2011).

E-learning is unique because it is both a delivery method and a medium; it can be self-paced and asynchronous learning; that is, not in real time, such as with the use of a YouTube® video or podcast. Or, with an instructor, it can be synchronous; that is, in real-time, such as that seen on platforms like Skype® or FaceTime® (Allen, 2006; Driscoll, 2010). E-learning is usually blended in conjunction with other delivery methods, such as instructor led (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010; Dobbs, 2006). In other words, when it comes to e-learning, it is not necessarily an either–or approach, but could include both. However, e-learning has issues



Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media Chapter 5

other delivery methods may not have. According to Lin (2007), when developing e-training tools, particularly, issues of copyright, learner privacy, and accessibility must be considered.

However, as technology becomes more pervasive in the workplace, e-learning still must be developed with adult learning principles in mind (Larson & Lockee, 2013; Wan, 2013). That is, e-learning, too, must be interactive, problem oriented, and relevant to real-world issues, and it must lead the learner toward intrinsic motivation (Dobbs, 2006; Knowles, 1973; Sto- lovitch & Keeps, 2011). With this in mind, e-learning seems to be effective, according to Allen (2013); a 9-year survey of the research literature in training published by Tobias and Fletcher (2000) and commissioned by the American Psychological Society says: “Learners learn more using computer-based instruction than they do with conventional ways of teaching, as mea- sured by higher post-treatment test scores” (p. 414).

HRD in Practice: How E-learning Becomes Less Expensive Than Traditional Training: A Detailed Example of a Healthcare Organization

A healthcare customer had a requirement to train 500 learners. The training would require 25 weeks to cycle the learners through a traditional classroom or 1 week to train all of the learners using custom online training. After calculating a total cost savings of $1,294,000, the company decided to choose an online learning delivery strategy to save money and train the employees in a shorter time frame.

Table 5.3 by consulting firm SyberWorks (2014) gives an example of the typical components that make up training expenses and then compares the classroom setting with custom online training. The return-on-investment for e-learning can be 50% to 60% greater than for traditional training, which itself can have a fourfold ROI, if done properly. Table 5.3 assumes a traditional classroom training plan that includes 500 trainees who each experience a week of training, travel for half of them (250 employees), the time constraint of a 3-month rollout (5 trainers, 10 locations)—all compared to an equivalent e-learning scenario using very conservative assumptions, including an opportunity cost rate of $400 per day.

Table 5.3: Example of ROI calculations

Training expense Classroom training E-learning

Wages of trainees ($20/hour, burdened)

$400,000 $240,000

Travel costs (50% of people traveling) $250,000 $ —

Trainer wages $47,500 $11,400

Trainer travel $20,000 $ —

Development costs (custom training) $160,000 $400,000

Delivery systems (first year amortized) $ — $35,000

Totals $877,500 $686,400

Source: SyberWorks. (2014). E-Learning benefits and ROI comparison of e-learning vs. traditional training, from http://www.syberworks.com/articles/ e-learningROI.htm. Used with permission of SyberWorks, Inc. Copyright 2014 SyberWorks, Inc.





Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media Chapter 5

These figures indicate that the e-learning approach, given conservative assumptions, saves approximately 30% in the first year of implementation; in the second and later years, when development costs are not a factor for this course, the savings for e-learning grows to nearly 50%. In addition, the computer-based training or web-based training can be rolled out in half the time, once developed.

Consider This 1. The expenses outlined by SyberWorks summarize tangible costs; what could be some

intangible costs of e-learning, if any? 2. What assumptions does the ROI calculation make about the organization’s capability (for

example, infrastructure) for e-learning? 3. Explain why trainer wages would be less in an e-learning scenario.

Selecting Training Media

According to Piskurich (2010), certain training media are recommended over other types depending, on the key variables of use and audience size (see Table 5.4).

Table 5.4: Selecting training media


Type of media

Most desirable Alternative Least desirable

Explain and clarify • Handouts • Slideshow presentation • Video(s)

• Board • Flip chart

• No media used; just lecture

Basis for discussion • Video(s) • Handouts • Flip chart • Slideshow presentation

• Board

Organize discussion • Handouts • Flip chart

• Board • Slideshow presentation

• Video(s)

Summarize • Handouts • Slideshow presentation • Video(s)

• Board • Flip chart

Educate • Handouts • Board • Flip chart • Video(s)

• Slideshow presentation

Audience size

Small • Handouts • Board • Flip chart • Video(s)

• Slideshow presentation

Large • Handouts • Slideshow presentation

• Video(s) • Board • Flip chart

Source: Adapted from Piskurich, G. M. (2010). Rapid training development: Developing training courses fast and right. New York: Wiley.



Choosing Appropriate Instructional Methods and Media Chapter 5

For example, although PowerPoint® is desirable for explanation and clarification, it is not meant to educate the trainees; handouts or a (black)board are more appropriate to educate. Also, a PowerPoint® presentation might be too formal and stilted for a small training session. Likewise, flip charts and whiteboards are not appropriate media for audiences.

In their study of the use of certain training media (see Table 5.5), Hirumi, Bradford, and Ruth- erford (2011) found that the minimum and maximum development hours of training materi- als was a function of course material stability. That is, if the training materials and media are considered very stable (with no significant changes predicted for more than 3 years), then the course materials are considered more stable.

Table 5.5: Comparison of minimum and maximum development hours for training materials


Minimum development hours per training hour

Maximum development hours per training hour

Print 10 150

Audio 20 200

Video 50 500

Videoconferencing 10 250

Simulation or virtual reality 200 2,000

While use and audience size drive media selection, course developers should keep in mind a list of media tools that range from high development costs for very stable content to low development costs for changing content. For example, although the Second Life® virtual reality software ultimately may be effective, it may take longer to recoup the initial training investment due to up to 2,000 hours of development time.

HRD in Practice: IBM Uses Second Life® Virtual Software for Training and Team Building

Second Life® is an online virtual world developed by Linden Lab. It was launched on June 23, 2003, and recently celebrated 10 years as the Internet’s largest 3-D environment software. The power of Second Life® is that remote users interact with each other through avatars (also called residents) who can meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another. Companies like Cisco Systems and the Intel Corporation use the online world for meetings, interviews, guest speaker events, and training for other employees. And now, the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is embracing the virtual world it created for its employees.




Training Setting Chapter 5

Chuck Hamilton, the virtual learning leader at IBM’s Center for Advanced Learning, claims that Second Life® is ideal for the company. Hamilton recently told Hypergrid Business, “At IBM, we have over 400,000 employees and 70 percent or so are outside the Americas and 44 percent of the population works outside a traditional office—we are virtual by nature.” Source: IBM dives into Second Life. (n.d.). Retrieved from IBM website: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/os-social-secondlife

Consider This 1. Why would software such as Second Life® encourage team building among the users? 2. How might a virtual environment encourage trainer participation? 3. Does virtual software like Second Life® diminish the challenges of diversity in the


Other Factors That Affect Development Time A recent study from the ASTD (Kapp & Defelice, 2009) suggests that development times may vary widely as a function of the scope of work, technology, and review time. Specifically, it was noted that factors that affected development time included:

• lack of understanding of one’s responsibility to the project; this factor included not allotting enough time to review work, SME unavailability, and lack of provision of materials in a timely manner;

• organizational changes; changes impacting either resources for the project or the overall project; and

• incompatible technology and/or lack of knowledge of a technology. It was noted sev- eral times that the clients’ technology was incompatible and/or there was a learning curve to using the new tools.

5.3 Training Setting As discussed, most of the time, training will take the form of instructor-led training, what we call the “same time, same place” classroom setting. As a result, considerations to the training room itself are essential, although if the content and trainer are well developed and appropri- ate, they can easily rise above the room conditions (poor OJT conditions with good training outcomes prove this assumption). Yet room layout influences not only whether the trainee will enjoy the training (level 1), but also whether he or she will learn something from the ses- sion (level 2). In fact, it is not unreasonable to conclude that as the training room setting goes, so goes the training itself.

Specific training room considerations include (ASTD, 2006):

• the distance from the screen to the last row of seats should not exceed six screen widths (a typical pull-down white screen is 84 inches diagonally);



Training Setting Chapter 5

• the distance from the screen to the front row of seats should be at least twice the width of the screen;

• the proper width of the viewing area is three screen widths; and • the room’s ceiling should be high enough—a minimum of 9 feet—to permit people

seated in the last row to see the bottom of the screen over the heads of those in front of them.

Seating Arrangements Conducive to Learning

There are many room configurations, specifically seating arrangements that encourage par- ticipation and improve trainee learning, including the U shape, theater, chevron, and circle (see Table 5.6).

Remember, if the goal of the training session is for the employee to apply the training, a class- room that is more conducive to transfer of the training makes sense; training room configura- tion is part of optimizing training transfer (Coates, 2008).

Table 5.6: Suggestions of when each configuration is appropriate

Seating configuration Space Uses and limitations

Theater • Fits the most number of people • Not a lot of space between people

• High attendance • Makes it difficult for audience to take


Classroom • Accommodates a lot of people • A little more space between people

than theater seating • Has a table

• High attendance • Allows people to take notes or

receive handout material

Chevron • Accommodates a lot of people • Provides more space between people • Tables are optional

• High attendance • Fosters interaction for large groups • Allows people to take notes or

receive handout material

Modified chevron • Accommodates a lot of people • Less space between people than

chevron seating • Tables are optional

• High attendance • Speaker’s visibility of audience

improves • Can make note taking difficult

Square or rectangle • Accommodates a smaller group of people than theater, classroom, or chevron seating

• Tables provided

• Good for meetings where hierarchy is not an issue

• Great for facilitator-led meetings • Promotes audience participation • Allows note taking • Can make it difficult to present


Boardroom • Accommodates 6 to 15 people • Table provided

• Suggests hierarchy • Those seated further away from

speaker can feel disconnected from group

• Allows note taking




Editorial Process and Technical Review Chapter 5

Seating configuration Space Uses and limitations

Perpendicular • Can accommodate more people by placing seats on both sides of the table

• Allows speaker or instructor to watch audience

• Facilitates communication between speaker and audience

• Space between tables allows for visu- als or demonstrations

• Allows note taking

U-shape • Speaker table is optional • Fosters collaboration • Space in the center allows for visuals

such as simulations and role-plays • Allows note taking

Semicircle or circle • Tables are optional • Minimizes speaker’s role • Good visibility and interaction

among audience • Excellent for emotional sessions

Cluster • Tables can be round or small rectangles

• Good for presentations with group activities

• Arrangement allows for food and beverages

Source: Adapted from Wallace, M. (2002). Guide on the side—room setups for presentations & training—one size does NOT fit all. Retrieved from LLRX.com website: http://www.llrx.com/columns/guide59.htm

5.4 Editorial Process and Technical Review Before implementing the training, trainers must review the process of the training docu- mentation and materials one more time. This includes content review, design review, orga- nizational review, and editorial review (Larson & Lockee, 2013; Noe, 2012; Piskurich, 2010; Wan, 2013).

Content Review

In a content review of the materials, a subject matter expert typically should be involved to verify that the training is linked to the scope of the learning objectives. Furthermore, an SME also can advise if the training session needs to have more specific information, such as includ- ing a more detailed history of the subject matter to link more clearly to the learning outcomes.

Design Review

In a design review, an experienced instructional designer reviews not only the learning objec- tives and whether they are SMART, for example, but also whether the training methods and media selected are appropriate.




Summary and Resources Chapter 5

Organizational Review

An organizational review is done anytime top management will help sell the training and cre- ate trainee buy-in; this review helps make the training more legitimate. For example, trainees might not feel there is a need for a particular training until the CEO comes to the start of the session to voice his or her support.

Editorial Review

Finally, an editorial review ensures the material includes no misspelled words, incomplete sentences, or even inappropriate images. These items can be distracters in the learning pro- cess and affect the integrity of the training. Support staff can perform this task. One good way to catch misspellings is to read the content backward. This helps focus more on the words than on the ideas presented.

Summary and Resources Chapter Summary

• The focus in the development phase is the creation of training materials, including production, procurement, and quality assurance. In this phase we convert the theory of instructional design into practice.

• The training media and method also are chosen during the development phase. Selection of the training media is usually guided by the learner activity, audience size, and development time. Training methods include instructor led, on the job, self- instruction, and e-learning.

• The training setting is then optimized. Within instructor-led training, effective room configuration is required—specifically, seating arrangements that encourage par- ticipation and improve trainee learning (including the U-shape, theater, chevron, and circle).

• Finally, it is important to review and edit training materials for accuracy.

Posttest 1. Training materials that describe how the company’s values and culture developed

over time would likely adopt which writing style and tone? a. descriptive b. expository c. narrative d. persuasive

2. The difference between participants’ scores on a learning assessment before training versus after training is called . a. the postlearning score b. the learning gain c. the Kirkpatrick level d. the zone of training relevance



Summary and Resources Chapter 5

3. Which of the following accurately describes trainings based on adult learning principles? a. They take into account adults’ focus on extrinsic motivation. b. They avoid activities like games and simulations that might seem frivolous. c. They are more complex and require close study. d. They are problem oriented and relevant to real-world issues.

4. Which method is most commonly used in workplace training today? a. instructor-led training b. on-the-job training c. self-study d. e-learning

5. Which document specifies what, how, and by when the trainee will learn, along with how mastery will be evaluated? a. structured trainee notebook b. learning pyramid c. learning contract d. task list

6. What type of training method is best suited for explaining and clarifying material for a small audience? a. PowerPoint®

b. handout c. video d. flip chart

7. A trainer would like to arrange the training room to promote lots of interaction among the large group of participants. What configuration should he choose? a. theater style b. classroom style c. modified chevron d. chevron style

8. The screen a trainer plans to use in a presentation is 70 inches wide. How wide should the viewing area for the presentation be? a. 420 inches b. 210 inches c. 180 inches d. 140 inches

9. Who typically performs a content review of training materials? a. a subject matter expert b. support staff c. an instructional designer d. top management



Summary and Resources Chapter 5

10. The purpose of an organizational review of training materials is to . a. ensure that the learning objectives of the training are aligned with the strategic

goals of the organization b. reduce items that can be distracters in the learning process and affect the train-

ing’s integrity c. create employee buy-in for the training by demonstrating top management’s sup-

port of it d. make sure that the training uses SMART objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time specific

Assess Your Learning: Critical Reflection Questions 1. Beyond being unprofessional, discuss what other message typos and other grammati-

cal errors may convey to the trainees. 2. Training sometimes requires self-directed study by the trainee. If a trainee is not

naturally self-directed, can he or she be taught to be self-directed? 3. Discuss how e-learning is both a delivery method and a medium. 4. Training materials take on a certain tone. Give a training example in which the tone of

the material would need to be persuasive. 5. Although on-the-job training is effective for learning retention, what may be some

disadvantages of on-the-job training?

Additional Resources Web Resources

For additional info on training evaluation: http://www.businessballs.com/trainingprogramevaluation.htm

Workplace safety videos using YouTube®: http://www.youtube.com/user/vocamsafetytv?feature=watch

Many e-learning training tools—including podcast production, using social media, and learning management systems—can be found here: http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning2-0/100-elearning-freebies

For more information on effective training room arrangement: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/seating.html

Blogger Cathy Moore details and demonstrates more than 50 examples of the different types of e-learning (such as simulations, tutorials, drill and practice): http://blog.cathy-moore.com/resources/elearning-samples

Further Reading

Allen, M. W. (2013). Michael Allen’s guide to e-learning: Building interactive, fun, and effective learning programs for any company. New York: Wiley.

American Society for Training & Development. (2012). ASTD 2012 state of the industry report. Alexandria, VA: ASTD.




Summary and Resources Chapter 5

LiveOps receives Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Learning Award. (2013, October 22). Company overview, Business Wire. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id= GALE%7CA346492136&v=2.1&u=miam50083&it=r&p=ITOF&sw=w&asid=6ca3cc50a 8686ae60279c48992969594

Pelet, J. E. (2013). E-learning 2.0 technologies and web applications in higher education. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Shaw, J. (2011). The cave man guide to training and development. Los Gatos, CA: Smashwords.

Answers and Rejoinders to Chapter Pretest

1. true. In addition to whether employees learned anything from a training session, the four-level training evaluation model assesses whether trainees enjoyed the session. Understanding whether participants found the training relevant, a good use of time, and engaging helps ensure that future trainings meet employees’ needs.

2. true. In contrast to formal on-the-job training, informal training is not organized in advance. Instead, it takes place as trainees perform work or as they watch others perform it.

3. true. Training materials and visual aids need to engage the trainee and enhance the learning experience. Materials can only be effective if they capture the trainee’s atten- tion and are easy to read. When the content is not interesting on its own, the design can make all the difference for a learner.

4. false. The arrangement of seating in a training room can encourage participation and improve trainee learning. The seating configuration should be determined by the objectives of the training. For example, a circle may promote group bonding, whereas a cluster style works for presentations with breakout sessions.

5. false. Although issues of layout and formatting do have an impact on the readability of training materials, a design review does not deal with graphic design. Instead, it refers to instructional design. Before training is implemented, an instructional designer reviews the learning objectives, training methods, and selected media to make sure they are appropriate.

Answers and Rejoinders to Chapter Posttest

1. c. Because narrative style uses the form of a story to describe an experience, event, or sequence of events, it would be appropriate for explaining a company’s growth. On the other hand, the expository tone is best used for instructions or directions, the per- suasive tone is used to convince, and the descriptive tone clearly describes the details of a topic.

2. b. Level 2 of Kirkpatrick’s four-level training evaluation model assesses whether the trainee learned from the training. Trainees are tested before the training session and then again after the session, using the same questions to see whether their under- standing of relevant information has increased. The difference between the pretrain- ing and posttraining scores is called the learning gain.

3. d. Training materials must honor adult learning principles. This means that they should be problem oriented, be relevant in terms of real-world issues, and guide the learner toward intrinsic motivation. Note that this does NOT mean that materials should be complicated or avoid engaging activities like simulations or games.



Summary and Resources Chapter 5

Key Terms activities Endeavors designed to promote learning and transfer of knowledge, such as behavior modeling, critique, fishbowl, forum, lectures, panel, role-play, simulation, and skits. A course is typically a series of lessons made up of instructional activities.

asynchronous learning Non-instructor- led training that uses a computer network– based delivery system in which the trainees are not online at the same time nor in direct, immediate contact, such as the use of elec- tronic bulletin boards and chat rooms.

descriptive tone A writing style that describes a topic so that the topic can be clearly seen in the reader’s mind.

end products Training materials that are produced as the result of development by

instructional design and analysis; for exam- ple, communication packs, lesson plans, and participant assessment instruments.

expository tone A writing style that pro- vides information, such as an explanation or directions on how to load paper in a printer.

incidental learning A subcategory of infor- mal learning; learning that is unintentional and unexpected; it takes place when people are not conscious that learning is happening.

instructor-led training Any kind of train- ing that occurs in a training room, typically in an office, classroom, or conference room.

jargon The technical terms of an industry.

learning contract A tool used for self- directed training or leaning to specify the

4. a. In 2012 instructor-led training was the most common method of workplace train- ing and was used in almost 73% of trainings. Defined as any training that occurs in a training room such as a classroom or conference room, it can take place in person, online, or remotely.

5. c. Learning contracts are effective tools for self-directed learning. Drafted before the self-study begins, the learning contract specifies learning objectives, how those learning objectives will be accomplished, and a target date. It also establishes what evidence will demonstrate that the learner has achieved the objectives and how the employer will judge that evidence.

6. b. Although PowerPoint® presentations are useful for explaining and clarifying infor- mation, they can be too formal for small training sessions. Handouts are considered the most desirable training method for smaller audiences.

7. d. The chevron seating configuration promotes a sense of participation and is the most interactive of the large group setups. It can be arranged with or without tables.

8. b. To make sure the screen is viewable by the audience, the proper width of the view- ing area is three times the width of the screen. Meanwhile, the distance from the last row of seats to the screen should be no more than six screen widths (420 inches in this example). The distance from the front row of seats to the screen should be at least twice the screen’s width (140 inches in this case).

9. a. An instructional designer reviews the appropriateness of the material according to learning principles, but a subject matter expert (SME) reviews the actual content. He or she checks to ensure that the information in the training is linked to the scope of the learning objectives. The SME might suggest including more detailed information or clarifying points.

10. c. An organizational review helps make a training more legitimate in the eyes of employees by showing that top management supports it. Thus, organizational review is performed whenever top managers will be “selling” the training to help create buy-in.



Summary and Resources Chapter 5

details of learning objectives, learning resources, and strategies for the learner or trainee.

narrative tone A writing style that describes an experience, event, or sequence of events in the form of a story.

persuasive tone A writing style that gives an opinion and tries to influence the reader’s way of thinking with supporting evidence.

pretest A test administered prior to a pro- gram to assess the level of a learner’s knowl- edge or skill.

social responsibility A duty every indi- vidual has to perform so as to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystem.

synchronous E-learning that includes real- time instruction using a net-based deliv- ery system—such as computer networks, telephones, or speaker phones—in which the instructor and trainees are online at the same time; also called online learning.

training media A delivery system used in a training program, such as texts, sound, overheads, print, video, audio, graphics, computer-generated or hand-drawn anima- tions, or any combination of these.

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