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ATD Blog

Audience. Objectives. Chunk It Up!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

I think we all agree that 2020 forced a lot of change to training solutions in a quick and reactionary manner. Did anyone not convert hundreds of instructor-led training (ILT) to virtual ILT on the fly?

As 2021 progresses, it’s more important than ever to create and provide great learning to your employees. It’s also time to step back and be thoughtful about how this happens so your employees develop new skills, improve their performance, and drive results for your organization.

It’s all about finding the right blend of solutions through job aids, e-learning, and ILT. Here are three simple steps to help you.

Step One: Consider Your Audience

First, you need to consider demographics about your audience including age, education, reading level, and experience. You should also consider some of the critical aspects of design thinking such as:

  • The context in which your audience operates
  • Their frustrations, challenges, and pain points
  • How they work
  • Their feelings

You need to observe your audience, talk with them, and empathize with them.


Step Two: Craft Your Learning Objectives

Second, you need to craft your learning objectives. Ask yourself:

  • If I want to improve performance, how will I get people there?
  • What do learners need to learn?
  • Do they need to learn to design a truck or paint a truck?
  • Do they need to learn to list the characteristics of a good performance discussion or conduct a performance discussion?

These are all different objectives, and you’ll most likely teach them in various ways.


Step Three: Chunk It Up!

This step is where it starts to get a little analytical and a bit messy. To “chunk it up,” you’ll need to:

  • Select the best delivery method to address each learning objective.
  • Figure out the learning chunks.
  • Sequence the chunks.
  • Determine the duration of each chunk.

Now, don’t you love this approach? It’s not really so hard, and there’s no better time to revisit your learning and get to a great blend!

Want to learn more? Join me during the ATD 2021 International Conference & Exposition for the session Improve Employee Performance With a Great Blend.

About the Author

Lisa Toenniges is the CEO of Innovative Learning Group, a company she founded in 2004. A dynamic and respected leader, Lisa has over 30 years of experience in the performance improvement industry and has consulted with many Fortune 1000 companies about their learning and performance strategies and solutions.

Lisa has a master’s degree in instructional technology from Wayne State University. She’s also a Certified Performance Technologist endorsed by ISPI.

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Simple is good!!
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Excellent article, Lisa! I like the simplicity. Thank you!
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Lisa- you don't realize how timely this article is for me :) I was creating a lesson for my students on the best objectives to create learning objectives.
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