Curriculum Planning/Environment Analysis

Looking at the Environment: edit


Learning Environment Analysis edit

Good training requires details about the optimum environment for training. Training plans should differentiate between environmental aspects that are necessary and aspects that are optional for training success. The following topics are important factors to consider in any environmental analysis. Training planners should use the questions provided as guidelines for describing the required training environment, and for gathering relevant information about the facilities that will be available. (You will probably find it useful to organize your information into a succinct “Learning Environment Profile,” in a notebook or digital file.)

The best way for planners to get accurate information about the required training environment is to interview subject matter experts and trainers. The best way to assess the facilities available is to interview individuals who have first-hand knowledge about the training location.

Of course, if you are able to interview members of the target learner audience directly, you will undoubtedly discover variation in at least some of the answers. Your Learner Profile may describe a typical member of the target learner audience, but be sure to indicate the degree of variation within the group.

Note: In most cases, not all questions will be answered for any given learning environment! Aim for answers to as many questions as you can get.

1. Training meta-environment

  • Geography, location/address: Where will the training be conducted: name of city, community, region, etc.?
  • Transportation to/from training: Will learners require transportation to and from the training? If so, how will this be accomplished?
  • Accommodation requirements: Will learners require accommodation during the training? If so, how will this be arranged? If this is residential training, how will the residential experience be used to complement the training?
  • Access to food and water: Will food and water be available on-site or must these be catered/arranged?
  • If training must be delivered remotely/online: what access to learners have to internet delivery? Do they have computers at home? Do they all have (and use) mobile phones?

2. Training micro-environment

  • Learning environment familiar to this audience: What kind(s) of training environments (classrooms, field stations, etc.) are the learners already familiar with? What will they be expecting for this training session?
  • Size, suitability of classroom, lab, field station, etc.: What is the optimum training environment for this training? What options will be available?
  • Environmental controls: lighting, acoustics, temperature, protection from elements: What environmental controls are necessary for a satisfactory training experience? Which ones are optional?
  • Supplementary facilities (e.g. kitchen, childcare, washrooms): What additional facilities will be needed to make this training session a success?
  • Security: How will the training environment be secured? Can materials be left in the training space when learners are elsewhere? How will expensive equipment (projector, computer) be secured? Is this a safe environment for learners?
  • If training must be delivered remotely/online: Will a learning management system (LMS or VLE) be used? Will synchronous online venues be used? Are learners already familiar with these? Will technology support be available to learners who encounter problems?

3. Infrastructure and technology (for on-site delivery)

  • Electrical power: What kind of access to electricity is required? Will there be interruptions in the availability of electricity? Will battery or backup power be available if needed?
  • Cellular (mobile) access: is mobile phone use supported here? Will mobiles be involved in the training?
  • Internet/wifi access: Will access to the internet be required? What kind of connectivity (wired network or wifi) is required/available? How strong is the connection? Do interruptions in connectivity occur often?
  • Educational equipment (blackboards, whiteboards, projectors etc.): What educational equipment is required? Which items are optional?
  • Technical training equipment: What additional equipment (machinery, technology, medical equipment etc.) is required? Which items can be brought in to the site and which ones should be provisioned locally?

4. Mitigating risks

  • Which aspects of the training environment are more or less guaranteed? Which ones are less dependable or unknown (e.g. electricity, internet or cellular connectivity, security)? Do you have backup plans in place?

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