Capabilities

Training & Professional Development Offerings

train. develop. grow.

Overview

We produce cutting-edge training!  Our ability to work across a broad spectrum of needs, employing exactly the right approach with both teams and individuals enables us to provide cost-effective, realistic training that builds and sharpens skills and knowledge, enhances staff/unit cohesiveness, and reinforces decision-based learning.

 

Harkcon is prepared to assist your business or organization with every aspect of your training and professional development needs, from analyzing the performance, to developing and delivering the training, and evaluating the results in the workplace. Harkcon brings well over a decade of experience and exceptional capabilities in performance-based training development and delivery.  We have a solid track record of delivering superior training, learning, and performance support products. Our experts employ Instructional System Design (ISD) in their approach to designing, developing, and deploying training. ISD provides a systems’ view for sound decision-making to determine the who, what, when, where, why, and how of a training program. The application of a systems approach ensures that training courses and the required support materials are continually developed to match the variety of our client needs in a rapidly changing environment.

 

Harkcon uses experts in instructional design, adult learning, distance learning courseware, learning management system design, job aid and training aid development, and various other methods of training delivery.  This enables us to provide the full range of training services from total turn-key training programs serving thousands of potential learners, to a single, straightforward course.  We also bring proven experience providing front-end and diagnostic analysis; job task analysis; media/method selection; instructional design (instructor led, computer and web based, blended, self-directed, resident/nonresident); and performance support tool and job aid development.

 

Our training meets all SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model), and Section 508 requirements and includes developing, producing, and implementing organization-conformant e-Learning. Harkcon employees have served on key working groups, including the Federal Government Distance Learning Association. Our Section 508 experts provide compliance guidance from design to delivery. Harkcon's instructional designers, programmers, and media experts ensure that you receive the right delivery platform and media, method, and learning to support meaningful and realistic individual and team training experiences.

 

All our training services focus on providing courses and materials that enable you to quickly, reliably, and flexibly field trainees who are competent, confident, and able to perform their duties. We understand and are fully capable of performing the complete continuum of instructional tasks and duties associated with training, including:

  • Pinpointing the exact type of training intervention that is best for your organization based on our root cause analysis, experience, and skill.  This includes interactive consulting with you to gain context and perspective on your training program.

  • Effectively delivering performance-based instruction via facilitated group events, self-study/self-paced training, lectures, practical demonstrations and exercise (class and lab) simulations, role-plays, technology-based instruction (e.g., blended/hybrid instruction using synchronous and asynchronous instruction), and discovery learning.

  • Generating, assigning, grading, and reviewing homework, lab assignments, and in-class exercises.

  • Conducting performance measurements on instructors to determine instructor performance benchmarks, areas for improvement/strength areas, trainee performance relative to defined objectives, and delivery improvements.

  • Making regular recommendations (as needed) regarding improvement ideas for instructional materials, including course books, exercises, activities, lesson plans, instructor guides, handouts, supporting media and presentation materials, tests/quizzes including question batteries and hands-on skill test instruments, job aids, performance support tools, lab equipment/tools, and other instructional systems.

  • Using all four levels of summative evaluation to assess trainee accomplishment, including conducting assessments of trainee objective accomplishment using performance-based (hands-on and written) tests, quizzes, in-class learning checks, and labs.

  • Generating and providing certificates to trainees who successfully complete their course/area of instruction.

  • Providing performance-specific counseling, performance improvement steps and documentation, test results, progress check outputs, trainee questionnaires, and other summative evaluation findings.

  • Identifying and selecting technical subject matter experts (SMEs) for training projects or assignments as instructors. We have a deep bench of SMEs drawn from across government and industry specialty areas.

 

Our Methodology 

Harkcon's rigorous Instructional System Design (ISD)-based curriculum development process follows the industry-standard Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation (ADDIE) Model. Our implementation of the ADDIE process is the foundation for all the training we develop to ensure that our training products support your program needs and goals. Our processes blend industry-recognized human performance technology (HPT) and ISD processes, methods, and tools with your requirements to ensure that workers who use our learning products emerge from training ready to apply what they have learned in the classroom.

 

Our use of HPT ensures the linkage between your desired goals and the training we develop and is the foundation for the implementation of the ADDIE model. Furthermore, it ensures we meet your training needs in the most cost-effective manner with solutions that really link final performance improvements to your desired goals.

Our Offerings

Specific training and professional development services include:

TRAINING ANALYSIS

In the Training Analysis phase, we determine what the performance gap really is, and whether training will close the gap. We collect the necessary data for a task analysis using one-to-one interviews, facilitated group discussions, questionnaires and surveys, observation of the real or simulated tasks to be performed, work samples of required outputs, current performance, evaluation reports, and review of the essential task list. We also review the training materials you are already using to identify appropriate re-use material. Our ability to leverage existing material reduces redundancy, speeds the development of a new course, and injects cost-effective reusability from the very first stage of development.

 

More specifically, and depending on the needs of our clients, specific types of analyses we have mastered and use to determine the gap include:

 

  • Job Task Analysis (JTA): JTAs help us understand the complete breadth of tasks associated with a job or position.  Data is collected through some combination of direct observation, interviews with job incumbents and subject matter experts, and surveys.  A completed JTA enables organizations to write accurate job descriptions and specifications, and determine which employees are best fits for specific jobs based on their background, education, training and skill sets.

 

  • Front End Analysis (FEA): An FEA is used to identify the skill and knowledge required of performers, the motivational issues related to job performance, personnel assignment and selection criteria, and policy issues specific to performance and environmental factors that can be either a barrier or catalyst to competency or performance.

 

  • Training Needs Assessment (TNA): a TNA is a systematic and data driven process that focuses on: articulating the desired outcomes based on organizational documents such as mission, vision and most probably scenarios.  It compares desired outcomes to actual outcomes.  It identifies root causes for each gap and recommended solutions for closing the gap.  It analyses each gap in terms of scope, magnitude and priority.

 

  • Training Requirements Analysis (TRA): Once a need for training has already been established, a TRA is a less complex approach than other types of analysis.  This approach carefully examines the current work site performance and develops a comprehensive task inventory and comparing this result to existing offerings that might fit the training intervention needs in the most cost-effective manner.

 
TRAINING DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT 

In the Design and Development phases, we craft performance-based Terminal Performance Objectives (TPOs) and Enabling Objectives (EOs) that are directly linked to our analyses. We also identify where, when, and how training should occur and what resources are required, and we provide this to the client through a comprehensive training plan and course design. We continually review design considerations throughout the entire process so that any changes in client or learner requirements are incorporated into the development and implementation phases.

 

Design and development of courses include the following:

 

  • Course Design Guides: Curriculum development starts with a customized design guide for each specific client and ensures client branded training materials. Design guides provide the course development roadmap and include course objectives, the purpose of the training, the course description, the goal of the instruction, a description of the target audience, the delivery methods to be used, unique technical requirements, the course structure, sequence, and flow of the course content. Additionally, design guides identify course topics, the resources and materials that will be used to develop and deliver the course, and the roles and responsibilities of staff supporting the course development process. 

 

  • Instructor and Student Guides: These detailed guides provide a logical step-by-step flow to the course for both instructors and students. Instructor guides include instructor notes and support, including questions to ask students, in-class exercises and games, and copies of any slides or other training aids to stimulate learning. Student guides are prepared for each course participant; these takeaways include all presentation materials and any training aids that will enable learning and allow the students to have materials to use at their work site.

 

  • Training Aids and Presentation Materials: Various tailored aids and learning materials are designed to enhance and reinforce learning objectives and concepts. We create prototypes, draft storyboards or draft materials for each course lesson and module. Development includes authoring content for the selected delivery method (e.g., ILT deliverables will differ from an asynchronous e-Learning course), preparing/editing printed materials including job aids and checklists, creating lesson plans and scripts with all activities and exercises, converting instructional materials from one format to another (e.g., converting ILT to e-learning or blending them together), and completing all associated documentation. Final materials include source and compiled courseware for WBT delivery and facilitator guides, participant handouts (job aids), and pre/post knowledge surveys.

 

  • E-Learning and Computer and / or Web Based Training (WBT): This technological and Information Age we live in have brought incredible capability to the learning environment.  Harkcon's instructional systems designers, media developers, programmers, and learning management system professionals create Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM)-compliant WBT and e-Learning programs for delivery within your internal network and over the Internet to desktop, laptop, mobile, and cloud-based devices.

 

  • Our teams are skilled at creating training and learning performance applications delivered via a broad range of learning management systems (LMS) and products. This includes creating courseware and learning products across all levels of interactivity and engagement for equipment training, software - hardware applications, "soft" skills, and general training topics. We can design and develop e-Learning applications for multi day/week courses down to small micro-learning applications for specific task and knowledge elements. Coupling e-Learning applications with job aids and electronic performance support system solutions will enable you to keep your workforce trained, ready, and available to meet task requirements without travel or class scheduling delays.

 

  • Some of our e-Learning solutions include:

 

  • Asynchronous (or self-paced) courseware that ranges from "take what you need and take it when you want" to full certification paths with defined schedule and progression paths. Typically delivered via an LMS, our asynchronous WBT and e-Learning products are engaging, interactive, and performance-based training applications equivalent to instructor-led programs. We can link them to testing, electronic performance support system, job aids, references, and other applications to ensure a complete learning experience.

 

  • Synchronous (live instructor-led) WBT that enables your instructors (or ours) to lead trainees through programs using modern live WBT delivery systems and techniques. Our synchronous WBT solutions, when coupled with our IDC synchronous trainer web course, can provide your organization with a near-immediate capability to deliver high quality training by your SMEs across organizational networks and the Internet.

 

  • Agile Development Methodology: Harkcon follows a Development process based on the Agile software development methodology.  We leverage the work done in the analysis and design phases and focus on rapid prototyping and work "sprints" focused on developing coherent pieces of courseware to significantly reduce the time to produce courseware and ensure close alignment with your expectations and requirements. The training plan enables the instructional designer to identify shareable content objects (SCOs), which "chunk" content at the lowest level of granularity without losing its context. Designing for reusability is an essential part of our process and makes it more cost-effective. Our experience has shown that rapid prototyping supports cost-effective production and higher student satisfaction.

 

We develop the smallest possible representative coherent piece of courseware to determine production alignment with final design plans. We mock-up finished courseware lessons/elements, thereby reducing the need for traditional storyboards that have proven difficult for non-training experts to interpret. We create short, functional pieces to test production strategies before creating major finished lessons/modules to reduce costs and maintain schedule.

 
TRAINING IMPLEMENTATION (DELIVERY) 

Once the course(s) are completed, we work with you to determine the most effective Implementation of the training. Decisions made during the Design phase will drive most of the deployment of the training. We can provide support to manage the training roll-out, using existing LMS systems or creating a custom implementation to facilitate your training delivery needs.  LMS systems support enrollment management, time tracking, student performance tracking, automatic scoring capability, survey and feedback management and can be used for career path development, tracking and maintenance.  Various types of training delivery products and services we offer include:

  • Drills and Exercises: Harkcon's drills and exercise capability ranges from small team drills to multi-team/multi-event full-scale exercises. Our tabletop, functional, and full-scale exercises are a core corporate capability, and our ability to link exercises to training and objective evaluation enables participants to quickly assimilate lessons learned into improved practices and training. Our staff expertly blend best practices and other requirements to create exercises that truly identify current performance, gaps between your current performance and where you want to be, and recommended changes. We work closely with your workers, training them to develop, execute, and assimilate best practices learned during their exercises.  Our workshops, data reviews, and diagnostic tabletop-to-field exercises help reveal the quality of current and proposed concepts of operations.
     

  • Instructor Led Training (ILT): Harkcon will provide you with seasoned professionals able to deliver performance support and training services that meet your needs and requirements.  This can be done in the classroom, with individuals or groups, as an interactive workshop or even virtually.  All Harkcon instructors have completed our Train the Trainer (T3) Program, and we provide our instructors with a full array of technical support, ranging from information systems and media development to instructional systems support.
     

  • Individual Self-Paced Training: Sometimes the solution calls for individual members of your team to train at their own pace and location, and our computer and WBT capabilities enable this to occur.  The content can be curriculum based, corporate training, technical tutorials or any other subject matter that does not require an immediate response from an instructor.  This type of instruction is increasingly more popular as training and educational technology continues to improve.
     

  • Team Training: Learning, practicing and training as a team is often the closest you can get to reality.  Teammates learn from each other and practice their skills as a unit to best prepare them for on the job performance.  Unit cohesion, camaraderie and teamwork skill improve in this setting.

 

  • LMS Specific e-Learning: LMS’s act as a platform for delivering online content. In addition to delivery, the LMS is used for administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting; a one-stop shop for keeping all training related data and information.  Harkcon’s experience with developing and using tailored LMS’s can help you maximize the effectiveness of your training program.
     

  • Blended Learning Solution: A blended solution is an approach that combines online training materials with traditional classroom or face-to-face methods.  This means some elements of the training can be handled by individual members at their own pace.  Then, a team can be brought together, having established a base of knowledge and expertise individually, and exercised and trained a team.  This approach increases the efficiency of your training program, not requiring members to always be present for training that can be completed individually.
     

  • Job Aids and Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS).  We understand that training may not always be enough to ensure that your workers have the knowledge and skills they need to perform to exacting standards. We know that there are times when every worker wished they had a tool that could help them remember whatever it was they needed to know, or perhaps they are great at what they do, but a simple tool could aid them in their performance even more.  Job aids and Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) are the answer.

Job Aids and EPSS’s are simply guides with varying levels of procedural guidance used to shape or direct behavior. They are "storage places" for information other than human memory. Used on the job and accessed in real-time, job aids and EPSSs are guides that support the performance of your workforce. They are, in fact, more reliable and consistent than human memory. We all forget details unless the details are reinforced frequently. Job aids and EPSSs help us remember details we might otherwise forget. Job aids and EPSSs can also be used to shape the performance of initial performance-based learning (mastery or memory), or as a performance-based refresher/re-learning tool when the performance is periodic.

And most importantly, we can develop job aids and EPSSs much faster than developing training materials designed for memorization. On top of that, we can train the use of job aids three to four times faster than training the same tasks for storage in human memory, while at the same time ensuring more consistent and standardized workforce performance.

We use Adobe RoboHelp© to create, edit, and publish professional quality EPSSs. Powerful features of RoboHelp© include context-sensitive help, dynamic HTML effects, hyperlinks, tables of contents, indexes, glossaries, and more. RoboHelp© is compatible with most Learning Management Systems, and with the use of our Adobe AIR© technologies, we can rapidly review the product through all phases of the development cycle.

 
TRAINING EVALUATION 

Our training evaluation approach helps you determine quality: both the efficiency and effectiveness of you training programs, initiatives and specific interventions.  We use a tried and true systematic process to review and analyze the various aspects of your training program, modeled after Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Training Evaluation Model.  More specifically:

 

  • Level 1: Reaction: Here we measure the degree to which participants found the training favorable, engaging and relevant.

 

  • Level 2: Learning: Here we measure the degree to which participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitude, confidence and commitment.

 

  • Level 3: Behavior: Here we measure the degree to which participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job.

 

  • Level 4: Here we measure the degree to which targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training.

 

Beyond evaluations of the training itself, we also evaluate ourselves during the design and development stages.  For example, our methodology includes the implementation of an early pilot of a completed course to iron out delivery content issues.  We have regular and formal quality control reviews during curriculum development. We conduct formative Evaluations throughout the development process, including alpha and beta testing of e-Learning and pilot testing of classroom training, and we can conduct all four levels of summative evaluation as part of the training implementation process.

 

And finally, our exercise delivery team includes Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP)-certified staff skilled at creating, delivering, and evaluating domestic and international exercises.   

 
TRAINING & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFERINGS 

Placed in the context of the above stated background and methodology, Harkcon has launched a training and professional development wing of the company which we call Harkcon Academy (for detailed information, go to www.harkconacademy.com).  Harkcon Academy is a focal point for specific course and professional development offerings, and includes the following:

A full course catalog with courses covering the following types of courses:

  • Various Leadership Development courses

  • Management Skills Development

  • Communications Skills

  • Emergency Response

  • Maritime Operations

  • Project Management

  • National Industrial Security Programs

 

We offer the following unique Training Programs. Some specific offerings to be highlighted include:

 

  • Training-on-Tap (ToT) Program.  Harkcon is the Parent Company of 6 Bears & a Goat Brewery in Fredericksburg VA.  We designed the Brewery to have a dedicated professional development and training room you can reserve and use.  The Brewery is an interesting and unusual off-site training location that students enjoy to the fullest.  After hours, enjoy visiting with team members to build camaraderie and teamwork while enjoying and delicious beer and food in our beautiful dining room.

 

  • Part of our ToT program is the popular Learning Over Beer (LOB) Talks; a monthly speaker series which gives our local community a place to learn, grow and be informed, while at the same time giving Speakers an opportunity to share their expertise and stories. 

 

  • Our exclusive First-15 Crisis Leadership & Management Model and associated courses.

 

  • Crisis leadership and management are inextricably linked – you must LEAD your people effectively to MANAGE an incident effectively.

 

  • Harkcon Academy’s “First-15” Crisis Leadership and Management Model provides the framework for addressing any incident from both the individual and organizational level.  At its most basic, the model (and associated tools, training and consultation services) provides individuals with the knowledge, tools and assistance they need to lead their organization through an incident.

 

  • The core of the model is the concept of the "First-15," meaning the actions and activities you execute during the first 15 mins, first 15 hours, and first 15 days afterwards dictate, to a large extent, the overall outcome of an incident.

 

  • The model can be used to address any type of incident – no matter its size, significance or intensity – at any leadership level in an organization, in any size or type of public or private organization.

 

  • Harkcon provides Key Note Speakers covering a diverse spectrum of expertise and topics.

 

  • Instructor Development Course

 

Do you need to conduct internal training with your own technical subject matter experts (SMEs)? If so, then you, like many companies we work with, may want to help your SMEs transition from the technical workplace to the podium. Harkcon has a proven "off-the-shelf" Instructor Development Course (IDC) that is designed to quickly give technical experts the communication skills, instructor techniques, and course/class management skills they need to serve as high performing instructors.

 

We routinely deliver this program to government, industry, and military participants in domestic and international settings. We tailor the program and content to meet the specific instructional needs of the instructors and the trainees they will serve. This is an intensive fast-track program that will help your SMEs become instructors skilled at helping their trainees to meet your program objectives via a trainee-centric positive process.

 

The program varies from five days to two weeks depending on class size and end state objectives. Program variants include objectives tailored to face-to-face environments, live Web Based Training (WBT) skills and techniques, basic to advanced skills, and customer/program-specific objectives. Our IDC leaders can also train your senior instructors to deliver the program within your company or organization.

 

  • Executive Coaching

 

We use our own competency-based ADComP™ Executive Coaching Model as the framework to assist senior executives in improving their awareness and performance. The foundation of ADComP is the fundamental belief that forward progress is all about lasting, positive behavioral change. A person's habits will ultimately determine his or her destiny; those small actions taken day after day, month after month, and year after year, will transport them to that place they have predetermined. Our goal with executive coaching is to help executives gain and strengthen those competencies that will support and define the "right" habits.

           

​ADComP is simple, elegant, and unlike any executive coaching model you have seen. This four-phased approach is highly customizable, and therefore results in a unique coaching experience for each executive, as individual circumstances, backgrounds and goals are considered. A general description of the four phases follows:

 

  • Phase 1: Awareness

 

In the Awareness phase, we basically want to get to know you: who are you, and how did you get here? Using a variety of tools and techniques, we delve into the following: What is your professional background? What is your personal background? How self-aware are you? What are your personal and professional strengths and weaknesses? In this phase, trust and confidence are established between coach and executive, and all aspects of leader and leadership development are explored. We also clearly define roles and expectations.

 

  • Phase 2: Destination

 

In the Destination phase, our actions and activities focus on discovering and refining where the executive is headed in life. While some individuals have a very clear idea of this - with written goals and plans, etc. - others do not. No matter the case, the coach will assist in refining and/or developing the executive's vision over time and will assist in keeping the individual on track. Goal setting and projection are two of several techniques used to articulate the destination.

 

  • Phase 3: Competencies

 

The Competency phase is the heart and soul of ADComP. Here we help the executive determine which competencies he or she needs in order to most efficiently and effectively move toward, and eventually reach, the destination described in Phase 2. Once the complete set of required competencies is identified, we conduct an assessment to determine which of those competencies, and to what extent, the executive already possesses versus what the executive needs to move into the future.

 

  • Phase 4: Plan

 

In the Plan phase, we start with our understanding of personal competencies obtained in Phase 3. We put together, then set out on, a course of action that will, through daily effort, make the executive better, stronger, and faster as he or she gains and/or improves needed competencies and moves toward his or her personal destination. The Plan will include specific and measurable milestones, and advice and guidance along the way.

 
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