Designing for Learning

The need

Practical ideas and strategies for maximising learning from training

As professional learning practitioners, our credibility and reputation depend on our ability to produce relevant learning from training, and to do so efficiently. This is the very least we must deliver, for ntime and money.

To achieve this requires a solid understanding of practical design techniques that can be used when formally developing programs and to ‘design on the run’. The latter is especially important since every facilitator needs design skills.

Program format

The program consists of four phases:


Workshop content

The Designing for Learning program is based on unique research conducted by Professor Sylvia Downs at the Industrial Training Research Unit at Cambridge, and subsequently at the Occupational Research Unit at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology.

Her initial focus was on identifying ways to help individuals improve their learning, especially to cope with change in the workplace. Sylvia subsequently investigated why some trainers were more effective than others and what factors were blocking learning. Based on her research, she developed highly practical models and techniques that simplify training design and maximise learning.

Key components of the workshop include:

  • The need for trainers to ‘trigger’ specific learning processes.
  • The Input-Process-Output Model of training methods.
  • Key criteria for selecting appropriate methods of training.
  • How to match training methods to what needs to be learnt.
  • A simple yet highly effective method for gathering ideas from a group.
  • How to improve the predictability of learning outcomes.
  • Practical ways of increasing learner engagement and retention
  • Seven ‘Keys to Understanding’ (types of questions).
  • Techniques for helping people learn procedures and processes.
  • Analysis of learning activities to identify key design features.
  • How training can inadvertently block learning and how to avoid this

Who will benefit?

Anyone responsible for procuring, designing, delivering, recommending or evaluating training.

The program will benefit:

  • Instructional Designers
  • Training/Learning Facilitators
  • L&D and Human Resource Managers
  • Subject matter experts who are involved in training design/delivery
  • In-company change agents who design and facilitate change interventions.


Designing for Learning is loaded with take-home value. You will receive research findings, innovative concepts, new methods, useful examples, shared insights, practical models/tools, and sample materials. and more.

The program provides a ‘hands-on’ understanding of how to design and deliver training that is impactful, enjoyable, and effective – training that leverages-up learning for maximum effect. It will stimulate and challenge your thinking about training and provide you with proven techniques that guarantee learning.

This will enable you to:

  • Deliver greater benefits and value from training.
  • Provide a more effective service to key stakeholders.
  • Better support strategic initiatives, e.g. the creation of a learning culture.
  • Strengthen the role and credibility of training/development programs.

If you’re keen to sharpen your skills… to deliver more effective training… to be operating at the leading edge… this is the program you’ve been looking for! It’s a great investment in personal and professional development.

The Institute’s strategic imperative is to improve the effectiveness and value of learning and development. We provide world-class professional development for learning practitioners, and work with organisations and individuals to get better results from learning initiatives.

This has been one of the very few workshops that I have left feeling that application (back at work) was built into the workshop and is not going to be a barrier. The days have absolutely flown

The workshop content was clear and easy to understand. There are heaps of examples to take away, which can be used immediately (many courses/seminars don’t provide actual tools – only the theory).