How to Design Your Own Training Sessions - Part 1

Wendy Whittaker-Large presents the first part in a bite-size guide to developing your own training sessions…

Imagine you are a newly qualified EYT – now the proud owner of yet another beautiful certificate to go in your CPD folder – and one morning your manager approaches you to ask you to run a training session for staff. How will you go about it? Where will you start? Perhaps you are the manager of the setting and have spotted some needs in the team that need to be addressed, but you want to do this in a strategic way, by exploring an issue. If you have never run a training session before this series of short articles will help you, design, implement and evaluate a training session within your own setting, and allow you to feel confident and competent in the process!

There are many benefits to facilitating training within your own setting which external training organisations cannot always offer. For example, you are in a far better place to know the needs of your learners. If you have a majority of newly qualified staff, the way you design the session will be quite different from the way you would design it if you had a number of graduates or more experienced members of staff. Knowing your audience, their level of understanding and knowledge, their expectations and their motivation is a crucial aspect of ensuring that training meets a need and creates an impact. You are in a unique position to know what your staff needs are, and can therefore plan and design a session around these elements much more effectively than any outside trainer.

Therefore, analysing the needs of your participants and the reason behind the training is the first step in course design:

● What is the behaviour you wish to change?

● What are the processes you wish to alter?

● What are the attitudes you wish to challenge?

Once you have decided the area of training you will be focusing on, you need to spend some time thinking about what exactly you are hoping your participants will learn. Of course, as we all know, people on training courses do not always learn what we hope they will. But what we can do is create an active learning situation that encourages participants to be engaged and challenges them to rise to the learning and put it into practice. Next issue, we will be looking at how to design a training session and techniques to encourage learning within your team.