Instructional Design Workshops

ISD Process

Our workshops take many forms and are normally customized to fit your situation. These workshops are usually delivered at your site with groups of participants ranging from 6 to 20.

Workshops can vary in length, amount of interactivity and depth of application, depending on your needs and specific desires. Contact us to arrange for single workshops or to put together a series of workshops that will help you improve your training efforts right away.

Existing workshops include:

Analyzing Performance
Is training needed? What else?

Ladder to SkyNot every performance problem has a training solution. Too often, an organization will decide that training is the solution to a performance issue before they've taken the time to fully understand the underlying causes of a problem. When the problem continues, even after "quality" training is applied, managers wonder why. How can you find out if your situation calls for training, or some other solution? Learn key questions to ask (and answer) to help you analyze current and expected performance requirements with the goal of identifying appropriate applications of training solutions. Take away a customized analysis flowchart that you can use immediately to make your training more efficient and effective.

Creating Effective Objectives
Clarify goals and expectations

ObjectivesAchieving maximum impact from training means your solutions are on target and help learners learn what to do and know, and how to perform better. To do this, you’ll need a complete and accurate set of achievable objectives. How do you develop effective instructional objectives? How should they be written? Who should they be targeted toward? Take away a customized set of instructional objectives for your current training project, targeted at three different key stakeholder groups.

Understanding Training Content
What should be learned?

ADDIEEffective training addresses the information, process knowledge, and develops skills that are tightly coupled to desired on-the-job performance. Different types of knowledge and work settings require different approaches to identifying and describing the details of what must be known. Learn four common methods of content analysis (aka task analysis) used to clarify and break down your instructional goals. Take away a specific plan for understanding your training content.

Designs for Learning
Not all training is created equal

We've all been there - sitting through (maybe even delivering!) an uninteresting, Learning Domainpassive, and totally ineffective presentation of information in a typical training classroom. What a waste of time and resources! Your training doesn't have to be like this. In this workshop, you'll explore the phases of the learning process – preparation, training event(s), and follow-up on the job – and how each phase is critical to effective training design. You'll discuss how to evaluate and choose an overall learning strategy and begin to develop activities to support the strategy. You'll take away a specific design framework that fits your training situation and applies proven principles of effective instruction.

Learning is a Natural Act…
So why is it so rare in training?

When typical training participants are asked a few weeks after training what theyDale's Cone of Experience remember, they usually tell about the location of training, the people they went with or met there, the food they enjoyed (or not!), and other context-related memories, but very little of the content that was the target for training. As time goes on, even more of the intended training content is "lost" from useful memory. In this workshop, you'll learn principles of learning theory that matter – the latest brain-based research – and design factors that not only improve content-learning but also address motivation and attitude. We'll share practical implementation ideas that you can use with the training project you are working on today. Take away a deeper understanding of how your trainees learn and develop the research-based rationale to support your training designs.

Preparing a Complete Training Package
It takes more than a slide deck!

PenguinsThough many trainers begin life as a trainer engrossed in building and delivering presentations guided by PowerPoint slides alone, effective training usually requires much more. In this workshop, learn a variety of development approaches and how to build complete training packages that include facilitator guides, participant guides, presentation and activity materials, Learning Management Systems and administrative materials, checklists, and more. Take away a customized development flowchart, materials checklist, and a plan for making it all happen in your workplace.

Assessing Learning
"Now that we’ve learned…" or have we?

Assessing learning is a critical stage of the instructional process, but its rarely Targetdone well in training. Yet, most of us know when we’ve learned and can tell when we need to know more. Learn how you can assess learning more effectively within a training program so that completing a training course is more closely connected with having learned something important and relevant to the workplace. Take away a unique assessment plan that will help you certify knowledge competency, not just course completion.

Evaluating Training “Pre-release”
Keep shaping it before baking it [Shape and Bake]

Success or FailureBefore purchasing an automobile, you always take it for a test drive before committing to a contract. You should take your training on a “test drive” too to see whether or not the training is good enough to help learners meet objectives. Learn why testing only after rollout is shortsighted and risky, often leading to blaming the learners for weak training results. Take away a plan for evaluating your training materials and activities before it’s too late to change them.

Evaluating the Impact of Training
How well are expectations being met?

Evaluation LevelsNo organization conducts training just to “do training”, but very few actually evaluate the return in their investment or expectations. Learn simple methods to assess the impact that your training programs are having on what the organization cares most about. Take away an evaluation plan that equips you with data-based metrics that answer the “so what good is your training?” question.   

Rolling out Training Smoothly
Planning for success isn’t a magic trick

When built, the training fun is only beginning! Well designed materials, motivatedDiffusion of Innovations learners and supportive managers are not enough to make training successful. In the complex technical, social and political environments of current organizations, there are a myriad of interconnected factors that control the ultimate impact of your training efforts. Effective trainers apply several basic systems concepts and apply them in their instructional design process so that they plan for successful rollout. Take away an initial analysis of the systems that your training works within, and identify concrete actions that will help you roll out your next training program more smoothly.

Presenting Skillfully
Communication is both Art and Science

What are the keys to effective classroom presentation? Can anyone learn to Cameradeliver instruction in person, with expertise? In this workshop, you'll practice delivering instructional content – before and after learning and practicing key presentation skills. This workshop is one of the most challenging and rewarding for many participants. Challenging because you will present, be recorded, doing critiques more than once, and rewarding because you will present, be recorded, and critiqued more than once. (Yes, the same activity is usually both challenging and rewarding.) Take away a video with irrefutable proof of the power small changes in your practice can have on your training impact.

Visual Thinking leads to Visual Learning
Leverage the most powerful sense in your training

Sensory perception and the visual channel dominate the initial stages of human Right EyeEyelearning, in most people, we pay attention first to what we see, in most cases. In this workshop, learn the basics of visual design for learning. We'll also explore the idea of applying visual thinking without pictures (activities that follow visual design principles) and "look for" ways to improve your training efforts even if you are not "visually gifted." Take away a collection of ideas that will make your training more impactful - immediately!

Life is a Story
What about training?

We live our lives through the experiences we encounter, brokered by the Story Spinerelationships we cultivate, and understood through our perceptions and "what we know" about the world around us. We remember just about everything as stories, large and small. Shouldn't much of the training we design leverage the built-in "memory as story" capability common to all humans? (Of course!) In this workshop, you'll explore types of stories, typical story architecture, and create your own training applications (scenarios, cases, stories). Take a way a plan for using the story form in your own training, where it makes sense, to make your training more memorable and effective.

Custom workshops in these or other topics can be arranged. Contact us for details.

Flexible, Adaptive Design

Brian believes strongly in flexible, adaptable design. No two clients, trainers or students are exactly alike; the same training experience often leads to different learning outcomes in each participant.

Flexible Spring

Effective instruction has to be flexible so that it can adapt to the unique needs of each participant. Be creative - think outside of your training box! You'll find a lot of learning happening there.

Respect the Learning Process

If you think carefully about how you learn, you will realize that any single training event is not sufficient to bring about significant learning. Focusing your training efforts only on the training event is woefully shortsighted!

Happy Learners

Learning is a process: begin with preparing to learn, continue with specific training events (experiences) and finish with follow-through after training. If you cut off the front or back end, you cut off much of the potential power that training has to change knowledge and improve performance.

Is Training Really Needed?

No matter who you are, what you do, or where you've come from, you have experienced training that was unecessary. It may have been in a formal school, training program, or in a social organization... the fact is, much of our education and training efforts are wasted - imagine the cost!


To prevent this, you have to take the time to be sure that training is really needed to solve the problem or take advantage of the opportunity you see in front of you. Don't waste time, money, and other resources training, when you aren't convinced that training can help.