Worst Training I Ever Attended

During a training session today we were discussing “the worst training I ever attended.”

For us, it was a 4-day training course we were auditing for a “training triage” project. In training triage, we help organizations to figure out why their training isn’t working. In this case there were a number of factors:

The training was designed and delivered by an SME (typically this equals too much information)

The training was intended to teach people to DO something (psychomotor skills) yet it was all lecture (teaching them ‘about’ stuff, but not how to ‘do’ stuff)

The participant guide was 70 pages, single spaced, text. There was absolutely no way to find anything in the guide, if you needed to

It contained a lot of information that was fascinating to the SME / instructor but made no difference to the learner (for instance, he explained how the tables in the software did their parsing, when really, what the learners needed to know was whether they were to press enter or tab)

They were given a test at the end of the training (which most of them flunked, which is why we were called in to figure out what was going wrong) which asked them to demonstrate what they had just learned (but there was never any practice exercises, so really, taking the test was the first time they had an opportunity to “do” the job)

Finally, there were 4 different trainers teaching the content, but there was no leader guide. So each instructor did it his or her way, teaching what s/he felt was the most important.

What is the worst training YOU’VE ever attended – and why?