Training Delivery Methods: Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

Content is a huge focus in the training world, though it’s really only one part of the learning equation. The magic happens, though, when strong content is shared through the most effective training delivery methods, enabling the message to be absorbed, retained, and implemented by learners.

Whether your aim is to impart knowledge, sharpen skills, or adjust behaviors, there are a lot of different methods of training delivery to choose from. But there’s no silver bullet. In fact, data continues to prove a blended approach, incorporating more than one modality to deliver your content, increases retention by up to 60%.

So, how do you determine the most effective training delivery methods for your needs? Start by considering the options available and how they align with your goals, audience, and content.

Below is a list of our recommendations.

    Featured Resource

    Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

    Training Delivery Methods for Building Knowledge

    When we speak about training for knowledge, we’re referring to helping learners understand the what and the why of a concept. To tackle these topics, the training delivery methods we recommend hinge greatly on well-organized information and storytelling. These include:

    •  Podcasts
    Borrowing from the popular media format, Podcasts are an excellent way to educate team members, allowing them to absorb information at their own pace in a familiar style.

    •  Infographics
    Visual tools help to reinforce concepts, and the Infographic remains a popular delivery method as it clearly outlines vital data and information in a memorable and engaging way.

    •   Animations
    Another popular visual option, Animations are a great way to educate learners. By imparting critical information in an entertaining way, you can increase both retention and engagement.

    •   Group Discussions
    Part team-building, part training, Guided Group Discussions are a great way to build relationships among team members while educating them on key concepts.

    •   Interactive Training Tools (Pitch)
    These interactive modules from Unboxed’s Training Technology team organize key concepts in an interactive, data-based tool, making it effective for knowledge acquisition and knowledge sustainment (refresher training).

    Training Delivery Methods for Improving Knowledge & Skills

    Building on those, there are several modalities that bridge both knowledge and skills, helping learners to understand the how behind the what and the why. This category of modalities includes:

    •   Instructor-Led Trainings (in-person or virtual)
    Instructor Led Training (ILT) or Virtual Instructor Led Training (vILT) allows you to build upon learned knowledge by giving learners a chance to put knowledge and skills into practice through classroom activities.The bonus of vILT is it allows you to reach learners near and far with training that’s as equally engaging, interactive, and effective as in-person training — without the pricey travel costs.

    •   Interactive Learning Guides
    Self-paced and fully interactive, our Interactive Learning Guides (ILG) keep learners engaged at every step. With a modern, web-like interface, video, animation, gamification, and interactive exercises, ILGs create an engaging experience for learners, making them effective for both knowledge and skills training.

    •   Videos
    Taking cues from what many learners engage in on their own time, training videos are an incredibly popular choice to help learners improve their skills in addition to reinforcing their knowledge.

     

    Training Delivery Methods for Sharpening Skills & Behaviors

    Moving further into training for skills, the delivery methods below allow you to focus more deeply on the tactical responsibilities of your team. These modalities also lend themselves to training for behaviors, educating learners on the action taken, and include:

    •   Group Participation, Hands-On Activities, Role Plays, On-the-Floor Training, Mentor Shadowing
    Each of these training delivery methods differs in their approach but share the same goal: to allow team members to improve their skills in settings and situations where they actually use them.

     

    Training Delivery Methods for Shaping Behaviors

    Behavior-specific training goes one step further, allowing you to work with team members to help them make changes in their interactions, approaches, and performance with direct feedback. There are two modalities that are ideal for this type of training, these are:

    •   Huddles
    Combining the benefits of group participation, hands-on activities, and role play along with direct coaching, Huddles are an excellent training method to help shape and improve behaviors.

    •   Video Simulations
    Offering the same advantages of a Huddle, Video Simulations allow geographically dispersed teams the opportunity to observe team member behavior and coach them to be more effective in their approach.

     

    Need Help?

    We recognize there are a lot of options out there, but choosing a training method doesn’t need to be a chore. We can help you analyze and understand both your goals and content to select the best option for your needs. Reach out to schedule some time with our Training Content Strategists to learn more.

    Want to know more about choosing a training method? Download our free guide!

    Share This Article

    25 training tips in 25 minutes: best practice

    Find out the shared approaches we’ve seen maximize training outcomes for our clients, and how to incorporate them into your training.

    More Articles Like This One

    Leadership Training Topics: The Essential Checklist

    Whether we’ve been one of the parties in an awkward supervisor/supervisee relationship, or we’ve watched poor leadership practices impact our organization, we all know managing people requires a specific skill set. Just because we give an individual contributor a new title doesn’t mean they have the skills they need to lead teams effectively—much less enjoy it.

    A CareerBuilder survey reports more than 26% of managers said they weren’t ready to become a leader when they started managing others, and 58% said they didn’t receive any management training at all. According to the ATD whitepaper Experiential Learning for Leaders, only 28% of business executives say they’re effective at developing leaders.

    Wow.

    Leadership training is critically important. In this post, we hope to help you get started on the program your managers need. We’ll make it easy to identify the leadership training topics you need to consider, and we’ll explore different ways you can implement your program.

     

    Leadership Training Topics

    Even though the manager onboarding statistics are concerning, the good news is this—leadership training is a wonderful place to build a strong, sustainable culture of learning.

    We’ve compiled a checklist of leadership training topics to help you answer this question: Where do my managers need to build their skills?

    Leadership Learning Experiences

    Okay, keep that strategy hat on and answer this next question: What type of training experience would be ideal for your managers?

    Ultimately, you want to identify the must-haves that will unleash the most benefits for your company and culture. Here are some considerations to help you brainstorm. In order to meet business, manager, and team needs, many programs choose to blend two or three of these approaches.

     

    IN-PERSON FACILITATED
    PROS
    CONS
    More opportunities to bond, build a support network, and share best practices If facilitated as a full-day or multi-day event, follow-up activities should be developed and implemented to encourage application and defeat the “forgetting curve”
    High learner accountability If facilitated as a full-day or multi-day event, may involve extra costs such as hotel, travel, and food
    Limited distractions Managers are not as accessible to their team members
    Can be developed in bite-sized formats and facilitated in-house to provide continuous learning

     

     VIRTUAL INSTRUCTOR-LED
     PROS
    CONS
    No travel required Fewer opportunities to bond, build a support network, and share best practices
    Can be developed in bite-sized formats and facilitated in-house to provide continuous learning Difficult to measure engagement beyond course participation

    Managers are susceptible to more distractions during the training

    Technology challenges with video, Internet connectivity, and sound can negatively impact the learning experience

     

    SELF-PACED ON DEMAND/JUST-IN-TIME
    PROS
    CONS
    No travel required Fewer opportunities to bond, build a support network, and share best practices
    Simple course completion tracking Difficult to measure engagement beyond course completion
    Typically organized in bite-sized courses, so managers can balance training with supporting their teams Managers are susceptible to more distractions during the training
    Consistent information and experience
    Easy to administer

     

    Leadership Training Timing

    Based on our experience, the best time to enroll managers in training is right when they’ve been promoted, or “just in time.” Relevant leadership training is the antidote to sink-or-swim, a practice that hurts confidence, morale, and your company’s net promoter score.

    Waiting for managers to ask for help is risky. You’ll lose productivity, and some of your managers with the potential to be great leaders might realize another company offers more support and professional development.

    When it comes to leadership training, strike while the iron is hot, when managers are eager to learn. Proactively equip them with the skills they need to confidently excel in their new role.

     

    Next Steps

    Hopefully, you’re starting to get a vision for the type of leadership training topics your managers need, and the type of learning experiences that will support your goals. Keep in mind learning experiences can be combined in order to create a blended approach, and you can always hire a partner to help you develop your strategy.

    Managers want to feel equipped for their roles so they can make a positive impact on your company and the lives of their direct reports. When you build their skills and confidence, you create a more sustainable organization and a better place to work.

    Share This Article

    Featured Resource

    Assess Your Program With This Free Leadership Training Topics Checklist

    More Articles Like This One

    Storytelling in Training

    Stories have a way of sticking with us. Whether it’s the book on your bedside table, an anecdote shared over coffee, or the latest drama on a favorite TV series, there’s something about a well-told story that captivates.

    Entertainment is just a secondary perk, though. The art of storytelling is centuries old, used initially to pass on information from person to person. When we employ the technique in training, we’re looking to capitalize both benefits: spreading knowledge to learners while holding their attention and engaging their interest.

     

    Why Use Storytelling

    Storytelling is just one of the many tools in our training arsenal. It’s one of our favorites as it allows us to draw on our creativity, however, there are three other core reasons we gravitate toward the solution.

    1. Storytelling creates an emotional connection between learners and lessons. As stories draw us in, we continually react, both emotionally and physically as they unfold. Scientists have seen this come alive in brain scans of learners. When presented with narratives and sensory-heavy language, larger portions of the brain are activated than just the language processing areas.

    2. Storytelling allows us as content experts to injects creativity and levity into complex, dry topics. From systems to security, we tackle topics that are critical for organizations and learners but may skew a bit boring on the boring side. By transforming facts, processes, and procedures into a narrative, we’re able to hold learner attention longer and boost the likelihood that they’ll actually enjoy their training experience.

    3. Storytelling makes content memorable. We want our training to stick. When a learner completes one of our training programs, our intention is that they can take what they’ve learned and immediately apply those skills. Beyond that, we want them to retain that information and be able to carry it through their work for a long period of time, sharing it with other team members as appropriate.

    How to Use Storytelling

     Now that you know the value behind the technique, let’s pull the curtain back on some simple best practices for incorporating storytelling into your training:

    • Follow the classic story arc. Start with a clear beginning to set the stage for what is to come, introducing concepts and characters on which to build the rest of the story. Create tension or conflict in the middle of the story, resolving it and reinforcing the lesson in the end.

    • Be creative. Use relatable characters and probable scenarios to help illustrate the concepts and/or processes that a learner needs to understand. Imagine the learner’s on-the-job experience and look for ways to create an engaging, parallel experience with your content.

    • Use descriptive language. Choose phrasing that connects with the senses, describing experiences in terms of the way they look, feel, smell, sound, or taste.

    • Incorporate supporting images. Nothing makes stories come alive like compelling imagery. Whenever possible, incorporate graphics, animation, or live-action visuals to better illustrate concepts and provide some visual support for what is happening in your narrative.

    Regardless of the modality your training employs, consider ways you might incorporate these concepts into its construction. That’s the approach we take, looking for opportunities to inject our signature creativity into our content to engage learners and drive results.

     

    Storytelling in Practice

    When it comes to using storytelling in training, we’ve found that simulations lend themselves particularly well to the approach. These choose-your-own-adventure style trainings allow learners to explore different pathways and their results with no actual risk.

    We recently built a pair of simulation videos for a real estate leasing company as part of a multi-modality curriculum focused on their new sales method. The videos followed the actions of a leasing agent as she worked to fill a unit in her community.

    Throughout each, we created opportunities for learners to choose how to approach various points of conflict within the process. A play off of ‘Million Dollar Listing,’ the project allowed us to pull cultural references and humor into the story, making it particularly relevant to the company’s audience of leasing agents.

    Want to see how we can help you take your training to the next level with creative storytelling? Connect with us today.

    Share This Article

    Featured Resource

    Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

    More Articles Like This One

    Change Management Training for Employees – Embracing the Change

    Picture this – you’re ready to make a big change in your company. Maybe it’s a change to your benefits or compensation structure, or a big shift in management. But you look around at all of your employees comfortably working and hesitate to upend what is familiar to them.

    That hesitancy is understandable. McKinsey estimates that “70% of change programs fail to achieve their goals, largely due to employee resistance and lack of management support.” The good news is there’s a way to reduce the likelihood of your change program failing. That’s where change management training for employees comes in.

     

    Preparing Employees for Change

    When a big shift happens, wouldn’t it be great to not just prepare employees for change but to create advocates for change. With effective change management training, you’ll be able to ensure your employees understand and are invested in the change at your company. 

    You might be wondering how this works. The best change management training contains three main elements:

    1.   A Communication Plan – How are you going to communicate an upcoming change to your employees? For big changes, a simple email isn’t going to do the trick. It’s important to think through the change and how best to convey it to employees. This might mean a phased approach, plans for team meetings, and bringing in executives for support. Take time to really evaluate the impact of the change and how to best minimize surprise and difficulties for your employees.

    2.   A Leadership Toolkit – Leaders set the mood for your change. Everyone is going to look to them to gauge how to feel. An effective change management training program provides a toolkit for leaders to guide their teams through change. It gives them the resources they need to field questions from their teams, address any pushback from team members, build empathy, and set a positive example for the rest of the organization.

    3.   A Strategy to Maintain Productivity – Change can be disruptive, but it doesn’t have to bring everything to a grinding halt. Training should include how to deal with potential distractions and roadblocks as you implement change, that way you don’t lose profits while you work toward change. Maintaining stability in this way can also help your employees feel more secure amidst all of the change.

     

    Making Change Management Stick

    Training shouldn’t end once the change has been implemented. We all know sustainment training can help training stick by reinforcing lessons learned. But change management sustainment training can look a little different. Here are a few ideas to try to make sure your change works long term.

    Use micro-learnings: Once employees have completed their change management training, reinforce what they learned with quick quizzes or mini-eLearning modules that cover key concepts.

    Create a support network: Set up a network and encourage team members to meet, discuss the change and any challenges they’ve faced, and work through problems with their leaders.

    Check-in with teams: Following the completion of their training, encourage team members to set goals for how they will effectively deal with change. Check-in at 30, 60, and 90 days after the program to ensure they’re working toward their goals.

     

    Moving Forward

    Instead of fearing change, embrace it with a great plan in place. As John Assaraf once said, “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” Grow your company’s potential by making changes that move you in the right direction.

    Ready to make a big change but need some support? Check out our change management training for employee options for more details.

    Share This Article

    Featured Resource

    Assess Your Program With This Free Leadership Training Topics Checklist

    More Articles Like This One

    State of the Modern Learner

    Welcome to 2019 – a time when people expect to be entertained. Why should their training be any different? Think about it, according to The Game Agency, on average we consume nearly 11 hours of media each day and shift our attention between our smartphones, tablets, and computers 21 times every hour. With that in mind, it makes sense that your training should grab your learners’ attention quickly, hold it long enough to make an impact, and above all else, be so entertaining that they want and enjoy it – even with seemingly infinite media options at their fingertips.

    Distracted… but Want to Learn

    Who are these modern learners that are overwhelmed with entertainment choices all throughout the day? They’re consuming information in shorter, more personalized, more engaging ways. When seeking new information, they’re likely to Google something or check out a video on YouTube, but that’s typically done with the intention of using that information right away. What if the knowledge needs to be retained for an extended period of time? Consider, 50% of information is forgotten within one hour without some type of reinforcement training.

     

    State of the Modern Learner graph

    They also have short attention spans, crave instant gratification, and are distracted – but not too distracted to want to learn. According to Learnkit, 53% of employees feel they could do their job better if they had better training and per Intercall 47% want the freedom to complete that training at their own pace. It follows that in order for training to make sense for the naturally distracted lifestyle of the modern learner, it has to be:

    • High quality
    • Efficient
    • Personalized
    • Available on demand

    Competing for Attention

    So, when it seems everyone is fighting for the modern learner’s attention, how do we train? With so much time already spent looking at screens, what if you could reach your learners through any and all of their devices? Better yet, what if you could use those devices to teach them while simultaneously entertaining and delighting them? Good news: you can – and you should.

    Fun and Games!

    For the greatest impact, ensure that your training includes gamification and games that:

    • Transmit information simply
    • Grab your learner’s attention
    • Keeps them engaged
    • And perhaps above all else, helps them reinforce and retain what they’ve learned

    Games not only provide an engaging learning experience that can change behaviors and improves comprehension, but thanks to the fun they provide, learners often want to continue learning and thereby reinforce their training.

    Secondly, games provide a competitive element that drives action, sustains focus, and heightens attention. Consider these statistics:

    • The average learner will play a game three times during training.
    • On average, they will experience a 64% increase in knowledge from the beginning to the end of a game.
    • Each gameplay session lasts an average of six minutes.

    Lastly, training with games provides you with robust reporting and analytics capabilities. Each game can be used to collect player data to help you identify knowledge gaps – thereby enabling you to rework training content to maximize effectiveness.

    In short

    Modern learners have minimal time to devote to training. They’re working from several locations and expect to access information on-demand. Luckily for them, games are a form of micro-learning that provide quick, compelling training that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. This form of training is ideal for the modern learner’s short attention span as the information taught is bite-sized and easy-to-digest. And when people are entertained, they focus and retain information more easily.

    Additionally, if an experience is enjoyable, people naturally return for more. Training so good that it compels a return visit increases the odds of retention (and the amount of information that can be retained) – and that’s exactly what the distracted, modern learner needs in 2019.

    Share This Article

    Featured Resource

    Choosing the Right Modality for Your Content

    More Articles Like This One