Where Training Design Goes Wrong


I’m gearing up to teach an online program on curriculum design. It has led me to consider the nice explanations for why some training design results in ineffective training programs.

I developed 35 factors. In no particular purchase worth focusing on, here they are:

  • Wrong reason for the training;
  • Wrong target group;
  • Unclear goal;
  • Wrong content;
  • Wrong methods;
  • The desired level of learning not identified;
  • Learning activities cannot achieve the desired levels of learning;
  • Heavy reliance on lecture and PowerPoint;
  • Places all of the training content on PowerPoint slides;
  • Lack of specific, observable and measurable learning objectives;
  • Disconnect between objectives and learning activities
  • Over-reliance on one or a limited number of learning activities;
  • Does not accommodate different learning stages or preferences;
  • Focus is on the trainer instead of on the learner;
  • Unaware that skill-building and attitude-changing training programs need different formats;
  • Unaware that skill-building and attitude-changing training programs require different sets of learning levels and learning objectives;
  • Focus is on content rather than how learners will learn;
  • Neglect to have learners demonstrate what they’ve learned;
  • Doesn’t recognize and disconnect negative transfer;
  • Assumes that everything can be taught the same way;
  • Too much content/learning activities for the allotted timeframe;
  • The overwhelming amount of information;
  • Content not made meaningful to the learners;
  • Doesn’t include a way to achieve learner buy-in;
  • Doesn’t incorporate activities to check for learning comprehension;
  • No logical flow;
  • No transitions;
  • Unrealistic about learners’ current knowledge level;
  • Doesn’t build on what the learners already know;
  • Doesn’t incorporate real-life situations familiar to the learners;
  • Uses terms and acronyms unfamiliar to the learners;
  • Focuses on theory instead of practice;
  • Ignores the organizational culture;
  • Doesn’t hold the participants accountable for learning; and finally,
  • It simply isn’t done- the trainer has no lesson plan.

Any kind of other pitfalls that We missed?

When I train curriculum design, I myself in showing trainers how specifically to use a practical satisfaction, painless and verified lesson design process that will allow them to anticipate, avoid, and address each one of these potential pitfalls.


Some of these reasons are philosophical clearly. I am an avid proponent of participatory training, so the lack of necessary participatory components figures prominently in my list.

Some of the reasons relate to actions in the lesson design process that were omitted, either consciously or unconsciously. For example, a good needs assessment would help a training designer avoid a number of these problems.

Some of the reasons relate to a lack of awareness that learners bring knowledge and skill into a classroom. Their existing knowledge and skill can be a boon or a bane to the effectiveness of a training program.

Some of the reasons are due to ignorance of how the brain works and how that affects the learners’ ability to learn and retain information.

Some of the reasons are due to limited knowledge of the nature, scope and infinite variety of possible participatory learning activities.

Finally, most of the reasons can be attributed to the lack of a logical and comprehensive lesson design process.

Deborah Spring Laurel is the President of Laurel and Associates, Ltd., a certified woman-owned small business that builds and strengthens managerial, employee development and technical skills through the design and delivery of participatory classroom schooling on a nationwide and worldwide basis. If you want your individuals to leave schooling with practical skills they can use instantly, or you desire your trainers to facilitate quality applications that effectively obtain their learning goals, contact Deborah at http://www.laurelandassociates.com, where one can access more than 690 management and schooling tips also.


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