Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals

  • 3h 5m
  • Ruth Colvin Clark
  • Association for Talent Development
  • 2010

A colleague called me recently and ended our conversation with a question: “Do you ever get frustrated? We know what to do! We know how to do it! Why can’t our organizations let us do our job?” If your client has ever told you she needed a training program, it could not exceed 3 hours in length and it had to roll out in 3 weeks because work was slow at that time, then you know what I’m talking about. The root problem? Because everyone has been to school, everyone considers themselves an expert in training. For the most part we would not approach our physician telling them what treatment or medication we needed, not to bother with tests, and when it was convenient for us to take the medication. Why? Because the field of medicine is recognized as a profession!

A professional is one who makes decisions and takes actions based on a combination of personal experience, community wisdom, and valid evidence of what works. Only in the last 20 years do we have a useful body of research evidence to guide our training development and delivery decisions. And along with the evidence we have much clearer ideas of how learning occurs in the brain. Therefore we not only know what works, but we know why it works. However, to be of value, evidence must be accessed, interpreted, and disseminated. Training practitioners are busy. Most don’t have time to find, read, and synthesize research. My goal in this book is to summarize the most up-to-date evidence we have on critical decisions you face every day.

If you are a classroom instructor, a developer of training materials, a training manager, or a designer or developer of any form of e-learning, this book is relevant to your work. I summarize research on the basic issues you face daily—such as proven methods to maximize learning with graphics, audio, and text; powerful universal instructional methods such as examples and practice; and evidence on best ways to organize your content.

Workforce learning programs expend over $100 billion a year in the United States alone! It’s time to incorporate evidence and learning psychology into our program design, development, and delivery decisions. This book shows you how.

About the Author

Ruth Colvin Clark is determined to bridge the gap between academic research and practitioner application in instructional methods. A specialist in instructional design and workforce learning, she holds a doctorate in instructional psychology and served as training manager for Southern California Edison before founding her own company, Clark Training & Consulting. Clark was president of the International Society for Performance Improvement and received their Thomas Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award in 2006. She was selected as an ASTD Legend Speaker at the 2007 ICE Event. Her five other books also focus on various aspects of training and e-learning.

In this Book

  • Evidence-Based Training Methods—A Guide For Training Professionals
  • Introduction
  • Training Fads and Fiction
  • Grounded Brain-Based Teaching
  • Content Covered Is Not Content Learned
  • Architectures for Learning
  • Visualize Your Content
  • Explain Visuals
  • Make It Personal
  • Avoid Too Much of a Good Thing
  • Accelerate Expertise with Examples
  • Maximize the Benefits of Practice
  • Giving Principled Presentations
  • Building Stair-Step Lessons
  • Building Immersive Learning Environments
  • Beyond Training Fads and Fiction
  • References
  • Glossary