Loughner and Associates provides a wide range of consulting services. Using our knowledge and experience in learning and performance, we work with organizations to reduce training costs, improve training quality, increase the strategic value of training, and improve training processes and operations.
We listen to our clients to understand their needs and develop a consulting relationship that will achieve their goals. As accomplished professionals, we’re able to assume a complete range of consulting roles – from expert, to collaborator, to an extra pair of hands – to meet the needs of the project and organization.
As consultants, it is our responsibility to empower our clients and help them become self-sufficient. As such, we work in a transparent way – we carefully document and explain our methodologies so our clients can thrive in our absence. We work hard to earn our clients’ trust and become true strategic partners.
We remain current in a wide range of technical skills that we’re eager to share with clients. Our goal is to help them develop professionally as individuals and enhance the overall capacity of the organization. We recognize that every organization is unique and don’t use a cookie cutter approach to address a problem.
As experienced consultants, we understand that projects naturally evolve due to new information or changes in strategic focus, budget, or timelines. Our experience makes us comfortable with change. We’re flexible and adapt to meet the needs of an evolving project or an organization in transition.
Loughner and Associates has worked with organizations to increase the strategic value of learning and performance solutions in a variety of settings, industries, and content areas.
Training Needs Assessment
A training needs assessment (TNA) is conducted in advance of the design and development of a training solution to ensure it is closely matched to the need. A training needs assessment includes an analysis of the gap between the current level of performance and the desired level of performance. Additionally, a TNA will explore the setting in which work is performed and the training will take place, to ensure the solution meets the needs of the training audience.
Task analysis is an essential part of the instructional design process. It is during a task analysis that the designer analyzes the knowledge and skills to be taught. The process includes inventorying the relevant tasks or content areas, describing the tasks, sequencing the tasks, and analyzing the performance and content areas. Methods often used to conduct task analyses include observation, individual interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, document analysis, and content analysis.
Competencies are defined as the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to effectively perform a specific job or role in an organization. A competency model is a framework for organizing the collection of competencies associated with the specific job or role. Competency models are used by organizations to recruit and hire employees, develop training curricula for specific job roles, and develop career paths and career development programs.
Strategic training initiatives often require the development of several training solutions for several different audiences. Curriculum design takes into consideration the strategic goals for the training, the needs of each audience, and the environment(s) in which training will be delivered to each audience. This analysis makes it possible to organize the content into courses for delivery in a sequential order while creating programs that meet the needs of more than one audience.
Learner assessments are conducted to determine the extent to which a training initiative changes participants’ attitudes, and increases their knowledge and skills as a result of attending the training. Cognitive tests assess knowledge and include multiple choice, true/false, matching, short answer, and essay questions. Performance tests evaluate a behavior or the outcome of a defined task or procedure and include numerical scales, descriptive scales, and procedural checklists.
Training Evaluation and Impact Studies
Training evaluation and impact studies are performed to measure the success of a learning and performance solution or initiative. They provide information needed to modify and refine the solution to make it more aligned to the needs of the organization, and determine if it’s meeting the goals identified in the training needs assessment. Loughner and Associates uses a variety of approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of a program, its impact on the organization, and its overall value and return on investment.
Survey Development and Administration
Surveys collect data from a specific group of individuals. In the field of learning and performance, surveys are often conducted as part of a training needs assessment or an evaluation or impact study. Surveys can be conducted face-to-face, by phone, mail, or online. Data from closed-form questions are analyzed using statistical procedures and responses to open-ended questions are analyzed inductively by interpreting the meaning of the data. Sound research practices are used to ensure the results are valid and reliable.
Training Operations Process Improvement
In addition to consulting with organization in the development of strategic learning and performance solutions, Loughner and Associates works with organizations to improve their training operations. This includes the development of instructional design project management methodologies, the integration of eLearning, and the deployment of learning management systems.