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Creating the Best Topics, Goals and Outcomes for your Training Program

To begin creating a successful training program, you must come up with the perfect topic, engaging learning outcomes, and quantifiable course goals for yourself. Without these three things, your training program will lack direction, which makes it less successful and engaging for both you and your learners. In this article, we're going to help you understand how to find the best topics and create the right goals and outcomes for your training program.

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Picking the Perfect Topic

The first step to creating an training program is picking the perfect topic. This topic should be one that you're passionate about, knowledgeable on, and in high demand with your intended audience. If the topic fails to meet any one of these three criteria, then it is not the perfect topic. Here is how to decide on the best topic for your training program:

First and foremost, you must be passionate about the topic you're intending to teach. If you aren't passionate about it, that will be reflected in your training program. As a result, your learning experience will be bland and boring. If you aren't completely interested in the topic, how can you expect your students to be?

Whether your goal is to engage and support your customers, train or onboard your employees, the person leading the training session should be passionate about the topic. So in this article, we're going to start with a few questions to help you determine if you're the best person to teach your intended topic, or someone else.

  • What do I love about the topic?
  • Do I love discussing it with other people?
  • Do others come to me for advice on this topic?

With these questions, you should be able create a list of potential course topics based on passion alone.

Additionally, you must be knowledgeable about the topic as well. You can be knowledgeable on a topic either from your educational background, work experience, or hobbies. Just make sure that you are knowledgeable enough that you can create accurate, up-to-date content and answer any questions that may arise. Here are some questions to figure out your expertise:

  • Is this topic within my area of expertise?
  • What skills have I developed through work related to this topic?
  • What skills and information do I already share with others about this topic?

After answering these questions, create a list of topics that you are educated enough to teach on. If there are any topics that fall both under your interest, experience and expertise, then you should move on to the third phase of topic selection: researching the potential engagement in your topic.

The topic has to be one that's important to your audience. It isn't enough to simply create a learning experience around a topic you're interested in. If there isn't already demand for that idea, your learning experience won't be as successful as it could be. Here's how you can determine if there is interest for your topic:

  • Are other organizations creating similar learning experiences?
  • Research popular media channels to find discussions and publications related to the topic
  • Pitch your idea for a learning experience to the right stakeholders

This exercise is simply to brainstorm to get some ideas for your potential training program topic so don’t feel like you need to get it right at the start.

After you research the demand for your topics, select the topic that you are passionate about, educated on, and has the highest market demand.

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Create Engaging Learning Outcomes

The next step to creating a successful training program is creating engaging learning outcomes. Learning outcomes are direct, yet engaging sentences that tell the participants exactly what they'll be learning from your course. If you don't have a clear and concise description of your learning outcomes, it'll be challenging to get people interested in your program. Here’s why:

Have you ever found a movie or TV show on Netflix and weren't sure about exactly what it is? Most likely, it didn't capture your interest and you didn't watch it. The same goes for your learning experience. Whether it's customers or employees, if they don't understand the offerings of the course, they'll be less likely to participate.

In order for learners to be fully engaged with your program, they must believe that the course offers them something unique that they can use in their lives. More specifically, customers must have a clear idea of what they will get from your course and why they should take yours over another training program.

The best way to get your learner fully invested in your course is to create engaging and informative learning outcomes.

When drafting your learning outcomes, think about the most important things that the student will take away from the course. You don't want to add filler topics in your learning outcomes. Instead, make sure that the learning outcomes are tailored to the course’s main topic and parallel the course’s title.

As you write course outcomes, you want the sentences to be punchy, informative, and engaging. Make sure to use action verbs and be confident in the phrasing. Do not use filler words. Additionally, be detailed in what the course offers. Think about answering “What, how, and why?” when creating the course outcomes.

Let’s take a look at some course outcome examples:

Imagine that your training program is about “Time Management.” Here is an example of a bad learning outcome: “Learn how to manage your time.” This learning outcome is bad because it does not tell the reader how they will learn to manage their time. Instead, this learning outcome simply restates the topic of the course.

Here is a better version of the same learning outcome: "Learn how to overcome workplace stress and improve your focus using proven time management techniques such as color-coded agendas." This learning outcome is much clearer because it tells the reader exactly what they will learn in the course.

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How To Create a Clear and Quantifiable Goal For Your Training Program

In addition to the learning outcomes, you also need to set course goals for yourself. Course goals are goals that you set for yourself and your training program. They are incredibly important because they will give you a quantifiable direction and allow you to evaluate the success of your training program. In other words, course goals are meant to give you direction and give you something to chase after.

When creating course goals, you want them to be clear and quantifiable. If they are not quantifiable, you will have no way of consistently gauging the success of your training program. Include numbers and hard facts into these course goals.

Let us look at examples of good and bad course goals:

Here is an example of a bad course goal: "Make money selling the training program to customers." This is a poorly defined goal because it isn't specific. While it's possible to increase revenue with training programs that educate your customers, it doesn't give you a clear direction for creating your program. You want your course goals to give you clear direction so you can accurately gauge the effectiveness of the course.

Here is a better version of that same course goal: "Reduce customer attrition by 30% by educating customers on the benefits and best practices of our product or service." This goal is much better because it is easily measured and will allow you to easily quantify the success of your training program.

What are the some of the goals you have for your training program? Let us know in the comments.

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