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Seb Anthony

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New design methods


I'm a new training designer and I have the responsibility of designing training workshops. I am wondering if there are any specific resources, either on-line or in the form of books which can provide a designer with a 'bank' of tools to use when designing workshops. I want a number of different tools so that I don't have to use the same approach all the time. I'm particularly interested in:

- different ways to split people into groups
-different ways to pair people up for activities
- new approaches for evaluation
- hints & tips on capturing delegates attention
- generic energisers that can be tailored to different workshops

And short reinforcement activities/stories that can be used for topics such as:

- motivation
-positive thinking
- selling skills
- attitude v apptitude

Is there such a resource(s)? or does the 'bank' of tools simply come with experience?

Many thanks


Craig Paterson

4 Responses

  1. My two penny-worth
    Last October there was a thread called “What is the best book you have read on training?”, which might be useful. See

    There are a number of books on the theme “tips for trainers”. For example, 500 Tips for Trainers, by Phil Race and Brenda Smith. Google may find more.

    Then there’s

    Regarding evaluation, one of the methods I use is called the nominal group technique.

    1. Ask the participants to think of all the strengths of the course, and write these down on a flip chart or whiteboard.
    2. Repeat this with the weaknesses.
    3. Explain that each participant has a total of 6 votes to cast, three for the strengths identified, and three for the weaknesses.
    4. Go through each strength and ask for their votes, then repeat that for the weaknesses.

    This results in two lists, one for strengths and one for weakness, in which the items can be ranked in order of importance based on the number of votes cast. The use of the voting facility indicates their strength of feeling on each issue, which may not be apparent from other forms of evaluation.

    It is up to the participants whether they use each vote singly or whether they ‘blow’ all three votes on a single strength or weakness. Some will use all three votes up on a single issue if they feel very strongly about it. The number of votes can be altered, and can be increased if time allows.

  2. Training Design Methods
    Hi Craig

    Try the following links:

    A couple of the sites require registration fees, however, they are well worth the investment.

    I’d also recommend The Accelerated Learning Handbook Dave Meir (Published by Mc Graw Hill)

    If you are looking for something specific – don’t hesitate to drop me a line – I might have something in my resource of stuff!


  3. Trainers’ Library
    Trainers’ Library ( provides exactly what your asking (if I’ve understood you correctly). It gives members unlimited access to, and a license to use pre-tested training material on a broad range of topics. Each module comes complete with detailed trainer’s notes and handouts, the the range includes teambuilding games like Murder at Glasstap Grange and many more.

    Hope this helps,


  4. Eureka Training
    One of my favourite resources is the bank of trainers tips sent out by David Gibson of Eureka! You can register to receive these free tips at

    David also runs a particularly good course called “Looking at Training Differently”. I’d thoroughly recommend this from a training course design point of view as you’ll get so many fantastic ideas.

    Hope this is of use to you.



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