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Any ideas?

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I've got to deliver a short ten minute presentation on the difficulties faced in assessing individual learning needs and ensuring that these are met alongside the pre-determined course outcomes. I need to discuss the issues and solutions. Any ideas?

2 Responses

  1. Learning needs presentation

    In that timescale I’d keep it simple. I think the three main difficulties are:

    1. Getting to the real needs – not just ‘wants’, not just symptoms, not just performance shortfalls but the key learning requirements that will allow the person to be more confident and more competent in delivering their role

    2. Getting the processes to work – getting individuals to openly consider their development needs, getting line managers to intelligently and considerately diagnose those needs and potential solutions, getting the performance development system to capture and collate those needs for all staff, and getting the L&D function to know when to trust the data this gives them and when to investigate further.

    3. Getting a good match between learning needs and training solutions – whether you are designing or procuring training solutions, it is vital to make sure that the training outcomes reflect the types of learning needs people have. However, getting that to match every single individual is impossible (unless the solution is coaching). And anyway, the trainer can only take their responsibility so far. Ultimately it is for the individual learner to agree their own objectives with their line manager, make sure they ask questions to get answers to their specific problems and, most crucially, make sure they consolidate, share and implement that learning back at work.

    The solutions are many and potentially complex but in the time you have I’d stick to one. The L&D professional needs to understand the business – people are busy and often more expert at their role than they are in understanding how learning works; they need to understand the psychology of people – from why people find it hard to set and hit learning objectives to how different people learn; and they need to be able to work with and beyond the systems – making clear how the course outcomes reflect the real challenges people face, engaging with students as they learn to make sure that emergent needs are picked up not just those that have been pre-identified.

    If you get time, you might want to mention that the trainer/L&D professional role is no longer just about delivery of solutions such as courses. It is also about helping line managers play they part, helping link together strategic organisational issues with the learning of individuals, and it is about helping to create a culture where individuals are able to be open about their real needs and have ideas about how to meet them, ideally without being dependent on the L&D function.

    Hope that helps. Best of luck

    Graham O’Connell

  2. Any Ideas?

    Cheers Graham for your help. My concern was the 10 minute timescale so your suggestion is perfect and along the lines I was planning. Thanks again, Lee

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