Where Training Design Goes Wrong


I am preparing to teach an online curriculum design course. This prompted me to look for reasons why some training projects lead to ineffective training programs.

I found 35 reasons. Here they are without a specific rating:

Incorrect training reasons;
The wrong target group;
Unclear goals;
Incorrect content;
Wrong method;
The desired level of training is not specified;
Learning activities cannot reach the desired level of learning;
Strong reliance on lectures and PowerPoint;
Provides all learning content for PowerPoint slides;
Lack of specific, observable and measurable learning objectives;
Disconnect between goals and learning activities
Excessive dependence on one or a number of learning activities;
Does not take into account different educational levels or preferences;
The focus is on the trainer, not the trainee;
Not knowing that skills development and attitude change programs require a different format;
Not knowing that skills development and attitude change programs require different levels of learning and different learning objectives;
The focus is on content, not how learners learn;
Ignoring students to show what they have learned;
Not recognizing negative transference and interrupting it;
He accepted that all things could be taught the same way;
Too much training content/activities for deadlines;
Dominant amount of information;
Content that is not relevant to students;
Does not include the opportunity to get student purchases;
Does not include a review of activities to understand learning;
There is no logical flow;
No transitions;
Unrealistic about students’ current level of knowledge;
It does not build on what the learner already knows;
Does not include real-life situations that are familiar to students;
Using terms and abbreviations that are not known to students;
It focuses on theory rather than practice;
Ignoring company culture;
Do not hold participants accountable for learning; and finally,
It’s not done yet – the coach doesn’t have a lesson plan.


Are there any other pitfalls I missed?
When I teach curriculum design, I take pride in showing educators how to apply a practical, proven, and painless lesson design process that enables them to anticipate, avoid, and overcome each of these potential pitfalls.

Some of these reasons are obviously philosophical. I strongly support participatory training, so the lack of the necessary components for participation is on my list.

Some of the reasons relate to learning design steps that are consciously or unconsciously missed. For example, a good needs assessment will help the training designer avoid a number of these problems.

Some of the reasons are related to the students’ lack of awareness to bring their knowledge and skills into the classroom. Your existing knowledge and skills can be an advantage or a barrier to the effectiveness of the training program.

Some of the reasons are due to ignorance about how the brain works and how this affects the learner’s ability to learn and retain information.

Some of the reasons are due to limited knowledge about the nature, scope, and unlimited variety of participatory learning activities.

However, most of the reasons can be traced back to the lack of a logical and comprehensive lesson design process.