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Four Ways to Assess Learning
When it comes to learning design, it’s best to assess an issue early. Defining the problem, checking assumptions and gathering data rapidly can avoid many program execution delays and mistakes.
CLOs are often expected to perform miracles: solve deep-seated learning deficits; design transformational learning programs for all levels; take risks so their organization’s learning processes are cutting-edge; be able to put a new program or process in place at hyper-speed; all while cutting budgets to the bone and delivering a return on investment.
Learning and development teams need to be educators, innovators, financial wizards and master jugglers. Organizational diagnosis and needs assessment tools can help accelerate the design and delivery of targeted, high-impact solutions.
Even a short or partial needs assessment has the following benefits:
• Prioritizes gaps and needs to enable triage.
• Provides real-time feedback and increases positive engagement from employees.
• Helps the HR and learning team gather valuable, objective, decision-enabling data.
• Builds the competency and understanding of internal staff for diagnosing organizational issues.There are four steps that comprise a rapid needs assessment process that can immediately be put to effective use.1. Define the problem: Get specific about outcomes. It may seem obvious to clearly define the need before designing a solution, yet many learning-based projects fail to meet expectations due to hastily or ill-defined issues. Executives often describe business needs in broad terms, which is understandable given their strategic perspective. It’s critical, therefore, that the person responsible for designing learning programs to address these broadly stated goals fully understands the business context and can accurately translate the business need into tangible solutions that will deliver the expected results.
Broad phrases such as “strengthen leadership skills,” “improve teamwork” or “increase innovative thinking” are too vague to make a meaningful difference when attempting to drive change. By asking probing questions and listening intently, these broadly stated objectives can be turned into tangible actions.
Suppose one has been asked to design and deliver a half-day workshop on “influencing skills” as part of a three-day retreat. Before diving into the development of workshop materials, this individual could conduct a quick needs assessment by asking questions, such as:
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
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