Advanced Training in CFAL

Advanced Training in CFAL

Advanced training iconAdvanced training is provided in CFAL by 7 one-on-one feedback sessions with your instructor as you create your own customized course. When completed, you will be able to go out and teach it immediately!

The following is an example of the type of feedback given to one participant during CFAL training. Feedback is in italic.

In the participant’s own words, this is why she enrolled in the CFAL course

woman frustrated“I have been at my current job for about five years now. Frankly, I have made a variety of unsuccessful attempts to change the way we do training away from the didactic talking head conference approach.  I would like to present this workshop to the individuals here who are responsible for setting up training for their divisions. While I am committed to this endeavor, the truth is I am pretty much self taught, and have no formal course work in adult learning. This course looked perfect for giving me the background and practice that I need.”

The first round of objectives submitted for a CFAL submission test:

COURSE TITLE: More Bang for your Training Buck

COURSE PURPOSE: Gone are the days when “Training” meant attending a lecture. Today we know that adults learn best by being actively involved in learning, not just listening. This workshop will introduce adult learning principles so that you can increase the effect of your future trainings to achieve measurable benefits.


1. Discuss the benefits of using adult learning theory in planning future trainings.

2. Propose one training for FY2020 incorporating three aspects of adult learning theory.


The First Round of Feedback:

Dear C,

You want your objectives to describe in detail what you expect of your learners and to guide you in assessing their performance/competence.

Based on the 2 objectives you submitted, you want your learners to discuss benefits of using adult learning theory BUT you haven’t asked them first to “know” what adult learning theory is. You also want your learners to propose one training for FY2020 using 3 aspects of adult learning, but you will not be giving them criteria for training, criteria for FY2020, nor will you be giving them any adult learning theory. So, your learners can tell you anything and you must accept it as “correct” because according to these objectives, anything goes.  I don’t think this is really what you want.

Everything you teach must be referred to in an objective. It might be easier for you to develop a content list (ie. a list of everything you will be teaching), then go back and write the objectives.  There must be one objective for every topic you teach. So, taking the objectives you submitted, consider the following.

In order to 1. Discuss the benefits of using adult learning theory in planning future trainings. The learner must be able to:

  1.  Identify adult learning theory,
  2. Recognize how to use adult learning theory in planning future trainings.

In order to 2. Propose one training for FY2020 incorporating three aspects of adult learning theory. The learner must be able to:  

  1.  Identify the components of FY2020 trainng, 
  2. List 3 aspects of adult learning 
  3. Identify the components of an adult learning training progra
  4. Differentiate between adult training programs and others that do not meet adult criteria, 5) relate training for FY2020 to adult learning by….

In addition, what attitudes (affective domain) do you want you learners to have about adult learning? Do you want them to appreciate it? Or is it OK if they feel just neutral?

Are there any psychomotor skills involved in the training? If so, include them.

Look at the big picture. If you know what you want to teach, but you don’t let your learners know, then you are in control and they must guess at what you want from them. Only if you write objectives that detail what you expect are you and your learners engaged in adult learning.

This is a hard one, I know. It is essential that you clearly communicate your expectations to your learners in advance of the experience to be considered adult learning. You must tell them everything, in detail, that is expected of them so you and your learners are clearly on the same page.

Please revise your objectives and let me know what questions you have. Think about the examples I have provided, but realize that your objectives will be specific to your content and not necessarily mine.

Her final objectives for the training course after several feedback sessions:


1. Identify goals of training for each Division.
2. Discuss the benefits of using adult learning theory in planning future trainings.
3. Explain the emotional key to changing behavior.
4. Present 3 interactive approaches to learning.
5. Describe 5 examples of sequenced longitudinal learning experiences.
4. Design one training for your Division for FY2020 using at least one aspect of adult learning theory.
5. Become familiar with evaluation methods.
6. Discuss training activities of each Division
7. Describe the difference between education and training.
8. Explain why single session didactic presentations are not effective.


Her final objectives ensure that communication will be clear between trainer and participant and that participants know what is expected of them.  Designing relevant learning experiences becomes easier, and eventual success for students is facilitated.