Not that long ago, we wrote a blog article about learning myths, and in that article, we promised we'd cycle back and write another on evidence-based training practices. This is the fulfillment of that earlier promise--an article on evidence-based training. (Note that in addition, you might want to check out this free, recorded webinar on evidence-based training and learning myths and this discussion about learning maximizers and learning myths with Dr. Will Thalheimer).
We'll give you an introduction to evidence-based training in this article, explaining:
Along the way, we'll also link you to some other articles and interviews we've already done on evidence-based training practices, including interviews with some of the learning researchers out there.
We hope you'll enjoy this and invite any questions.
What do we mean when we talk about evidence-based training and/or evidence-based training practices in this article?
To paraphrase a bit of an article written by Mirjam Neelan and Paul Kirschner (good sources both), we're talking about designing training with elements (1) that make training more effective and (2) that we know this "using evidence coming from scientific research." (Please note that Neelan & Kirschner make a distinction between "evidence-based training" and evidence-informed training" that's beyond the aims or scope of interest for this article but is still worth giving some thought to.)
So, when we talk about evidence-based training, we're talking about things you can do during training, or things you can include in training, that will make the training more effective (meaning, increase comprehension, retention, later application on the job, and so on).
What we're not talking about in this article is:
That doesn't mean it's a bad idea to check learner data through something like xAPI. And it doesn't mean you shouldn't try to evaluate the effectiveness of your own training using something like Kirkpatrick's or one of the other training evaluation models out there. It just means that's not what we're talking about here (and I don't think that's what folks in general are talking about when they talk about evidence-based training).
Stay tuned, though, because if you're interested to learn more about training evaluation, we've got two interviews with Dr. Will Thalheimer discussing that issue that we'll publish shortly.
Here are just a few evidence-based training methods you can use in your training:
Here are a few additional articles/interviews from this blog that you will find helpful on this topic:
I'm betting that because you are reading this article you do care and don't need reasons. But, just in case, consider these.
We all want to do our jobs well, right? Maybe for intrinsic reasons or maybe for reasons related to job security and future promotions. But creating better training using evidence-based practices should make you better at your job.
Plus, because training is your job (or part of your job), it's your responsibility to use the most effective methods possible. You owe it to the learners first of all, so you're not wasting their time and effort. And you owe it to whomever is footing the bill for the training creation, too.
Plus, it's cool to do a job and do it well. That seems like reason enough.
Want to learn even more? Here are some great resources for you.
Let us know some of your own favorite evidence-based training methods and sources of evidence-based training in the comments below.
And because this involves issues of science, evidence, testing (and re-testing), why not download a free PDCA Cycle infographic?
Download this free infographic of the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle commonly used for quality control, project planning, and continuous improvement.