Superheroes of L&D: Episode 1
In the first episode of a new series, Stella Collins takes the world of L&D into superhero territory to try and solve the most common problems facing industry professionals.
Dr Tick and the Curse of the Happy Sheet
- Our hero Craig has realised that the evil Dr Tick has preventing him from genuinely evaluating what his colleagues know.
- How can he defeat Dr Tick and implement a meaningful evaluation process?
- Can he get it into the negotiation skills course without being discovered?
Late one night I crept back into the office, after Dr Tick's minions had left for the day, to hatch my cunning plan to crush the de-evaluation plot.
First I needed to engage the learners so I created a pre-course evaluation form for them to complete and bring with them as they would need it later if my mission was to be successful. This form was based on the course objectives and the learners knowledge, skills and confidence, which they graded themselves between 1 – 10. It also gave them the opportunity to set their own objectives for the course.
Stage one complete, tick. Oh no - the evil Dr Tick's influence is still strong. What do I need to do to break his hold over me? I mustn’t let him win, I need to keep developing the evaluation strategy.
Next - to redesign the Happy Sheet and make it about the learner and not a tick box exercise about 'how poor the food was' and 'how great the trainer was'. This took cunning and a complete rewording of the questions - to establish how the course content and materials helped meet their learning objectives and how the trainer had facilitated their learning needs through knowledge, delivery and style. Also what was most and least relevant to their roles with improvers and what support they would need to implement the learning.
Now, to get them to reflect by converting their pre-course evaluation into a post course reflective evaluation with the aid of a different coloured pen. Simple! By getting the learners to reflect on where they see themselves now after the course gives them the momentum to take the learning back to the workplace and the confidence to do it but there was still something missing!
Stage two complete, ti… noooo I will not succumb, must press on with the evaluation process.
Now my learners have gone, how can I influence them and keep the learning fresh before they fall back into their old ways under Dr Tick?
My greatest challenge yet to overcome de-evaluation. Can I rely on a different coloured pen and a questionnaire to check the implementation of learning? It’s worth a shot.
After one month I email a feedback sheet to find out what they are doing differently, how they have sustained the implementation of the learning and what aspects of the training they have implemented and what barriers they have encountered back in the workplace and then get them to reflect on their personal post course evaluation and update it in a different colour. Is this enough though to finally break the curse? Alas, I think not; I need to go for one more stage but stage three of my four stage plan is now finalised.
What can I do that is different? How do I keep that flame of learning burning within and keep their confidence high and dispel Dr Tick's demons once and for all? Over and over again I ask myself 'How do you complete the circle?'
And that’s it -the answer has been there all along - a circle! After three months, invite a mixture of all the attendees to date to come back for a day and get them to take part in a practical review day where we will film their negotiation based on a simulation and feedback on how their skills had improved.
With these four stages in place the curse of the happy sheet has been broken once and for all and Dr Tick and his minions banished - for now...
Learn to defend your organisation from Dr Tick by becoming a Brain Friendly Trainer on 5/6/7 November (and get a free Kindle loaded with brain friendly books when you book before 20th September)
Stella Collins MSc FITOL is co-founder and Chief Learning Officer at Stellar Labs, one of the Brain Ladies and the author of ‘Neuroscience for Learning and Development’. She has a clear understanding of the challenges faced by organisations in upskilling and reskilling their people, especially with digital change being so high on the agenda...