Defining Learner Outcomes: Customer Satisfaction Through Training


In 2008, I had the opportunity to work closely with American Family insurance’s Design and Delivery teams. They were focused on a complete redesign of their New Agent Training Program, which was just featured in Chief Learning Officer magazine. Kudos, Amfam!

4MAT was chosen as the instructional design platform and served as the common language between design and delivery.  The project was ambitious—delivering a massive amount of content and a high level of practical skill with high return on investment.

For those of you that are familiar with the 4Mat model, it is easy to see how the four parts of the Learning Cycle can serve as a guide in defining learner outcomes.

1- Engage: What  shift has to occur in the learner to ensure transfer? What has to be appreciated? Valued? Perceived as meaningful?

2-Share: What knowledge is needed to serve as a foundation for transfer? What content must be understood?

3-Practice: What skills are needed? What will the learner need to know how to do? What behaviors must be demonstrated?

4-What adaptation is needed? If the learner is going to use this content in the real world, what refinement must be encouraged to link knowledge to real-world results? What will transfer look like in the real world?

Defining strong outcomes begins with looking at high performers that demonstrate the desired behavior. In the example of American Family’s New Agent Training Program, what do successful agents do differently than less-successful agents? Oftentimes, we find the behaviors are different and the conceptual approach to the work is entirely different. In this month’s Chief Learning Officer magazine, Betty Berquist, VP of Education at American Family shared:

“Our division did a lot of research on what behaviors were important for agents to know when they started in their agencies. We built the training curriculum around those key behaviors, and we used the principles of human performance improvement, performance-based learning and 4MAT to develop a strong curriculum.

The 4MAT model is a means of designing and delivering curriculum that engages multiple learning styles. Instead of new agents attending class, receiving handout materials and being lectured on the subject matter, the new process engages them in interactive and hands-on learning, an approach that Bergquist said better prepares them to hit the ground running.”

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About 4MAT 4Business

4MAT is one of the most widely used instructional formats in the world, with years of proven success in both corporate and learning institutions. 4MAT teaches you how to identify the styles of learning and implement the best methods to reach those styles. Our programs show you how to work most effectively with all types of learners. When everyone understands and participates collaboration and productivity soar.

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