From tomorrow, your courses will be better than ever

I’m on the verge of releasing my free Training Program Evaluation Tools. I can tell you – it’s pretty exciting. Developing these was like living in a whirlwind; I saw a great need in the training community and strove to fulfill it. As always, thank you for following me this far.

What I am about to share are a full set of tools for analysing training courses. No matter what you teach or how you teach it, these tools will give you the insights you need. Training program evaluations can be tricky, complex, time-consuming… and often miss the marks. These tools simplify the process and ensure you get the answers you need.

The TPE Tools will be available for download tomorrow. They are fully customisable, allowing you to adapt them to your programs. You can take them, use them and be confident that the evaluation is proceeding well. Each tool guides you through how to use it each step of the way.

The result of all this? Your courses will be more relevant, more data-driven and more justifiable than ever before.

Once these tools launch, they will be freely available to download any time in the future. However, for the first five days only, I will also be including Making Content Memorable – a short guide to creating content that sticks with people. Making Content Memorable will only be available from the TPE Tools page. This exclusive guide will show you how to trigger the brain’s natural learning and retention mechanisms, regardless of your content. Be sure that you don’t miss out by signing up to the Mindwalker Training newsletter.

UPDATE: The TPE Tools are now live. Download them here.

How to use data to drive your courses

Training program evaluations are an important part of the teaching process. It can be a difficult one, though is doesn’t have to be. My last post described my TPE Tools and why you want to get evaluating right. With my free templates and guides to support you, program evaluation is simple and valuable.

Thank you to everyone that reached out to me about this. I find that program evaluation is one of those topics that attract a lot of interest. People are familiar of the idea of using data and evidence to assess the value of courses, and many organisations have their own processes for it. Then again, many don’t, which is why it’s great that so many people have spoken to me about it. Thank you to all of you – and for those of you that are just reading for now.

How do you know whether your training is relevant or not? How do you know what needs improving and what can be cut away? If you make these decisions based on instinct or just learner reactions, you’re living in the last century. Training program evaluations demand evidence. In return, they will reward you with clarity. You will know everything you need about your course – including how to secure more resources for it.

I designed an evaluation process for an organisation that never had one. Like so many L&D teams, they were too busy reacting to act. Courses were changed, then changed back, on the shifting tides of learner sentiment. They knew they had to be smarter about the process. So I helped them. Now, they have an evaluation process that takes almost the same time as their old approach but provides much more evidence. A vital course of theirs had been neglected because the organisation couldn’t see its value. A strong evaluation provided all the evidence they needed to sell it to their colleagues.

The truth is, program evaluations work. The communities of the 21st century are hungry for data. Decisions based solely on someone’s gut don’t cut it any more. Intuition has its place but there’s an expectation for data, for evidence. The value of training can be a difficult thing to quantify. With the right tools, you can.

By now, you appreciate the need to do evaluations not just well, but quickly and simply. My free TPE Tools, combined with your courses, will give you this power. In no time at all you will understand your courses deeper than ever. I will answer all of your questions, including how to access these tools, in the next post. You should subscribe to my email list so that you don’t miss it.

UPDATE: The TPE Tools are now live. Download them here.

Discover your course’s value

How do you know whether your training hits the mark? How can you prove that your courses need more funding when the purse strings tighten? How do you measure something as abstract as a training program’s value?

It’s possible. In fact, it’s simple. All you need are my free Training Program Evaluation (TPE) Tools. I have introduced frameworks for program evaluations to organisations that had none, and I like to think I have it down to a fine art. I have refined program evaluation to its essence and captured this in tools that anyone can use. They are simple enough to work anywhere, no matter your course or community.

Many organisations conduct program evaluations; few do it right. Evaluating is a scientific, data-drive process. It’s tempting to leap in and start gathering evidence right away, but it’s important to take your time. My TPE Tools contain guides and templates for developing your evaluation strategy. Part of the strategy document is a logic map; a means of capturing the key information about the course. Everything from why you run the course to how, all in one easy table. Below is what my logic maps often look like:

logic_map_template

A common objection to evaluations – perhaps the main one – is that they are a complicated waste of time. Assessing a course, sifting through volumes of testimonials and anecdotes, just to write a report that leaders ignore? That does sound like a waste of time. But this objection is wrong on two parts. First, an evaluation doesn’t have to be complicated or a time-drain. With the right tools, you can go from start to finish in days (if not hours). Secondly, a well-run evaluation gathers more than just anecdotes. It provides raw data that is impossible to ignore, with stories to soften the message.

Actually, it’s wrong on three counts because the report is valuable to you, too. The process unearths the details of your training program, revealing all its strengths and weaknesses. It reveals what people like and dislike, and what needs to change. Also, as I’ve already mentioned, it supplies proof of the value of the course – or proof that the training needs to change.

Evaluations are fantastic. If a course you value hasn’t had a program evaluation in a while, then it’s stumbling blindly through the community. You owe it to yourself and your learners to make your courses the best they can be – and to have the evidence to back up that claim.

The next post will go over the flow of training program evaluations. You’ll be impressed by how simple and effective they are. Subscribe to my email list to be sure you don’t miss it.

UPDATE: The TPE Tools are now live. Download them here.