Are you at a loss when it comes to creating your training course? Have you identified your general pointers, but are now struggling to turn them into real content? Don’t worry. We’ve got your back! We will be sharing with you our own 8 steps process to create video training courses, one step at a time. In this article, learn about step #1: Scope.
Step #1: Scope
Your first step is to clarify what your training purpose is. Make sure you write it down in a mission statement format, using as few words as you can. To do this properly, you will need to identify your target audience and their needs. The closer your purpose addresses their needs, the higher your success rate. From there, you can move on to setting your learning goals and your knowledge transfer indicators. Let’s look at an example to clarify what we mean.
Let’s imagine you need to design an on-boarding programme for new starters. Your goal will be something like “effectively integrate new members on the team, giving them the foundation knowledge they need to perform in their new role and the gist of the corporate culture they are now part of”. Your learning audience is every new starter, although you might want to create different learning paths for different roles. At this point, you might want to consider creating an introduction module that includes all the general corporate training (things like history, values, compliance, facilities) and then different learning modules that are role-specific and which they’ll attend based on the position they’ll take (sales, customer support, marketing…).
A useful exercise for you to go through and which can help you define your learning goals is answering the question “by the end of this course, students should be able to…”. You will end up with a checklist that you can then easily follow to design your learning programme. It is as simple as working backwards: if you know what you want your audience to be able to do, you’ll only need to create the content that will help them achieve that. To go back to our example, imagine you write down “students need to understand the company’s organizational structure”. Now you know that your training content should include a clear leadership org chart as well as a bird’s-eye view of the different departments. Your training content should provide direct answers to the statements you have identified as learning objectives.
Let’s now talk about knowledge transfer indicators. These indicators are the proof that you’ve successfully conveyed the knowledge and that your training has worked. Students should be able to answer questions, pass tests and describe, in their own words, the content they learned during the programme. Locking down these measurable indicators early in the process and defining their format is a bulletproof way to ensure your training has been successful.
Once you have a clear purpose, know your audience and their needs, and have set learning goals and knowledge transfer indicators, you should continue to identify and lock down your stepping stones. These are your information sources (where can you find the content you need to include?); your subject matter experts (who is the expert on this theme and will ensure content validation?); your communication style (how will you choose to communicate? what tone will you use?); your brand guides for visual identity (colour scheme, logos, corporate identity) and your expected course length (how long will it take to convey the message? Are there time restraints you need to comply with?).
Make sure that you focus on the takeaways and the practical applications of the course — you should avoid approaching this reflection with a scholarly perspective. This is not an academic setting and the practical application of your content is what matters the most: considering the example of employee on-boarding, your employees should be able to use what they have learned to improve their performance and to help them do their job, not recite the theoretical principles behind it.
When in doubt, you should always reflect about the training needs and the audience: going back to them will help you decide whether to include or exclude information.
When gathering information sources, don’t focus only on the obvious. Newsletters, manuals and different files make good source materials and are sometimes forgotten. Depending on the type and age of your organisation, make sure to include content that may still be offline, and ask your most experience stakeholders to act as subject matter experts.
To conclude, here are some potential pitfalls to avoid. You should never define vague or unachievable goals. It’s important to be specific and realistic. Lastly, it is paramount that you don’t skip this preparation phase by lack of time. Think of this as an investment and remember: if you fail to prepare, you are prepared to fail. Spending some time planning and defining the scope of your training endeavours is essential and will save you time in the long run.
Download the first step guidelines of the process to create your video training course here. Stay tuned and subscribe the bugle blog as we will be sharing information on the next 7 steps of the process.