Training Lesson Plan Templates: Design vs. Delivery

A lesson plan is an essential tool in designing a high quality learning experience.  When it comes to delivering a high quality learning experience, you may need something a little different.

I recently wrote a post about this free lesson plan template (click here to read that post; click here to download the lesson plan template).

02042013 - Lesson Plan

If you tend to use PowerPoint or other visual aids to guide your delivery, it’s not always convenient to try to flip back and forth between your lesson plan and your slides.  Making a few modifications to this lesson plan format can help to make your delivery smoother.  Here is an example of a way to combine your visual aids with your lesson plan in order to ensure nothing falls by the wayside as you facilitate and advance through your visual presentation (click here if you’d like to download a full-sized sample).

 Modified Lesson Plan - 9

What are some of your tips and strategies to ensuring a smooth delivery?

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17 thoughts on “Training Lesson Plan Templates: Design vs. Delivery

  1. Hi Brian. I tend to differentiate between training and education. Education usually uses lesson plans which essentially add detail to a segment of a curriculum which is outlined in a rubrick. In training I’ve been instructed on the use of a plan of instruction which outlines the objectives and methodologies of a program of instruction. The detail of a program of instruction is then found in an instructor’s guide.

    I think one of the primary reasons for the distinction between the two is that in education the curriculum is delivered over a number of sessions which may require a number of changes based upon evaluation of participant progress, which allows for a lesson plan to be modified before delivery of the next lesson. In training the curriculum is usually delivered continuously and doesn’t allow much room for changes.

    • Thanks for the comments, Tim. I always go back and forth on how to use different words – education, training, learning, presentations, etc. I absolutely agree with your points. I’ve been on a bit of a crusade recently to move away from the idea of training as an event (1-time, continuous delivery) and move more towards a process (perhaps closer to the term “education” that you’re using – through pre-work, webinars/in-person combos, follow-up, etc.). All that said, there are times when a 1-time event is all we can get (new hire orientation, conference presentations, guest speaking appearances, etc.) and the “lesson plan template” I’ve posted is generally more for organizing thoughts and design ideas around those 1-time events. Of course, if the session will be delivered on more than one occassion, the idea of a better laid out instructor’s guide is definitely the way to go.

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  4. I use sticky notes during each training session to record what I actually did on each page of the handout/leader’s guide. Even though I have a flow created for the class, shift happens! By staying flexible and attuned to my participants, I often make changes in the moment. The sticky notes allow me to capture the ideas and I can then move them to other pages, if necessary.

    • Having sticky notes handy at any and all times is probably essential for presenters! I had a colleague who used to take detailed notes right on the lesson plan (because, as you say, shift indeed does happen). She recently left the organization, so I’m going to have to do my own note taking going forward, but you’re absolutely right, it is so important to make notes in the moment. It doesn’t help when you take out the lesson plan after six months or a year and think: you know, I remember we changed this activity up a bit last time and it worked really well… But just what was it that we changed up?!

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  12. Thanks for the pointers, Brian. I use a similar rubric to organize my thinking during design, and to keep on track during development. Mine has a 4th column for which learning objective I’m targeting in a given segment. That’s the part that keeps me on track to deliver a learning experience that does what I set out to do, or tells me that it’s time to revise the objectives.

    • Thanks Peg. I love that fourth column… honestly it’s one of the things that I overlook too often: has what I’ve ultimately designed aligned with the original learning objectives. When you start tinkering with a session and developing a lesson plan over the course of several days or weeks, it’s so easy to lose sight of the original learning objectives. Your fourth column suggestion would certainly help keep a designer to be faithful to the objectives!

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