How to Build Better Learning Outcomes
Whether you are the head honcho or an experienced employee, chances are you know exactly what you wish your teammates better understood about your business.
Undoubtedly, the way to obtain more knowledge and improve skills in your employees involves learning and training. But even when you spend a small fortune training employees, it can be difficult to determine the success of those training hours!
Fortunately, learning outcomes can be measured.
It is possible to build better learning outcomes (LOs) into your training materials, then measure those outcomes, to ensure successful training.
Here’s some advice on how.
Learning Outcomes Articulated
The more clearly learning outcomes get started, the more likely they are to be achieved.
When articulating learning outcomes, it’s best to use action verbs. Examples include:
The student can describe…
The student can demonstrate…
The student can evaluate…
The student can distinguish…
The student can perform…
You’ll also notice that each of these action verb statements includes “the student.” That’s because student-centered learning outcomes are the most effective and measurable in terms of engagement and results.
In the course development stage, you want to begin with the end in mind: exactly what do you want students to be able to do after the course of study? Learning outcomes should describe the competencies students attain.
Measuring Learning Outcomes
Course prioritization is also important in the structure of any training program, from onboarding to upskilling and advancement.
Effective prioritization includes steps of built knowledge. Outcomes for each lesson accumulate toward the outcome of the course, which in turn accumulates toward the outcome from the entire learning process.
These steps are also best looked at backward: working backward from the end result of the entire training program, what building blocks will get a trainee to that result?
An example is an onboarding training program. The end result: new employees understand their job, but also how their work relates to the overall organization. The planning process would include such questions as:
What will success look like in terms of character? Will the employee have certain perceptions or attitudes about our organization? How will this employee represent our values in customer interaction?
What will success look like in terms of behavior? What will the employee be able to do with course knowledge? What will interactions between this employee and other teammates look like?
For each question, each named result, a good course design will focus on the demonstration of each of these skills.
For the example of an onboarding training program, an effective new employee onboarding program results in stable employees--the kind of mission-driven, career employees organizations dream about!
Keep Engagement at the Forefront
In addition to articulating course objectives well, and then measuring those objectives, a well-named set of learning outcomes focus on course engagement.
Employee engagement goes up and down, but statistically engaged employees align personal values with company objectives.
Regular, interesting, and engaging training can improve employee engagement.
Did you notice the repetition of the word “engaging” there? That’s because training itself needs to be engaging to result in changed behavior. We meet employees where they are when we utilize modern technology and interactive training. That’s why we build interactive responses into each course day on an Arist eLearning course.
Rather than passively absorbing data, effective learning experiences foster engagement in the learning process. That interaction creates better learning outcomes.
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