The value of a structured approach and framework

A structured approach and framework can help employees learn better, remember more of what they learn, and become more engaged in their work. Incorporating instructional design and learning models is a good practice to ensure learning effectiveness. ADDIE, Bloom's Taxonomy, and Kirkpatrick's Levels of Evaluation are three commonly used models.


ADDIE is an acronym for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. It’s a systematic model for designing and delivering effective training programs. The stages are:

  1. Analysis: This stage involves analyzing the needs and goals of the training program, identifying the target audience, and determining the learning outcomes. Example: Analyzing the needs of a customer service training program by surveying customer complaints and feedback.
  2. Design: This stage involves creating the instructional strategy, developing the learning objectives, and outlining the course structure. Example: Designing a customer service training program that includes role-playing exercises, case studies, and group discussions.
  3. Development: This stage involves creating the training materials, including any visual aids or multimedia, and developing assessments. Example: Developing a training manual, videos, and online quizzes for the customer service training program.
  4. Implementation: This stage involves delivering the training program to the target audience, either in-person or virtually. Example: Delivering the customer service training program through in-person workshops or virtual webinars.
  5. Evaluation: This stage involves assessing the effectiveness of the training program and making any necessary improvements. Example: Evaluating the customer service training program by measuring customer satisfaction and employee performance.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom's Taxonomy is a framework for classifying different types of learning based on the level of cognitive complexity. The six levels of Bloom's Taxonomy are as follows:

  1. Remembering: recalling previously learned information. Example: Recalling the steps to a process or the names of important figures.
  2. Understanding: comprehending the meaning of information. Example: Explaining a concept in one's own words or summarizing a text.
  3. Applying: using learned information in new situations. Example: Applying a concept to a real-life scenario or using a new tool to complete a task.
  4. Analyzing: breaking down complex information into smaller parts to understand relationships and patterns. Example: Identifying the causes and effects of a problem or comparing different theories.
  5. Evaluating: making judgments based on criteria and standards. Example: Evaluating the effectiveness of a product or solution based on its performance.
  6. Creating: generating new ideas or products by combining previously learned information. Example: Designing a unique solution to a problem or developing a new product.

Kirkpatrick’s Levels of Evaluation

Kirkpatrick's Levels of Evaluation is a model for evaluating the effectiveness of training programs. The four levels of Kirkpatrick's model are as follows:

  1. Reaction: assessing the participant's satisfaction with the training program. Example: Surveying participants to measure their satisfaction with the customer service training program.
  2. Learning: measuring the knowledge and skills gained from the training program. Example: Testing participants' ability to handle customer complaints after the customer service training program.
  3. Behaviour: evaluating the transfer of learning to the job. Example: Observing participants in the workplace to assess their customer service skills after the training program.
  4. Results: measuring the training program's impact on the organization's goals. Example: Measuring the reduction in customer complaints or increase in customer satisfaction after the customer service training program.

Creating a safe and positive learning environment for your employees is important. Employees who feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes can challenge themselves and be motivated to learn. Consider goals for learning, training, and development, learning needs of employees, activities that will best support learning, measurements that will drive learning, and a culture that promotes an inclusive learning environment.

The 70-20-10 rule

The 70-20-10 rule is an approach used to explore how employees learn from three types of experiences following the ratio of 70% from on-the-job experiences and challenges, 20% from relationships (e.g. mentorship, coaching, peer-to-peer), and 10% from formal training and coursework.

In-person or virtual learning can be effective depending on the training content. For critical problem-solving and other soft skill development, in-person training tends to be more interactive and hands-on. It offers employees the opportunity to have organic conversations together and build relationships. On the other hand, virtual learning is often more accessible, flexible, and cost-effective. It tends to reach a wider audience, and employees can learn at their own pace.

It’s important to understand that employees learn differently, and you should consider their learning styles to provide the best environment for them to succeed. Employees learn visually, auditorily, kinesthetically (tactile), and reading-focused.


The Ontario Nonprofit Network advocates incorporating learning, training, and development programs as a Decent Work best practice to promote equity in the workplace. By providing equal access to LTD opportunities for all employees, organizations can address skill gaps and offer resources to assist underrepresented groups. This commitment to equity not only enhances employee satisfaction and productivity but also strengthens the organization's capacity to serve its community effectively and achieve its mission.

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