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Essentials of Evidence-Based Training

Sort the facts from the hype on many of training’s best practices.

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About 130 billion dollars are invested annually in U.S. workforce learning, but how much return is realized on that investment? Is your organization using instructional methods and designs based on valid research evidence, or on opinion and precedence?

In this program, you’ll learn the evidence behind teaching to different learning styles, managing cognitive load imposed during learning, and the latest productive engagement methods. The program includes practice exercises as well as a discussion of emerging research on recent methods such as games and simulations. 

In short, you will learn what methods are proven most effective and the reasons why in terms of how our memories work.

  • Online3 sessions, 4.5 hours total
  • OnsiteFlexible dates & duration

Dates & Locations

Live Online

Feb 05-09, 2018

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Live Online

May 14-18, 2018

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Live Online

Aug 06-10, 2018

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Live Online

Nov 05-09, 2018

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Program Overview

Program Overview

We often make decisions about instructional materials that are informed by fads or fables instead of by facts. This program will provide a succinct summary of the latest evidence on the most effective instructional methods. We will review summaries of relevant experiments, their results, and the reasons for the results. You’ll review these cases with a focus on working and long-term memory function, and take examples of the best evidence-based practices in workforce learning back to the job.

In the first session, we will review evidence on learning styles to determine whether our investment and promotion of learning styles is based on fact or fiction. We will then review research on the use of visuals for learning that includes:

  • the benefits of visuals 
  • who benefits most from visuals 
  • what kinds of visuals depress learning and what kinds accelerate learning 
  • evidence on the use of still versus animated visuals. 

We will also review evidence on how best to explain visuals with either text, audio, or a combination of both.

In the second session, we will review some of your own examples of visuals and then participate in several short demonstrations to illustrate the features and relationships of working memory and long-term memory. We will relate these to three forms of cognitive load and discuss your role in optimizing cognitive load during training.

Engagement is the focus of the last session. We will distinguish between physical and psychological engagement and review evidence for methods that promote engagement, including personalization of training materials, use of avatars in e-learning, best practices in design and placement of practice exercises, and games and simulations.

What to Expect:
  • Technical Requirements: This program is conducted in the WebEx Training Center. Special software is not required. You only need a standard web browser and telephone or VoIP capability to participate. In addition, it is strongly recommended to use a desktop or laptop computer as using a tablet or phone severely limits your ability to fully and actively participate in the program.  
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

By the end of this program, you will be able to:

  • Distinguish between fact and myth regarding learning styles, and the relationship between learner course ratings and actual learning.
  • Apply evidence on the following questions:
    • Is learning better from visuals, from text, or a combination?
    • Who benefits most from visuals?
    • What kinds of visuals can deter learning?
    • What kinds of visuals promote learning?
    • Is learning better from animations or from still visuals?
    • Is it better to explain a visual with text, audio narration, or both?
  • Apply evidence on how the brain works during learning based on:
    • the features of working memory and the relationship with long-term memory
    • three forms of cognitive load during learning.
  • Assess your training materials for sufficient and appropriate engagement in the following ways:
    • psychological vs. physical engagement
    • engagement and personalization of materials
    • making examples engaging
    • four evidence-based principles on practice during learning.
  • Review emerging evidence on games.


  • Topic 1 - Evidence-Based Learning
  • Topic 2 - The Psychology of Learning
  • Topic 3 - in Learning
Who Should Attend

Who Should Attend

This program can benefit any training professional responsible for design, development, or delivery of training lessons who would like to evaluate their materials based on evidence-based guidelines. If you are familiar with your training programs, you can bring examples to review and to share with the class as well as to evaluate via checklists of evidence-based methods.
Credits & Attendance

Credits & Attendance

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Earn .45 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon successfully completing this program. Learn More

CPLP© Recertification Points

This program may be eligible for up to 4.5 CPLP recertification points. Learn more at

Attendance Policy

Participation in all online sessions at their originally scheduled day and time is mandatory to receive completion for the program. Participants who fulfill this attendance requirement will see their completion status reflected on their transcript in the ATD Learning Portal and will receive an email verifying their completion of the program. If you must miss a session, all sessions will be recorded and available in the Learning Portal for participants to review throughout the program.

To view our transfer and cancellation policies, please click here

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