April 2023
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Friday, March 31, 2023

Models get to observable behaviors for L&D solutions.

Job aids, templates, and checklists—those are some of talent development professionals' most-valued assets, both to use and give to learners. Another valuable resource is models. In "5 Models for Data-Driven Learning," Kristin Torrence describes the competency, evidence, task, learner, and pedagogical models that learning designers can use to strategically identify and collect data to support learners.


L&D professionals can use models to break down competencies to observable behaviors that individuals must perform on the job to be successful. They can then use that information to create deliverables for their clients.

Here are some common L&D needs and how models can help.

Learning pathways. An L&D professional asked to create a learning pathway for a newly established position can tap a competency model to gain clarity regarding what skills an employee must have. They also can develop a future learning program for the employee based on targeted competencies.


Training needs. A learning designer tasked with auditing training materials can use a competency model to identify gaps in those materials and determine what training content is needed. They can map development solutions to competencies and assess which competencies training programs or development resources don't meet.

Certifications or credentials. When developing evaluation criteria for a certification or credential, an L&D professional can use a model to identify competencies and the observable behaviors to measure. They can then align the certification exam questions accordingly.

These tips were adapted from the April 2023 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at td.org/TDatWork.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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