I’ve been revamping training materials for the day job lately.  Mostly because we’re expanding the training we offer… and also because I’ll be the first one to present the new training next week.

There’s a lot that goes into training.  The priority is to get the information into the brains of your class.  You can do this through various methods like repetition, mnemonic techniques, humor, and good ol’ fashioned brainwashing.

After you have the core material down, you still need to be able to present it in a fashion that’s engaging.  This is mostly to keep the class awake.  Though I did contend to my teachers in my youth that I did retain the material while asleep in their class, there was no scientific evidence to support it (hmm… sounds like a research grant proposal to me).

Finally, there are the exercises. Many people learn better through doing.  You can talk about a subject and demo it over-and-over, but sometimes it just doesn’t click with students until they actually apply that knowledge with some hands-on exercises.  Building those out probably takes the longest out of all the work (going step-by-step through something that’s almost second nature to you in order to document the process).

And even with all that time and effort dedicated to make a solid set of training materials, you still wonder at the end of training… how much of this information is really getting through?