Full Day vs. Half Day Training
When it comes to planning your training sessions, one of the most popular questions people ask is “how much time do I need to run this training session?” If you are new to training, you might feel overwhelmed by trying to fit everything into a half day session, but you might also be overwhelming thinking about how you could actually fill up a full day training session! Luckily, the training materials provided by our company have suggested timelines for delivering content. But the more experienced trainers will often manipulate timelines to suit their training needs. When it comes to decide whether you need a full day or half day for your training session, consider these four things to help you make your decision.
The Number of Outcomes
The primary indicator of how long your training session should last will be based on the total number of outcomes you need to achieve through your training. A typical learning module, which is a block of time dedicated to one topic, will have between 3-5 learning outcomes. A module is usually taught over a 60 minute period, so if you have 4 modules with 3-5 outcomes each, a half day training session will do just fine. Any more than 4 modules, and a full day session is usually required, to allow for breaks and lunch, as well as the additional information to be covered.
The Number of Activities and Exercises
If your learning modules have 3-5 outcomes based on hands-on activities, you might need more than 60 minutes to complete a learning module, thus extending the amount of time you will need to complete your training session. If you have a higher number of activities or hands-on exercises, you might want to extend your modules to 90 minutes, meaning you’ll need to schedule a full day session if you have any number of modules to get through.
The Number of Participants
If you are going to be training a large group, you might want to extend your training session to allow for discussion time and question periods. Larger groups may take longer to grasp concepts because you are working with a variety of learning styles, so you’ll want to give yourself some room to pace the learning activities and exercises.
If you are delivering a high level topic that doesn’t require much discussion, a half day session is ideal. If the training session is more in depth and requires more participation and discussion, a full day training session is probably best. If you expect your participants might have difficulty grasping the concepts, you’ll want to allow ample time for clarification and multiple examples to bring the learning to completion.
If you remain unsure of how much time to schedule into a training session, use your facilitator guide as a way to gauge how much time you will need. If you suspect that your discussions may become more in depth, or if you need more time to spend with participants for clarification, simply adding 20-30 minutes to each suggested time frame will help you learn how to plan your time for future training sessions. Overtime, you will come to know your own training style and understand how much time you need to convey ideas appropriately and effectively.