Top Ten List for New Training & Development Students

Guest Blogger Post from LaDonna

Below is a list of items I believe would be helpful as you work through your Master’s Program in Training & Development at Roosevelt University.  These are just suggestions, however, if followed I believe will help you to be very successful.

  1. Establish and maintain peer contacts early in the program.  Your peers will be an important component while you are developing your TRDV skills.
  2. Understand your learning style and learn how to apply the numerous learning theories you will study.
  3. Keep documents related to each learning theory you study in a separate file.
  4. Back up your hard drive regularly and keep your final projects in a separate location/computer so you will have them when it’s time to work on your portfolio in 499
  5. .Review the work of as many peers as possible to formulate your own ideas about TRDV and theories.
  6. Relax and try to have fun. The program can be somewhat stressful especially when you have other things going on, but do your best to keep up and complete your assignments early.
  7. Apply, apply, apply, find ways daily to apply the TRDV theories you learn.
  8. Think early and often about what you are going to do after the program is over.  Ask yourself how will you gain the experience you need to break into the TRDV industry?  Try to make industry contacts.
  9. Join Linked-in (social network) early in your program and invite all your peers each semester to join your group.
  10. Join online groups and participate in discussions.

My Training and Development program at Roosevelt University is almost over and I can only say thank God.  Even though I did well in this program, believe me it was not a piece of cake.  You must have discipline and dedication and social networking plays a major part.  I have met some amazing people in my online classes who have been instrumental in getting me through the program, and without many of them, I don’t know how I would have made it.  They provided support, encouragement and on some occasions when I did not know what was going on, there was a team member there to pick me up and take me through, similar to having my own personal network of online angels.

It’s very important that you get to know your online classmates and instructors and keep in touch. I know our instructors really encourage this and its part of your grade for class participation, but it’s more than that.  Your peers can be your online life support.  The main thing I regret is that, I did not stay connected with anyone after the class was over.  I think had I known about LinkedIn early in the program, as opposed to getting this experience in the last class of the program, I would have established and maintained greater contacts outside of the classroom.

Where do I go from here is a big question.  Now that the end is near, I have to ask myself, what will I do with this TRDV knowledge?  How will I use this information? What aspects of TRDV do I really like since I have been exposed to many theories and concepts?  Will I continue down the TRDV path towards a PhD?  Who will hire a graduate with no experience? These and many more questions will need to be answered, but what I can say for sure is that because I did receive an outstanding education in the TRDV program, I am confident that whatever I decide to do, I will be good at it.  I could be an online course designer or facilitator, however, I know for a fact that I am a better student/learner because of this program, and the fire I have for TRDV burns out of control.

TRDV is about understanding learning theories and developing those theories to accomplish a learning task.   As you begin to work through this program, keep a separate notebook about each theorist you study. Make it a point to understand your own learning style and try to develop your own learning theory.  The more you know and understand about how you and others learn the better you will do in the TRDV arena.

Whenever an instructor tells you that an assignment will be used in the portfolio, make sure you keep that assignment safe and in a secure location, because over the course of 2 years computer failures do happen and you don’t want to loose any assignment targeted for your portfolio.  Believe me, I know because this happened to me.  My computer crashed and I lost many important files related to TRDV.

I just want to leave you with some food for thought that I believe will help you in this program.  Take your time, apply yourself, relax and have fun, and trust me in the end it will be well worth it. If nothing else you will get an amazing education, and hopefully your TRDV fire will burn out of control.

Take a few minutes to think about your own “Top Ten List.”  What strategies helped you successfully complete the program?  What advice do you have for new students as they begin their studies?


  • Thank you! I will start networking with students and connecting with guest speakers and students over LinkedIn!

  • As a MATD Student I’m my first semester, this list is an excellent guide! Thank you for putting this up!

  • Having gone through the program I couldn’t agree more with your list! When I think about my “top ten” list, I would include joining a LOCAL professional organization. I emphasize local because it provides you a chance to network face to face and meet people with years of experience in the T&D industry. In my experience they are more than willing to share with students and others in our field. Several of the classes require that you attend a local chapter meeting and for me that was the start of my involvement with Chicago land Chapter for the American Society in Training and Development (CCASTD). The CCASTD was a good fit for my needs but there are plenty of organizations out there to meet your specific needs including the Organization Development Network (ODN) and the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) to name a few.

  • LaDonna, how wonderful it is to read the “Top Ten List” after my graduation, which could have been so useful the moment I began my first TRDV course. This list should be given to each new student the moment they began orientation. I wish I had this information, because my computer crashed and I had to find my valuable papers and had to constantly check my unofficial transcript to jog my memory because I had a lot going on. I was all over the place and scattered into confusion and stress. But I finally got it together, but it was not until I learned I was off kilter and had to get it focus.

    This list can be so instrumental to any new TRDV student and I applaud you for taking a moment to consider this legacy enough to leave it behind.

    And it is valuable to know and understand your personal learning style which is the topic of my thesis paper because once I learned I had one, I began to focus on my personal learning style and once I knew it was multi-faceted, I was well on my way.

    Thank you and please push this list to Tara and all who have access to the newcomers of TRDV. Bravo and hip hip hooray!


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