There are many advantages to buying ready to use, customizable training materials that you can download immediately.
Consider, for example, the fact that all the hard work of researching the topic, putting together a lesson plan and designing the materials has already been done for you. So, you can focus on delivering the training.
When you buy customizable training materials, there a number of things I recommend you check if you are seeking to offer quality training.
So in this post, I have brought together a list of 10 criteria that you should consider when buying off-the-shelf customizable training packages.
1. The Format of the Files Must Be Editable
In what programs are the files that the training designer provides?
The most commonly used programs are MS Word and PowerPoint. Most people these days use them and, if you have these programs, the files are completely editable.
If you do not have MS Office, there are other programs available that can open and edit MS Word and PowerPoint files, such as Open Office and Google Drive.
2. Check That the Customizable Training Materials Include Clear Trainer’s Notes
The customizable training materials that you buy, as a trainer, must be easy to use. For this, having clear trainer’s notes in the package is essential.
Good trainer’s notes should include directions on how to run the activities, information on what materials you need for the training and suggestions on what you could say.
Of course, the trainer’s notes also need to be customizable, in case you want to change or edit anything. The trainer’s notes we make for our training packages are all in MS Word and editable.
3. Read the Course Outline before You Buy Customizable Training Materials
The sales page where you buy the course from should have a description of the course, including aims and learning objectives.
Some websites, such as ours, also include slides with samples from the materials, so you can have an idea of the design before you buy. Check, for example, our page for the ‘Starting Your Own Business‘ training package.
So, before you buy customizable training materials, it is worth checking the information about the curse to make sure that the content matches your needs and expectations.
Of course, since the material is completely editable, you can always adjust the content and the design to your needs.
So, it is not a big deal if the content needs changing and adjusting. It is just a matter of how much you are prepared to change the content.
4. The Customizable Training Materials Should Contain Games and Activities
According to the principles for adult learning, adults learn better if they are actively involved in their own learning. Therefore, using relevant games, activities, and exercises during training sessions is vital.
Before buying customizable training materials, make sure that these contain activities to engage participants by checking the information on the products pages.
Of course, you can always add or remove activities as you see necessary. It is good though for you, as a trainer, to have some activities already included in the training plan. This way, you do not have to spend time and efforts figuring out which activities to do.
All our customizable off-the-shelf training packages include training games and activities, which are specifically chosen for each topic.
This way, every activity is relevant to the topic being taught and geared towards achieving the learning objectives of the course.
5. Good Customizable Training Packages Should Include Handouts
Handouts are a good way to actively involve learners, particularly if they are handouts that require your learners to carry out a task. Also, learners will feel that they have got something tangible out of the session if you give them handouts.
Handouts used for a training session needs to be designed clearly and professionally, so you do not have to design them yourself (even though you can, of course, adjust them and edit them if you wish to do so).
We include handouts with our training packages, which are also customizable. Our handouts match the course aims and objectives and are professionally designed.
6. Check that Training Packages Include a Participants’ Workbook
Participants manuals are, just like handouts, something tangible that your participants can take away with them.
With PowerPoint, it is possible to create printouts for participants with spaces for notes. A participants’ workbook though offers extra information printed on the pages, such as explanations and main points. It can also include the handouts as part of a nice and tidy booklet.
Our participants’ workbooks include some brief explanations about the content of the course, space for notes, handouts and a list with further resources (i.e. books and websites that participants might find useful to check after the training session).
7. The Customizable Training Package Should Include PowerPoint Slides or Other Visuals
A good training session should engage participants through more than one sense. Visuals, in particular, are particularly powerful and using PowerPoint slides is a good way to include visuals into your training session.
Although PowerPoint slides are not the only way to include visuals as part of a training package, they have now become extremely common in most corporate training situations.
PowerPoint is user-friendly but it does take a lot of time to design the slides, find appropriate pictures and to make the slides look visually appealing. A badly designed PowerPoint presentation can make the whole session feel boring and unprofessional.
So, when you buy a customizable training package, you do not want to spend time designing a PowerPoint presentation from scratch. It is easier to just tweak a presentation already made for you, to adapt it more closely to your specific circumstances.
Here at Symonds Training & Research, we design customizable training materials that include sleek and beautifully structured and designed PowerPoinht slides.
Our slides are visually engaging, thanks to a variety of colorful photos and diagrams that you can use and edit freely.
8. Check That the Training Package Includes Extras Such as Certificates
Extras such as certificates, feedback forms, and sign-in sheets may not be the core of a training course, but they are nevertheless very important to.
Receiving a certificate at the end of a session can give your participants a sense of achievement and it can be a tangible reminder of the course they attended.
Feedback from learners is essential for trainers to learn from their practice and a specially designed form can make it easier for you to gather it from your participants.
These extra materials though take time to prepare and design so they look appealing. It is reasonable to assume that you, as a trainer, will want to save as much time as possible in preparing things such as certificates, so you can focus on teaching.
This is why good customizable training materials include these extra files which are, of course, also editable.
We provide certificates, sign-in sheets and feedback forms with our training packages for trainers, so you do not have to worry about designing them yourself.
9. Check How Long You Can Use the Training Materials for and for How Many Sessions
Make sure that you can use the customizable training materials for as long as you need to and to teach as many times as you want.
With our training materials, for example, once you buy and download them, you can use them for life. This means that you can reuse them for as many sessions and to teach as many students as you wish.
The only thing you need to be aware of though is the packages cannot be resold. You can re-use them yourself as often you want, but you cannot sell the packages on to other people.
Also, you can edit our customizable training materials as much as you want. You can even brand the materials with your own logo when you teach.
10. It Helps if You Can Download Your Training Packages Immediately
When you buy a customizable training package you do not want to wait for ages before being able to download it.
This is why it is important that the training designer’s site has a system in place to allow you to download the files from the training package immediately.
On our site, you can do so. It is very easy. You just need to click on the ‘buy now’ button, follow the instructions for the payment and then you will receive an email with a link to download the product.
Dr Valeria (Lo Iacono) Symonds
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