What makes a ‘good’ training course?

As a trainer, I often hear tales of courses people have attended previously. Sometimes they sound like a lot of fun and really useful learning experiences. However other courses give training a bad name.

So what makes a good training course? It really depends on your role in the course, as we all want something different.

As as delegate attending a course, people generally want:

  • an interesting topic
  • a visually and intellectually stimulating experience
  • not too challenging
  • personal gain – e.g. a certificate or qualification
  • a course which is as short as possible but still meets all their objectives
  • does not push personal boundaries

As the course commissioner the ideal course:

  • is as cost effective as possible
  • easy to organise
  • runs smoothly
  • delegates compliment rather than complain about
  • achieves the learning objectives
  • is as short as possible

As a trainer the ideal course:

  • is entertaining to deliver
  • delegates are keen to learn about the topic
  • preparation is done to a high standard, if done by others (especially where IT equipment is required)
  • time alloted to the course allows flexibility to consider questions raised and do exercises
  • time alloted to the course is not too great so as to require ‘padding’

These needs are generalised but as you can see some conflict and compromise is required.

Over the years, flexibility has become THE essential skill of a trainer and the core selling point of any training project.  With flexibility the trainer can ensure that the training will meet the objectives of the delegates and they are the key group.

So, to answer my question, a ‘good’ training course is one that:

  • everyone enjoys
  • meets the learning objectives set for the course
  • has sufficient but not too much time alloted for delivery
  • is flexible enough to meet the above criteria and overcome any hiccups along the way

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