Section 6.1: Lesson Plans

Analita Nand; Amanda Kooner; Darren Chen; Karen Lally; and Sonia Kahlon

Once a training program has been designed, the trainer needs to create an effective lesson plan. The lesson plan is the blueprint that outlines the activities and a step-by-step breakdown of what will take place in the training session. A lesson is a cohesive unit of instruction with a specific learning objective. A good lesson should be prepared in advance of a training program and should be detailed enough so that any trainer can use it to guide themselves through the program.

Some of the things that should be listed in the lesson plan are the training objectives, time allocated for learning modules, supplies and handouts. The detailed lesson plan for each lesson should indicate the activities that will occur during the lesson as well as what the trainer and trainees will be doing and when they will be doing it. Developing a lesson plan is a critical phase in the design of a training program and it allows for the smooth operation of training activities.

There are seven steps and activities to carry out consider when delivering training: (Source: HRMT 3265 Online Handout).

  1. Develop a lesson plan
  2. Choose a trainer
  3. Decide on the trainees (who should attend the training)
  4. Determine the training materials and equipment required
  5. Prepare the training site
  6. Schedule the training
  7. Facilitate the training
(Kraken Images, 2020)

Effective Training Methods

Effective training methods can consist of:

  • Case studies, games, internships, job rotations, job shadowing, and lectures
  • Mentoring and apprenticeship and role modeling/behavior modeling
  • Role playing, simulation, stimulus-based training, team training, and discussions (Source: HRMT 3265 Online Handout)

Effective Trainers and Trainees


Trainers should be well versed in the platforms they use to deliver the training. In many situations, technological issues can arise, and employees may have trouble accessing or navigating the platform. In these unforeseen circumstances, a trainer should possess the knowledge needed to troubleshoot these issues. An effective trainer has effective communication skills and is highly organized in their delivery of content. A trainer should structure their lesson and organize their materials to illustrate the lesson in the clearest way.

It is important for trainers to research current methodology and train employees in the most current ways. An effective trainer is also enthusiastic about the type of training being delivered. With their passion for the training, they are able to connect the training to its application to the workplace. Lastly, an effective trainer seeks opportunities to improve the delivery of their training. While recognizing that each training session is an opportunity to improve their delivery, they also value the learners’ feedback and apply it to future lessons.

Learning Styles

Each employees has their own learning style and so the trainer must be able to adapt content to make it suitable for a specific learning style. While some learners require independent learning resources, others may prefer a hands-on approach. This also applies to assessing trainees in ways that fit their learning styles. Without the component of assessment, learners and trainers would not have measurable tools to use to evaluate the progress of a learner. Assessments help the learner see what they have accomplished, and with an effective assessment tool, the learner can see the skills they have gained from the training. Learning is dynamic not only in terms of the differences in learning styles but also in the content being taught and its delivery. Training is often required as a result of advancements and changes, an organization, company or industry.


Along with an effective trainer, a motivated trainee/learner is crucial to effectively delivering training. A motivated employee will be eager to gain skills from the training and apply them to their workplace. The VARK model features four types of learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. When a trainee is self-aware of the method of learning that works best for them, they will be more likely to advocate for that type of delivery.

Gagne’s Nine Events

Created in 1965 by Robert Gagné, this series of events is associated with and addresses the mental conditions for learning (NIU, 2020). They are the following:

  1. Gain the attention of the students – ensure that learners are engaged and ready to participate through the presentation of a stimulus.
  2. Inform students of the objectives – ensure that learners are informed of objectives and outcomes for the course to help them understand expectations. This should be done prior to the start of the instruction.
  3. Stimulate recall for prior learning – ensure that there is an opportunity for students to relate to previous knowledge and experience. This will help connect and make sense of new information.
  4. Present the content – ensure that content is provided strategically to make it more effective. This could involve the organization and grouping of content in meaningful ways. Additionally, explanations should be given after demonstrations.
  5. Provide learning guidance – ensure that learners are aware of strategies to help aid them in learning the content. Additionally, any resources available should be provided to the students so they can learn effectively on their own.
  6. Elicit performance (practice) – ensure that students are able to apply what they have learned. This will help reinforce new skills and knowledge while confirming the correct understanding of the training concepts.
  7. Provide feedback – ensure that timely feedback is provided to the students for their performance. This will allow learners to identify their gaps in understanding.
  8. Assess performance – ensure there is testing to assess whether the expected learning outcomes have been achieved.
  9. Enhance retention/transfer – ensure that there is help for learners to retain more information. This can be achieved by providing opportunities to connect course concepts with real-world applications.
(Dmitry Ratushny, 2017)

These nine events can help instructors build a framework to prepare and deliver instructional content. According to NIU, Gagné’s nine events can be used in conjunction with Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy to design engaging and meaningful instruction (2020). Trainers should apply Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction to their training program by using it as a rubric to evaluate the program design. The following questions can be asked: Does this gain the attention of the students? Are the objectives clear? Are there opportunities to connect prior learning? Is this an effective presentation of the content? How will the students’ learning process be guided and facilitated? Does this training session offer an opportunity to practice what is learned? What is the feedback portion? How will performance be assessed? These questions will help the trainer craft an effective training program.


Technological advancements have improved the training process and training delivery to benefit organizations in many ways. Technology offers ease of use, breaks information down, facilitates learning retention, reinforces learning, and reduces the impact on productivity. Training can be provided through:

  • PowerPoint slides
  • YouTube videos/audio
  • Gamification of scenarios
  • Adaptive learning by participants learning at their own pace

Using different training methods with technology helps in understanding what does and does not work. Each trainee learns in a different way. Some trainees may prefer watching videos over PowerPoint slides to understand the material better. Helping the workforce become more technologically advanced creates a competitive advantage through implementing updated technologies and systems.

The most significant challenge reported in a 2013 survey was that of getting learners to take online courses. The most frequently reported reason for the failure of online learning programs was the paradigm itself – many employees consider Internet learning slow, boring, and of limited value (Beach, 2016). More recently, employees had to deal with online learning with no classroom and no social interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, HR practitioners can effectively use technology to improve employee training to make it more engaging and memorable.


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People Learning and Development Copyright © by Analita Nand; Amanda Kooner; Darren Chen; Karen Lally; and Sonia Kahlon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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