Ok wrap it up- and yes it’s been a long one.
My background is Project Management, so I’m going to explain it using some project speak.
Very shortly: there are 2 ways to estimate duration:
Absolute: a specific time interval is provided- such as the training will take 12 days.
Relative: a comparative estimate is generated based upon past experience; for example Sarah will be able to complete the course twice as fast as Sam.
As humans we basically suck at generating absolute estimations and you’ll find we in fact use relative estimates based upon our past experiences- and with enough experience we’re pretty good at those.
Were they conclusive (absolute) or did you use a point of reference.
No marks- If they were absolute. Everyone is different and will learn at a different pace.
Part marks go to those who stated that Sarah could just RPL, Sam would take an intensive course and Amy- well bless, we should really think about Amy’s ability to meet the underpinning language, literacy and numeracy requirements of the qualification prior to even enrolling her. If believed to be achievable maybe a program of longer duration.
Full marks. To those who stated, “as long as is needed to be able to provided demonstrated evidence against all of the criteria” or something less wanky.
A good way to construct a program is to identify your target market and base the duration on the average duration they would require to absorb the key parts. Remembering that training is not limited to the workshop, make an allowance to assist those who may require additional time outside the workshop, this can be through one one one coaching, small groups or even setting activities for them to complete in their workplaces. These strategies will allow for you as a trainer to focus on the critical parts of your content and support your other learners on a needs basis.
So in short, at the end of a long article, the duration of training should be relative to the gaps between your learners and the outcomes required. In this education model if someone is already working at an acceptable level- work with them to gather the evidence to achieve the qualification, don’t put them in the class with Amy- someone will get angry.
What are some of your strategies used to determine the duration of your sessions?