There are various stages in which you can make your course participant-driven.
The first stage is when considering the reason for the course. Who asks for the course? And who says what should be covered on the course? If employees are involved in decision-making and aware of what’s happening in the company, the ideas for training will come just as much from the participants of courses as from management. The benefit of this is that is the connection between management and employees and the motivation of participants on a course.
The next level at which a course can be participant-driven is in the choice of course content. If the whole pathway has been planned in detail by one person and then delivered by another, there may be a problem deviating from the pathway to accommodate participants wishes for wanting to learn something slightly different. This is not relevant for all training but when it can be accommodated, it should be. Depending on the ability of the trainer and the confidence in the trainer’s knowledge, the course should be able to be adapted based on the participants interest, prior knowledge and time available. Inviting questions is the most common way to deal with this, but there is an art to it.
The final stage is in the learning validation. This part it’s not often participant-driven. It is usually something written by one person to check if another person has learned. But this part can also be demonstrated by the participant in a much more meaningful way than having to jump through hoops to pass a course. An example of this is multiple choice questions online about the general subject. It would be better if the participant can relate the training to how they will use it in their work or in a particular situation.
Making a course participant-driven requires more attention on individual situations, which may not be possible if a standard online course was given to everyone to complete. and that is also one of the most important parts – relating the learning to the work being done, which is called transfer. Even if nothing in your course is participant driven, this is easily put in place and may often happen anyway between employees and line managers.