Nearly every night, my family sits down to share an evening meal. I love that we do this, but I’m not so sure my kids love it as much as I do. Most nights, they try to chew through their supper as quickly as they can and hurry off to play with friends or watch the latest YouTube video. But on nights when we have alphabet soup for dinner, I have their full attention. That’s because we play a game sort of like Bingo.
I start by dipping up three letter-shaped noodles in my spoon to spell a word like “C-A-T,” and they race to see if they can do the same. They are completely delighted if they, too, can find the word. We play round after round until there aren’t enough letters in our soup to play anymore.
When I started my role in training management, I felt like I was playing a grown-up version of this game. Acronyms were coming at me left and right. I would race to decode them and quickly try to use them in the proper context. I wanted my new team to think I knew what I was talking about. Unlike soup night, though, it takes more than a couple of bites for the letters to run out.
I made a list of a few “first bites” of the alphabet soup I have encountered in training. The first few have to do with types of training. Naturally, we can’t use simple words like “classroom” or “webinar” or “online” to describe types of training. Since we are professionals and require our own jargon, here are three acronyms I now toss about with authority:
ILT – Instructor-Led Training: ILT is traditional classroom training, where the instructor and the students are together in one physical location. Generally, it takes no special software to develop this kind of training or allow students to consume it.
vILT – Virtual Instructor-Led Training: As the name indicates, in vILT, the instructor and the student are in two different places and connected in real time through the internet. Like ILT, no special software is required to develop a vILT. However, chances are that special software is required to bring together the instructor, the student and the course material.
WBT – Web-Based Training. WBT is virtual training that is usually available to students 24/7. This kind of training is self-paced, and there is no live instructor. It takes special software to develop this kind of training and to allow students to consume it.
The other big first bite spelled “ADDIE.” No, it’s not a person’s name. It’s the acronym used to describe the training process used at my company and many, many others. Here’s how it breaks down:
A & D – Analysis and Design: This step is the start of the training process. It’s where we analyze and define the problem we want to solve with training and sketch out a plan to solve that problem. Usually, the output of this step of the process is called a design document.
D – Develop: This step is where the training is created, reviewed and validated according to the plan outlined in the design document.
I – Implement or Instruct (depending on who you are asking): This step is the part of the process where the training is delivered to the student.
E – Evaluate: If we do a good job, at the end of the ADDIE process, the student will learn something. There are different ways to evaluate whether we did a good job. The most practical way is just to ask.
Do you remember some of your first bites of alphabet soup when you started working in training? Leave them in the comments below, and help other newbies look good.