No one could argue that the most important driver for a great training experience is exceptional content design and development. Exceptional training does not come through happenstance, but from well thought-out design, preparation and development of an interactive and professional experience for the learner.

So the question is, what are those practices that make for great content?

For the past seven years, Training Industry has conducted an annual research study to understand the best practices for high performing organizations, or what we call “Great Training Organizations.” And content development is one of the capability areas we have looked at extensively.

From the research, we learned that learning organizations that are great at training do some or all of the following 10 best practices when it comes to content development:

  • use industry, company or job-relevant examples
  • involve subject matter experts as thought leaders
  • use simulation as a means to engage learners
  • use research-based information
  • incorporate experiential activities
  • use blended delivery methods to accommodate multiple learning styles
  • include post-training activities
  • create easy to use support materials
  • are innovative in design, especially with new technologies
  • transition course materials back to those who request the training

From where I sit, we are at one of the most innovative periods in the history of the training industry. We have new tools that allow us to move from ADDIE to Rapid Content Development; we have innovations in how we embed simulations and gaming in learning design; and we have the tools to reinforce training and extend the life of the learning experience. It’s a great time to be in our profession.

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