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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

9705-TARBIYAT & TRAINING PROGRAMS

Paper submitted to the International Youth Conference, Konia Turkey 21-25 May 1997 by Prof Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. Ex-Director of the IIFSO Leadership Training Bureau 1992-1995, currently Deputy Dean of Medicine and Director of the Tarbiyah and Training Resources Center, International Islamic University, Malaysia  Fax (603) 757 7970

Abstract

This paper argues that Islamic youth organisations should undertake organised and structured training programs to cover the performance gap that they experience. It deals with the analysis of training needs, writing training objectives, designing course material, delivery skills and technics. It presents the suggested curriculum content.

 

1.0 CONCEPTS

 

1.1 Performance gap

 

The performance gap is the difference between the potential and actual performance of organisations and individuals. Many individuals and communities all over the world are experiencing phenomena of revival and renewal. There is a new reawakening and a determination to make tomorrow better than yesterday. However the zeal, commitment and efforts of the revival have not been perfectly or completely translated into practical results that everyone can see in the society. The practical achievements fall far short of the potential. Success in building and managing institutions, the backbone of real and sustained change, has been limited in several communities and countries. The gap between aspirations and achievements is due to a relative deficiency of practical skills in leadership and management. These skills are not in-born. They can be taught or developed through experience on the job.

 

Individuals and organisations we pay a high price in terms of lost opportunities for the continued existence of the performance gap. On the job training is needed to cover the gap. Training is an investment in people, the most valuable resource that an organisation has. Investment in training has a very high future pay-off in terms of better performance, productivity, and growth. Preponderant majority of workers and activists are either untrained or self-trained in the field of leadership and management skills. Rapid advances in technology make skills obsolete. Continuous retraining is needed to maintain effectiveness

 

1.2 What is training?

 

To put training in perspective, you should be able to distinguish it from 2 related concepts: education and development. Training is essentially learning on the job. It aims at equipping the worker with practical skills that are usable immediately on the job. Training in this sense differs from education and development. Education is acquisition of general knowledge. It is academic and may not necessarily be usable in a practical work situation. Development is general improvement in knowledge and skills that occurs passively as an individual belongs to a certain group and stays in it.

 

Leadership skills can be learned by reading and thinking about leadership styles, and observing successful leaders, practical experience and learning from failures and successes, and formal training programs. The present program concentrates on formal training. Participants are taught specific practical skills at each training seminar. A word of caution is called for here. Leadership and management can not be learned solely in a class-room. Formal training programs serve only to open the gate to the major learning that occurs in the school of life and practical experience. learning from practical experience is enhanced by the guidelines provided by the formal training.

 

1.3 Vision, mission, goals and objectives of LTP

 

The vision we have set ourselves is to bring about a major qualitative change in the leadership and management of Islamic organisations and projects: efficiency, effectiveness, professionalism, and achievement of targets set.

 

The mission of the present Leadership Training Program is to close the performance gap described above within the next 5-year period 1415-1420 AH. The program is a serious attempt to improve the effectiveness of Islamic work over the long-term. It is not a quick-fix or a first aid measure. The LTP program is being executed all over the world as a series of executive training seminars.

 

The LTP has the following goals: (a) equip selected leaders with planning, organisational and managerial skills needed for the present stage of work (b) prepare them as trainers of others so that these skills may be spread to all levels of Islamic work (c) provide an opportunity for leaders of different backgrounds to analyse their programs using new leadership and organisational concepts that will be introduced in the program (d) motivate workers to return from the program with new insights and drive for success. A trainee should leave the training session with higher motivation and self-confidence.

 

The objectives of each training seminar are: (a) teach a skill or a group of leadership and management skills, (b) apply the skills in practical work and (c) teach the skills to others

 

1.4 Basic Philosophy of LTP

 

The basic philosophy of the leadership training program is: Training trainers, teaching practical skills, repetitive continuous training.

 

Training Trainers: participants will be equipped with training skills that they will use in training programs that will be held later in various parts of the country. Thus both content and the methodology of the training are important.  It is expected that each participant will be able to repeat the training program in his local area or in his organisation

 

Teaching Practical Skills: the assumption is that  the work has reached a stage of maturity in which the basic philosophy, ideas and concepts of the work are well understood. We have to move to the next stage of starting and managing institutions. This stage requires practical organisational and managerial skills. The training program will deal exclusively with the acquisition of practical skills in leadership and management.

 

Repetitive continuous training to ensure continuing improvement in performance.

 

1.5 Targets of LTP

 

The program targets various categories of leaders and managers. The material presented as well as the method of presentation differ and take the target group into consideration.

 

The following groups can benefit from the program: community leaders, leaders and managers of organisations (women, youths, schools, students, labour & professional), religious leaders, business leaders, parents and individuals who want to improve themselves.

 

1.6 Selection of participants in LTP

 

The following criteria are employed in selecting participants for the training program: Leadership potential, Teachability, Teaching ability, Diffusion of ideas.

 

Leadership Potential: selection will be limited to those who have been involved in organising and leading others in the field. The program is intended to enhance the practical skills of persons who are already leaders or managers. This is not a program on theoretical matters

 

Teachability since the program will be imparting new skills, methodologies and approaches; only those who are able to learn and absorb  new ideas and skills should be selected. Persons who hold some concepts dogmatically and are not willing to consider alternatives will not benefit from the program

 

Teaching Ability: the program aims at training trainers. Participants will be expected to transfer the knowledge and skills acquired to others. They must therefore be able to teach others. Only those participants who can teach and possess effective communication skills will benefit from the program

 

Diffusion of ideas: participants should be selected in such a way that various parts of the country are represented. This will ensure wide diffusion of the ideas and skills learned.

 

 

1.7 Methodology of LTP

 

As mentioned at the beginning the aim of LTP is training. You have to avoid a situation of teaching without training.

 

The knowledge and skills imparted in training are the same however the methods used differ according to circumstances of time, place, audience, and trainer. What works in one setting may not work in another. Methods used for youths may not work with older persons.

 

The training program has been planned to be used in an interactive classroom session with plenty of time for trainee participation in case studies, exercises, and workshop discussions. The material has also been adapted for audio and video cassettes. It will soon be available as an interactive computer training program.

 

Although this program has been prepared specifically for interactive class-room presentation, it is easily adaptable for other training methods for example: mentoring, traditional lecture format. In such cases only the basic concept section of the training material may be used.

 

Training aids enhance the quality of training but are not in themselves a method of training. They can not be a substitute for good planning and presentation of the training material.

 

The material for this program can be used for mentoring as well. Mentoring is an excellent training method that has fallen into disuse over the years. It generally operates informally but it is possible to set up formal organisational mentoring programs. Success of mentoring depends a lot on the protege-mentor relationship. This relationship could have positive and negative aspects.

 

Interactive presentations and analysis of case studies are the main methods of instruction. The format will avoid the traditional lecture type of presentation. The 'speaker'  acts as a facilitator and the participants are required to participate actively in the discussions. Since the participants are selected on the basis of demonstrated prior leadership ability and experience, each one of them will have a contribution that will enrich the program overall. The availability of a work-book with an outline greatly facilitates the interactive format. Presenters use overhead projectors or flip-charts to enable the participants follow the presentations. An interactive presentation is made in the plenary sessions. There are small group discussions of the topics and case analysis followed by a general workshop.

 

A work-book with outlines of all the presentations is provided to all participants to encourage active participation. This is a work-along work-book that is used throughout the training session. The outlines are written in such a way that they convey minimal information and are therefore not a substitute for active listening and participation. Some of them are in the form of questions. The participants have to listen carefully and attentively to the lecture or participate actively in the discussions to be able to take down notes in the workbook. Note-taking is emphasised as a major pedagogical tool. The participants are trained to be trainers. They are not the final 'target audience'. It is therefore be of utmost importance that they faithfully absorb and record the material to be able to reproduce it faithfully in a training situation that they will lead later.

 

Reading material in the form of textbooks and selected articles is given to the participants. Some of the reading material has to be read before the program.

 

Case-studies from Muslim history and contemporary experience are used to discuss and internalise the leadership and management skills presented. In addition to the case studies from the seerah, participants analyse and discuss their contemporary experiences.

 

Exercises that test comprehension or that give the participant an opportunity to internalise the concepts taught are used. These are exercises that provide an opportunity for participants to develop case studies from their local experience and analyse them. The exercises help the understanding of basic concepts and their application to local issues and problems. Some sessions will end with actual work-plans that participants can use in their organisations.

 

1.8 The Use of case studies from Muslim history

 

The case studies enable a practical simulation of a leadership or management context that will enhance learning. The cases also illustrate that the leadership and management skills presented have a basis in Islamic history. They also provide an Islamic intellectual context for the development of leadership-cum-management concepts and skills.

 

The use of case studies is in conformity with the Qur'anic methodology of training. The Qur'an relies on examples and actual events in history to illustrate many of its teachings (Qur'an 39:27). There are at least 39 parables that are used in this sense by the Qur'an.

 

The use of case studies should not be understood as a call to manage affairs as was done in the golden Era. The principles are transferable but the details have to correspond to the realities of our times. The case studies stimulate thinking and provide a historical basis upon which to build leadership and management concepts.

   

Given the international character of the program, contemporary local case studies could have been very difficult to prepare for inclusion in the basic training material. They would be inappropriate for people in some countries or some backgrounds. People may not relate well to experiences that are radically different from theirs.

 

All Muslims can relate to the seerah because it is a shared heritage. Many participants already know the facts of the case which makes the discussion and analysis deeper.

 

Human nature and character are constant and do not change with developments in technology. This is the basis for permanance of religion and its suitability for all eras and all places. Religion deals with the human and it is the same human nature today and yesterday. Therefore historical events of the seerah are very relevant to our situation today when we look at the human dimension and not the technology or the environment. Real leadership is changing and improving the human being and not his technology.

 

1.9 Theoretical background

 

Leadership and management are growing disciplines; there is a lot of practical and technical experience. The theoretical background is however not yet fully developed.

 

This program does not tackle the theories of leadership and management.

 

The main thrust of the program is practical skills. Field experience has already shown this to be very effective and to respond to an actual felt need.

 

Islamic management sciences are still in their infancy; they did not develop much after the basic fundamentals and rudimentary structures were set up in the first century of the Hijri calendar.

 

There is a new movement to Islamise various disciplines of knowledge. This is an attempt to recast them in such a way that they reflect the Islamic world-view and the Muslim cultural and intellectual heritage. Some tentative work has been done; a lot remains to be completed.

 

Many aspect of management are universal and reflect what is common in human experience across cultures, geographical areas, and historical eras. 

 

Some concepts of leadership and the paradigms of management science as well as the research tools reflect the European or American world-view that is different in many aspects from the Islamic ones.

 

European of American concepts that are based on objective research that is not culturally-biased are accepted by Muslims and have been used in this manual.

 

Some Euro-American concepts are not acceptable altogether because they contradict Islamic teachings and world-view.

 

Many concepts and methods can become acceptable when modified and framed in a proper and moral context.

 

A lot of the available leadership and management literature is not a series of theoretical formulations but an empirical description of actual practical experience. Muslims can benefit a lot from such descriptions provided they are careful to adapt them to their particular temporo-spatial circumstances.

 

There are many aspects of leadership and management that non-Muslim scholarship has not delved in adequately and Muslims can make original contributions in them that all humanity will be eager to listen to. These fields include: understanding human motivation, building endurance in the worker etc.

 

The need to develop Islamic management sciences is still a challenge that Muslim scholars must face.

 

1.10 The tauhidi paradigm in leadership and management

 

The tauhidi paradigm in Islam can help address the issue of integration in organisations.

 

Modern organizations are experiencing problems due to lack of a wholistic context in which they operate. The solution to one problem may create other problems elsewhere. Too much specialisation in functional areas has reduced the ability of leaders to see the whole picture.

 

Islam and its paradigm of tauhid has much to contribute to solving the dilemmas of today's management. Tauhid provides a center of gravity, a source, and a unity that can help rebuild the holistic picture. This is because tauhid provides an intellectual framework for understanding the unity of creation and existence. It teaches that everything has the same source and therefore in a natural state, harmony must reign.

 

               

2.0 THE TRAINING PROGRAM

 

2.1 Scope of training program design

 

A training program can be summarized as preparation, developing, delivering, practicing, and evaluating.

 

Designing a training program covers the following: trainer, trainee, lesson plan, method of training, delivery of training, questions, and discussions

 

2.2 Trainer

 

As a trainer you will be most effective if you are genuine by retaining your natural personality. You must radiate enthusiasm. It will infect the trainees.

 

You can improve your presentations by watching your previous sessions video tape.

 

2.3 Trainee

 

In designing a session consider the level of the trainees and their pace of understanding.

 

You must know the trainees and deal with them as individuals. You must realise that trainees come from diverse backgrounds. They should not be dealt with in a generic sense or as if they are anonymous.

 

Informal discussions before start and at the end of the training session can help you know the trainees better. You must be aware of the trainee attitudes and behaviour. However do not intrude on personal privacy as you discuss the material and trying to customise it to their backgrounds.

 

You must know the trainee expectations are so that you may address them to satisfy them. In order to avoid disappointments about unfulfilled expectations, start by telling the trainees what you will cover.

 

You should monitor trainee interest. Sitting motion-less is a sign of paying attention. Moving about in the seat, fidgeting, restlessness, looking out of the window, yawning, are signs of boredom

 

People who are established in their positions and are comfortable with what they are doing are likely to resist training.

 

Praise progress however little. Trainees need all the encouragement you can give them. remember that most will have completed their schooling years ago and are no longer used to a class-room learning situation. Quite a number come with lot of apprehensions about their ability to learn. It is your job to put them at ease by encouraging any fledgling efforts that they make.

 

Correct mistakes by restating information later. Telling trainees directly and in front of their colleagues that they have got it wrong may hurt their ego and self-confidence. Such a negative experience may discourage them from further participation in the session. By giving the right answers without necessarily condemning the wrong ones, you can help adult learners correct their mistakes in a dignified way

 

Fault-finding and criticising trainees are negative. They humiliate and hurt without any tangible benefit. The self confidence of the trainee must be kept at all the time.

 

Motivate the trainee to learn by reinforcement, rewards for progress, flexibility, individualisation, and not censuring or punishing in case of mistakes.

 

You should help the trainees take notes by speaking slowly and clearly, repeating, and emphasising important points. Sometimes you may have to tell them directly to write down an important point.

 

Be careful in your verbal or non-verbal communication never to make a trainee feel bad about themselves. They should not be made to feel that they asked a stupid question or made an irrelevant comment.

 

2.4 Lesson Plan

 

Follow a prepared and written lesson plan. Be flexible when the actual circumstances in the session are different from what you had anticipated. Try to foresee and prepare for contingencies.

 

A good training session covers a few things but with depth and inspiration for retention and change of attitudes and behaviours in the future.

 

A link with what was taught before must be made at the start of a training session. This gives a sense of continuity.

 

A lecture requires balance between general and detailed information, difficult and simple concepts, seriousness and fun.

 

Establish need/benefit of the training program at the start. This raises expectations and motivates trainees.

 

Teaching by example is the best. Qur 'anic stories are an effective teaching tool because they give examples

 

New ideas must be introduced in a phased way. You should start with the simple and move on to the more complex.

 

There must be variety in content and methodology

 

Teach knowledge needed to perform skills.

 

Give hands-on experience in the form of exercises, case studies etc

 

Always review previous material .Make sure that it was understood and make a link between it and the new material.

 

Use summary material and go into details only after the basic ideas re understood.

 

Use the participatory method to share past experience. Adult learners have a lot of field experience that could enrich the learning environment

 

Provide opportunities for putting newly learned knowledge or skills to practical use.  This may be by simulation of actual situations, case studies or class room exercises

 

Encourage and benefit from feed-back. Visualise the training process as a 2-way street

 

Let the learning be self-paced. Do not move faster than the trainees. It may be better to cover less material in a given time and make sure it is understood and internalised than to rush through  lot of poorly digested facts.

 

Provide frequent breaks. This allows material to sink. Trainees who may beginning to get bored may be rejuvenated by a break. The break need not be stopping the session and going out. It may be just a change of activity, a joke, a story, or a class-room exercise. Letting people watch a video tape may be a good break.

 

Good trainers talk about what they want instead of attacking what they do not want.

Help the trainees improve their study and learning methods. Concentration is very important. Some memory technics are needed

 

2.5 Training Methods

 

The following are methods of training that can be used: one-to-one, Mentoring, Lectures, Discussion groups, Panel discussion, Debates, Dialogue, Brain storming, Demonstration, In-basket exercises, Case Studies, Role Playing, Simulation, Assignment of projects, Entertainment/games, Self-directed learning, Personal development plan, Interactive video, Computer-based/progammed learning, Multimedia,

 

One-to-one: This is the best method because of the personal contact and interaction between trainer and trainee. It ensures immediate feed-back. It is however very expensive since it requires a trainer for every trainee and there are usually not enough trainers

 

Mentoring: Involves assigning a trainee to a senior and experienced leader or manager who in this case is called the mentor. The trainee works closely with the mentor usually as an assistant. Training is passive, the trainee observes and asks questions. The mentor may also point out special learning opportunities

 

Lectures: A lecture is a presentation by one trainer addressing several trainees in a classroom environment. Its advantages are:: logical presentation, broad coverage, and the trainer being  in control. The disadvantages if a lecture are: trainees are passive except during discussion at end,

 

Discussion groups: Trainees are divided into small groups to focus on discussing assigned topics. They may or may not report back to a plenary session

 

Panel discussion:  A panel of 3-5 subject matter experts makes short presentations and then answers questions from the floor. They may also exchange ideas about their separate presentations on points of agreement and disagreement

 

Debates: Two sides to an issue are presented and are defended by two debaters. Sometimes a debate can occur between teams of 2-4 debators. The trainees who are the audience may ask questions or make comments. The aim of the debators is to convince the audience that their views are correct

 

Dialog:  This method can be used in a one-to-one setting or could be carried out by 2 or more individuals in front of an audience of trainees.

 

Brain-storming: This is an open expression of various view-points. It involves listing ideas initially without having to screen them. After that discussions are held to sieve through them and conclusions are reached at the end

 

Demonstration: This is the best training method. It involves direct experiencing of  the skills being taught . Teaching by demonstration can occur in 4 different ways. (a) The trainer makes the action, explains, and the trainees observe (b) The trainees read the instructions while the trainer does the action (c) The trainer gives instructions while the trainee does the action (d) The trainees do the action and finish then the trainer gives feed-back at the end.

 

In-basket or in-tray exercises: Specific questions or topics are written on pieces of paper and participants are asked to pick the papers at random. They then speak on any topic chosen. The trainer and other participants may make comments or additions. This method can be fun. 

 

Case studies: The case-study method is a method for learning about a complex instance based on a comprehensive understanding of that instance obtained by extensive description and analysis of that instance taken as a whole and in context.

 

A case is a write-up of an actual real-life event or experience. It may have actually happened or may be a mere simulation. The trainees study and analyse the case and they have to answer some questions on understanding the events and proposing solutions to the problem or problems raised.

 

Case studies can be used in research and evaluation in addition to their use in training

 

Several types of case studies can be used: illustrative/descriptive, exploratory, critical instance, program implementation, program effects, and cumulative.

 

A word of caution is needed in the study of cases based on historical material. Our purpose is not to engage in specialised and detailed historical analysis. The historical material is used for illustration and learning purposes only. We can not pass final judgements on the decisions made in the past because we have the advantage of hindsight. Some of the decisions were made with knowledge that we may not have now such as revelation or contextual details that were not recorded .

 

Role-playing: A trainee is asked to play out an assigned role in a given situation. The trainer and other trainees then make their comments. 

 

Simulation: This method is similar to role-playing. A real-life situation is recreated and the reactions and behaviours of several people involved are observed and are critiqued. The method is best  used in crisis management training.

 

Assignment of projects:  Trainees can learn a lot from working on a practical project under guidance of the trainer. The project is presented at the end . The trainer and the other trainees have the opportunity to comment

 

Entertainment/games: A lot of learning for both young and adults can occur during activities that are normally considered entertainment. The informal atmosphere relaxes the trainee and helps internalisation. This method may not be appropriate for subjects that require a lot of concentration.

 

2.6 Training Opportunities

 

Training opportunities/occasions: The following are opportunities orsettings for training: workshops, Conferences, Seminars, and Camps

 

Workshops: A workshop involves discussions, exchange of views, solving problems or exercises by a group of 5-10 persons. It is usually used in conjunction with another training method, for example a lecture may be followed by a workshop session 

 

Conferences: A conference can be planned to include lectures, workshops, seminars, debates etc. A lot of learning at a conference arises from the interaction that occurs among many people of various backgrounds and experience.

 

Seminars:  A seminar, a smaller version of a conference, offers an opportunity for lectures, panel discussions, workshops, dialogue and debate.

 

Camps: Youths may find the camaraderie, informal and down to earth atmosphere of the camp very conducive to learning. Camps have also proved successful in training senior executives in areas like stress management, endurance, working with others etc

 

 

2.7 Structuring a presentation:

 

A presentation consists of 3 main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.

 

The introduction: The introduction is fast-paced, non-threatening, and audience-specific. It must have a subject-free ice-breaker, an opener related to the subject matter, statement of objectives / expectations, and preview of the training program,

 

The body: The body is the main part of the presentation and consists of the major learning facts to be taught

 

The Conclusion: The conclusion should be motivational, power-packed, and personal.  It is a summary and evaluation of the material covered. The conclusion should be linked to the introduction and an attempt should be made to indicate whether objectives stated at the beginning were achieved. The conclusion should also include a plan for implementation. The trainer should carefully plan to use the concluding remarks as an opportunity for a nice closure.

 

2.8 Questions

 

As a trainer you should ask questions in the course of the session. This gives you feed-back and also makes the participants attentive and more involved. Questions can also be used as a break.

 

The question must be about a relevant issue, it must be asked at the right time in the flow of the presentation so that it is not out of context, and you must ask the right person.

 

There are several ways of posing a question. It may be with a limitation eg "briefly describe...", hypothetical eg "If you were...", elicit a summary eg " ...

 

The question may be factual ie ask for specific information, classification and retrieval, or it may be interpretive ie evaluation and synthesis.

 

Avoid leading questions. They waste your time and do not contribute to the education of the trainee

 

When you are directing questions at particular individuals try to personalize them but do not make them personal.

 

Trainees should be given a chance to ask questions even during the progress of the lecture. You need not answer all of them. You may reframe them and ask other trainers to comment on them or even provide answers.

 

2.9 Discussions:

 

A discussion has three components: content, process, personalities, and participation.

 

Content is usually well done.

 

The process may have the following problems: diversion and involvement with extraneous matters, domination of the discussion by some members, some members being too quiet and uninvolved or not contributing, some members being too argumentative, some wandering into abstracts.

 

You have to understand the personalities of the discussants and how to deal with each one of them: fast thinkers, deliberative, abstract thinkers, concrete thinkers, listeners, talkers, non-talkers, empiricists, theoreticians, those who get attention, those who are ignored

 

You must ensure that everybody participates in the discussion. You may have to coerce by calling upon non-volunteers to contribute.  You however must do this with tact so that they do not become too anxious and fail to make their point. One technic is to ask them a question and then take 1-2 minutes making some comments around it so that they have time to put their thoughts together. Do not get into the tendency to always pick those who are aggressive and are the first to raise their hands.

 

2.9 Training Aids

 

A-V aids help understanding and retention of the material taught. They maintain trainee interest and prevent boredom

 

A-V aids are not an end in themselves. They can not be a substitute for well prepared and well researched material. They only help in making the presentation better

 

A visual image must be created in the mind of the trainer. The image should be describable in words. Then it is transferred in the form of A-V aids. A-V aids that do not reflect a clear and relevant mental image do not succeed in conveying the message

 

The following are types of A-Vs: Oral, Transparencies, Slides, Video and film strips, Pictures, Actual objects, and Computer screens

 

Oral A-Vs are sometimes neglected. A good description that brings a vivid image to the mind of the trainee is an excellent way of helping understanding. We need to emphasize oral/verbal A-Vs. Their imagery sticks more and they challenge the mind more.

 

It is a mistake for A-Vs to predominate. You should be speaking and interacting with the trainees for about 75% of the time. A-Vs are brought in at specific times to illustrate a point.

 

It is a mistake to base the whole presentation on a set of A-Vs so that you just keep putting them up, making short comments and moving on.

 

Audio-visuals must be big, bold, and simple

 

Plan the use of slides very well. Common problems are using too many and not being well synchronized with the rest of the material

 

A-Vs can be misused in the following ways: Making an impression without substance, A-Vs too visual, too stimulating the senses and not the addressing the mind, Too many A-Vs, Irrelevant A-Vs, A-Vs that do not add to what was explained orally

 

Evaluation of A-Vs: An evaluation should be made of A-Vs continuously. Successful ones should be continued while unsuccessful ones should be discontinued or modified

 

3.0 PLANNING AND EXECUTION

 

3.1 Training in organizational strategic plan

 

Training should be systematic and part of the strategic plan

 

3.2 Department of training

 

A big organisation may set up a separate department for training. This department does not consist of trainers. Its job is to plan and execute training programs. It calls upon part-time trainers to help each according to expertise.

 

3.3 Acknowledge need for training:

 

Acknowledging the need for training is the beginning of the training process. You must ask yourself some fundamental questions: do you have performance problems ?  are performance problems significant? what are the causes of the performance problems ? (4) what is needed to solve the problems?                                       

 

Performance problems may be due to deficient skills, poor attitudes, deficiency of resources, or a combination of these

 

Solving problems may require training to provide the missing skills. Sometimes approaches other than training are needed.

 

3.4 Assess training needs

 

Assessing training needs is establishing the gap between actual and expected.

 

Training needs are assessed empirically by systemic collection of data and its analysis.

 

Collect data using  performance reviews, assessing & testing of workers, human resource audit, review of strategic plans, review of critical incidents, questionnaire surveys, interviews, group discussions & brain-storming,  job analysis &  job evaluation (time-motion studies,  observation), and  research using national or industry statistics

 

Analyze data collected to identify specific  areas of deficiency

 

3.5 Prioritizing needs

 

Training needs identified above are not all of the same importance. Since resources are always limited, some prioritization is needed to identify the most important needs to start with.

 

Two criteria are used in prioritization:  cost of meeting need and cost of ignoring need

 

Cost of meeting the need may be so low that the necessary measures must be undertaken immediately. Sometimes the cost is so prohibitive that the problem is best ignored and in a practical sense it ceases to be a problem.

 

The cost of meeting a need should be contrasted with the cost of ignoring it. A performance problem costs the organization a lot in terms of work not performed or performed with mistakes.

 

Poorly done work has to be repeated or effort has to be expended in correcting mistakes.

 

3.6 Analyzing needs

 

This is a complete and detailed description of the training needs

 

Training needs identified as priorities must be described in detail: what are they, why they arise, how they arise, who is responsible etc

 

3.7 Ranking needs


Priority needs can not all be addressed at the same time. This may be due to resource constraints or to the fact there is a logical order in solving problems. Some have to be addressed as a pre-requisite for others

 

A list of criteria must be drawn up and must be used in ranking the needs

 

3.8 Describing profile of trainees:

 

Little progress can be made in planning a training program before determining who the trainees will be.

 

Description of trainee profile includes: age, work experience, previous training, awareness of short-comings, and attitude to training

 

3.9 Define objectives of the training

 

Each training program must have definite objectives. It is these objectives that must be used as criteria for evaluating the training

 

3.10 Determining contents of the training program

 

The syllabus of curriculum must be based on the training needs analysis, availability of training resources, and the trainee profile.

 

 

3.11 Choosing the training method

 

Choice of training method is determined by cost and results

 

The method of training chosen must be customized to the training needs and the trainee profile. Costs, expected results and the time required must also be considered

 

3.12 Plan evaluation

 

The evaluation must be planned at the same time as the training program.

 

Evaluation criteria must be based on results expected

 

3.13 Deciding the site of training

 

A decision must be made on whether training will be in-house or externally

 

In-house training is preferred if training resources are available since in-house trainers will be more familiar with the work situation

 

An external training facility sometimes is taken more seriously by the trainees. Going out may also be an incentive or a work benefit that workers appreciate a lot.

 

3.14 Budget

 

All direct and indirect costs must be carefully estimated with a reserve of 10-15% for unexpected expenses

 

3.15 Training plan document

 

All items discussed above must be summarized  in one document called the training plan or document

 

Finalize and get approval of training design document. It should show objectives, content, methodology, trainers, and budget.

 

3.16 Carrying out training

 

Training should be executed soon. Any delays in addressing performance problems is a loss to the organization. Problems may grow and get out of control to the extent that a different training program may have to be designed to address them.

 

3.17 Physical environment:

 

A training program that is well designed with talented trainers and motivated trainees may fail because of poor physical facilities

 

Check the following: enough space, lighting, access to board, access to PA equipment, comfortable seating

 

4.0 EVALUTION OF TRAINING PROGRAMS


4.1 What is evaluation?

 

Evaluation is establishing impact of the training program on the trainees and the organization as a whole

 

Evaluation is both a science and an art

 

Evaluation should be included in the training program plan

 

4.2 Purpose of evaluation:

 

Identify weaknesses for better future planning

 

Reassure and motivate workers

 

Reassure supporters and stake-holders

 

Assess impact of training on organizational performance

 

Assess impact of training on individual performance

 

4.3 Who evaluates:

 

Speaker or trainer

 

Participants or trainees

 

Outside experts (less biased and more objective)

 

Internal evaluators, and  supervisors

 

Evaluation may be by individuals or by committee

 

4.4 Who uses results of evaluation

 

Managers

 

Trainers

 

Stake-holders

 

Professional opinion

 

Instructor evaluation

 

4.5 Use of evaluation results

 

The results of evaluation should not be kept in a closet. There should be feed-back

 

4.6 Scope of evaluation

 

The following are evaluated: training session, speaker, trainees, program, and training material

 

Evaluation of the training session should generally cover the following: length, content, facilities, presentation, visual aids, trainer, cost, and overall benefit

 

Evaluation of trainees includes:  attitudes and behaviours, knowledge & learning, skills, reaction, practical results, meeting training objectives, and overall benefit.

 

Evaluation should also include an assessment of whether the results justify the investment made. The cost of not training can be computed and be compared with the cost of training. While evaluating a training program we have to remember that training is an investment with more long-term returns rather than short-term ones.

 

It is not enough for the trainee to learn all the material and to fulfil all the training requirements. There must be a definite impact on performance

 

4.7 Evaluation criteria

 

In preparing a training program, you must decide which criteria you will use to determine whether the program has been successful. You must be able to answer the question about the benefits of the program in the affirmative.

 

The evaluation criteria must be realistic, relevant, and quantifiable

 

4.8 Timing of evaluation:

 

The evaluation can be immediate, intermediate or long-term. The evaluation process should not interfere with normal working activities

 

4.9 Two approaches to evaluation

 

Process evaluation assesses the processes and mechanisms of the training with no regard to the results. A good process evaluation result does not imply good results since there are factors that could intervene to make the results less than desired.

 

Outcome evaluation looks only at the results. Correct interpretation of outcome evaluation requires the results of process evaluation

 

4.10 Types of evaluation

 

Evaluation of whether training objectives were achieved

 

Cost-effectiveness analysis

 

4.11 Methodology of evaluation

 

Evaluation must be of all stages and not just the end. Evaluate input, reaction, and outcome

 

The training program can be evaluated by use of performance indicators before and after the program

 

The scope of evaluation methodology includes: design, sample selection, data collection, data analysis

 

4.12 Evaluation design:

 

Single measurement

 

Repeated measurement in a prospective follow-up

 

Pre and post training testing

 

Use of a control group with/without pre and post assessment

 

4.13 Choosing a sample of trainees:

 

It is ordinarily not feasible to obtain evaluation information from all the trainees. A representative sample could suffice.

 

Samples can be drawn in the following ways:  random, stratified random, systematic random, cluster, and purposeful

 

The sample size should be as large as is practical

 

4.14 Types of data needed for evaluation:

 

Data may be hard (eg units of performance) or soft (satisfaction, attitudes, complaints). It may be qualitative or quantitative. It may be about performance or costs (cost-benefit analysis).  It may be existing data or data collected for the express purpose of evaluation.

 

4.15 Tools of data collection

 

Tests: written tests

 

Surveys by questionnaires: attitude surveys, post-training surveys

 

Simulation

 

On-site observation

 

Reports: productivity reports

 

4.17 Use of tests as a data collection tool:

 

Written tests are used to assess the following:  recall of information, understanding of ideas, application of knowledge, and analysis of complex information

 

Written tests are scored either by using pre-set criteria or by use of reference norms.

 

4.18 Use of questionnaires as a data collection tool

 

Design of questionnaires requires training and understanding.

 

Questionnaires have the advantages of being easy to administer and easy to analyze.

 

The disadvantages of questionnaires are: inherent bias due to self reporting,

 

Questionnaires are best used for qualitative data on feelings and attitudes

 

A variety of question formats may be used: open-ended, check-list, yes/no, true/false, multiple choice, ranking

 

You should take the following measures to use the questionnaire well: cover all major areas of training, restate the objectives before questions, give clear instructions, to ensure that each item should have one question and that the question format reflects the planned analytical method. You should pilot test the questionnaire and make modifications as necessary.

 

4.20 Methods of data collection

 

Qualitative: observation, interviews, focus groups, case studies, action plans, productivity reports, performance appraisal, attitude surveys, self-reflection. Quantitative: questionnaires or written tests

 

Observation:  An evaluator watches the trainee performance. Thus method has two sources of bias: subjectivity of the observer and observer effect. Observation can be subjective since the observer can not be completely objective when involved in the process. Pre-judgment may prejudice the observation. Presence of the observer affects result since the person tested performs differently when someone is watching than when no one is watching. The following measures can be taken to avoid the biases mentioned above: use of a video camera and analyzing the video tapes later and use of a check list (can be structured or unstructured )

 

Interviews: Can be informal conversations. Structured interviews follow a preset order of asking questions. Unstructured interviews are flexible and allow the interviewer to change questions, content and order, according to the feed-back received so far. Interviews assess feelings and attitudes. For best results, a question should not have more than one response. Encourage negative responses. Frame questions ie by providing a background to put the question in correct context. Ask for clarification where value judgments are made

 

Focus groups: This is interviewing small groups instead of one individual

 

Case studies: This is analysis of actual or simulated events. The trainee competence can be judged from ability to understand the case and provide appropriate solutions to problems. case studies are good "why" , "how" problems and  not good for "how many' "how much" problems.

 

Action plans: Action plans can be reviewed to see impact of training

 

Quantitative evaluation methods: Quantitative methods normally collect productivity in quantifiable terms. Quantitative methods can use questionnaires, written tests, or cost-benefit analysis. Quantitative methods can be pre or post tests. Analysis of quantitative data involves: summarizing data and establishing causal relations. Summarize data as statistics: histogram, mean, median, mode, standard deviation, correlation, statistical significance. Establish causal relation by hypothesis testing

 

4.22 Calculation of the cost of the training program:

 

The direct costs of the training program includes: personnel (trainers and assistants), training material, equipment, cost of hours lost from work, transport, meals

 

Calculation of the benefits of program: Benefits of the training program can be calculated as savings in the work place as a result of the training program. This requires pre and post training data.

 

Savings can be realized in the following: material, time, equipment, and personnel turnover

 

4.23 Structure of the evaluation report

 

The evaluation reports should consist of the following sections: background,  research questions,  methodology ,  findings,  conclusions / recommendations, and attachments

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. May 1997