Assisted Delivery: Guidance On Implementation

man standing beside desk
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

In our last blog we discussed the advantages of Assisted Delivery as a training format that ‘self-delivers’ in the same way as E-learning – but is structured in a way that allows a facilitator to dip in and get involved, either leading on particular topics or convening group interactions to encourage social learning and deeply embed new knowledge.

So, what are our top tips for successfully implementing Assisted Delivery?

1. Choose your facilitators wisely

As with traditional face-to-face training, the skills and experience of the trainer is key. However, unlike traditional training, leading Assisted Delivery training does not necessarily require subject specific knowledge.  Instead, the person running the course requires facilitation skills rather than subject matter expertise.  Therefore, a strong team leader or line manager with basic presentation and facilitation skills could comfortably deliver an Assisted Delivery course.  The course materials themselves will cover the subject specifics in depth, with the facilitator’s role being to guide the trainees in their group discussions, enabling them to benefit from social interaction within a learning group.

2. Carefully structure the course

To allow facilitators to get an ‘aerial view’ of the course and understand where the opportunities for class discussions are stored, Assisted Delivery works best with a tightly controlled course structure and content.  Be clear on the topics you want to cover, at what point in the programme you want to cover them, and where trainees might pause for group discussion.

We recently used Assisted Delivery for an international sales programme.  A particular aim of the programme was the implementation of a globally-consistent approach to sales.  However, it was recognised that some practices must be attenuated for specific markets and local cultures.  Assisted Delivery allowed the sales managers to apply local emphasis at particular points in the course whilst also ensuring that the core content was delivered in an accurate and timely manner.

3. Support your facilitators

Although one of the key benefits of Assisted Delivery is that your trainers do not need in-depth subject specific knowledge; they still need support.  Developing and providing detailed delivery notes for facilitators is therefore crucial to success.  Furthermore, peer support outside of the classroom can also provide a much-needed chance to ask questions and refine the approach.  For one project we found setting up a discussion forum for the facilitators was useful.  They actively used it for sharing experiences and FAQs.

4. Encourage feedback from trainees

OK, so we’re not advising anything revolutionary here…but we are highly recommending you seek feedback from training delegates to see what they thought of the Assisted Delivery training: Did everything link together well?; Was the overall structure easy to follow?; Did you benefit from group interaction?; What would be useful next time?

Assisted Delivery: An Overlooked Training Method?

@RebrandCities

As night follows day – people need training.  It’s what helps us to do our jobs safely, secure much sought-after promotions, develop career paths and even just gets us around an unfamiliar worksite unharmed…

But before we sing its praises too heavily, let us also be brutally honest, good (and even bad) training can come at a high cost – both in terms of expense, as well as time spent by the trainer and trainee.

So, what training formats are typically on offer?  We’re all familiar with traditional Face-to-Face learning, it offers the chance for experienced trainers to impart their subject matter expertise to a room full of knowledge hungry students.  In the last 20 years or so we’ve also seen a boom in E-learning, allowing knowledge to be shared with larger audiences at a fraction of the cost and independent of time or location constraints.

More recently, there is the much-touted Blended Learning, which merges traditional face-to-face classroom style teaching with E-learning packages, providing a highly effective means of sharing knowledge in different formats at the convenience of both trainer and trainee.

However, one mechanism is often overlooked: Assisted Delivery.

Assisted Delivery provides a course which ‘self-delivers’ in the same way as an E-learning course – with voice-over, graphics, video segments – but provides the opportunity for the facilitator to jump in, where confident to do so, and lead group interactions around particular video clips, diagrams, or case studies, etc.

We used Assisted Delivery when we developed a rail industry training course on the topic of Safety Critical Communications.  The course needed to address around 40,000 front line staff across multiple rail organisations – and there was no way we could have delivered the training to so many people through a traditional face-to-face course alone.  Yet at the same time, it was critical that we applied industry-wide protocols to often unique local situations.

By using Assisted Delivery we were able to place an in-depth 6-module course into the hands of local company managers who could then deliver the course with confidence at a time and frequency which suited the business.  Each of the individual learning groups were able to discuss the content, benefiting from the associated peer interaction and ‘social learning’, as well as apply the learning to their own specific local circumstances.

Assisted Delivery is not a universal panacea, but it is worth considering as a valuable part of your training portfolio.