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Post-Training Review Checklist: Don’t Let Your Trainers Sink

Sink or swim is a terrible learning strategy... but it's the approach that too many instructional designers and trainers take by not providing post-session follow-up tools.

I spent this past weekend at my daughter’s swim meet in Wenatchee, WA (which is the Apple Capital of the World!).

It was one of the first meets I’ve been able to attend. After her first race, I saw her grab her towel and walk toward where I was sitting in the bleachers. I wasn’t sure she knew exactly where I was sitting, so I stood up and made my way toward the pool deck. Then she stopped. It dawned on me she wasn’t walking to meet me.

What she did is what every person who attends a training program or professional development session should be doing.  

I realized that after each race, every swimmer on the team walked up to their coach in order to debrief the race.


The coach would share observations on the swimmer’s kick or stroke or breathing cadence.

How Do We Speed Up Learning?

Recently I was in a meeting in which a prospective client asked: how do we speed up the learning? My response: it takes supervisor support before and after the training program in order to speed up the learning. Otherwise, the learners are left to sink or swim.

Just like the swimmers on my daughter’s team, our learners need immediate feedback and support after they’ve tried to apply their new skills or knowledge in a real-world setting.

Unlike the swim team set-up, it’s not always possible for the people who train our learners (you and me) to also observe them in a real-world setting and provide immediate feedback. To make up for this, we can design checklists and other tools to help supervisors provide that support following our sessions.

Several weeks ago I shared this Self-Review Checklist & Supervisor Review Checklist in a blog post:

Transfer - Self-review

Transfer - Peer-Review

What other ways have you found to engage supervisors following a presentation or training session? I’d love to read about other ideas in the comment section!

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