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The debrief

February 13, 2008

The main problem with OJT is that the world doesn’t stop to let you give the student comprehensive feed back during the training session. Fixing errors and reinforcing positive behaviours must be done briefly whilst trying keeping an eye on the environment and a distracted student to boot.

The best solution (currently) is to spend time with the student directly after the training in a session debrief. This is the last step in the OJT process however last does not mean final. This step needs to be completed with the following pre-brief in mind.

Like the pre-brief, a structured, consistent format will aid preparation, delivery and assist the student developing their own assessment skills. The debriefing model is a template for conducting the debrief in this way. There are seven steps.

  • Preparation: Gather notes, evidence and standards. Outline the debrief and set up the meeting area,
  • Introduction: Describe the duration, format and any ground rules,
  • Session Goals: Review session objectives and achievements,
  • Performance: Compare behaviours and results with standards or agreed goals,
  • Progress: Evaluate overall progress and adjust goals or the training plan as necessary,
  • Remedial Action: Set assignments or actions for student development using SMART goals, and
  • Document: Document training conducted, performance, student comments and suggested remedial actions.

The debrief is the most critical part of the process. Without one, the training ended when the session did and you have no control over what the student learns afterward. An effective debrief will extend the training by giving you and the student the opportunity to discuss any unclear issues, procedural errors and any other revision or practice that needs to be done prior to the next training session.

For a pdf version of the debrief model, check out theĀ resources page.

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