Progress guidance is everything that allows training facilitators and participants to keep track of progress and reach learning goals. This is an integral part of our L&D programs – it’s about much more than KPIs! There are three main components:
- Checkpoints: Short, individual review meetings between facilitators and trainees
- Self-assessment: Exercises designed to allow trainees to check that they have captured a concept
- Feedback: Checks made before, just after and a while after training encounters
A checkpoint is a meeting where a trainee demonstrates what they’ve learnt – a theory test – and how they use their new skills – a case study. However, this experience is not like being in a school exam or a courthouse!
For one, a checkpoint is more likely to take place by telephone. Furthermore, trainees are not in front of examiners or judges. Rather, they are assisted by two coaches, whose job it is to ensure that the trainee is in a good position to exploit what they’ve learnt.
So it’s really a collaborative exercise, where a theory test and case study are used not only to demonstrate what the trainee is capable of, but also to stimulate a conversation that significantly deepens learning.
Our experience of using checkpoints to support Training Encounters and, above all, Independent Learning, has been extremely positive. We strongly recommend that you consider them for your Learning and Development program.
Even before you get to a checkpoint, you probably want to take advantage of the self-assessment tools in our Learning and Development packages. These are simple enough. They generally take the form of exercises for which immediate, automatic feedback is generated, allowing you to verify that you’ve got the right idea.
If you are more ambitious, and especially if you have the opportunity of working in groups, then we can offer a large number of domain-specific exercises, including roles-plays, for you to work with.
For classroom training, and often for workshops, we follow the guidelines laid down by Kirkpatrick. That is, we ask trainees to assess their experience at the end of a training session – this is Kirkpatrick level I – and we also ask them to complete questionnaires immediately before and after. This is the level II test, and it gives us an idea of how well the key messages were understood. This information is then used to identify areas for post-course clarification and, second, to drive updates in course content. In addition, the resulting statistics can be interesting and reassuring, both for us and our clients.
Finally, we do like to get feedback from our trainees after they’ve returned to their jobs. From time to time, we therefore send out a short survey to veteran course participants all over the world.