Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Laurel Learning Tips

Tip #775:  Clarify the desired levels of learning.

On June 3, 2019, Posted by , In learning, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #775:  Clarify the desired levels of learning.

“To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.” Stephen R. Covey

It is essential to clearly identify the desired level of learning we want the participants to attain. This means that we need to decide whether our aim during the course of the workshop is for the participants to: know the information, but not understand it [KNOWLEDGE]; know and understand it [COMPREHENSION]; or know, understand,  and use it [APPLICATION]. These are the first three of six progressive building blocks of learning (otherwise known as Bloom’s Taxonomy of Behavioral Objectives).

It is unlikely that a trainer will ever intentionally aim only for the lowest rung, or … Read the rest

Tip #774:   Make training decisions with the learner in mind.

On May 27, 2019, Posted by , In trainers, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #774:   Make training decisions with the learner in mind.

Good training is never static. Instead, it is “a constant stream of professional decisions made before, during and after interaction with the learner; decisions which, when implemented, increase the probability of learning.” *

As trainers, we should do our best to stay in touch with the learning needs of our participants. This responsibility does not stop after we have conducted a training needs assessment and designed the lesson plan and materials. We have to be prepared to make additional decisions during the training in order to meet their needs.

Regardless of who or what is being taught, all training decisions fall into three categories:  1. Content [what content to teach next]; 2. Learner Activities [what the … Read the rest

Tip #773: Set the learner up for success.

On May 20, 2019, Posted by , In trainers, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #773: Set the learner up for success.

“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” Albert Einstein

As mentioned in Tip #772, there are only two immutable rules for a trainer. The first is to treat the learner with respect. The second is to set the learner up for success.

A trainer can do this by:  building on what the learner already knows; disconnecting any negative transfer; using training methods that meet the needs of different learning preferences; providing sufficient examples and practice so that the learners can experience and demonstrate their mastery of the new skill; and offering specific and constructive feedback.

The trainer can also set the learner up for success by creating and following a … Read the rest

Tip #772: Treat the learner with respect

On May 13, 2019, Posted by , In trainers, With Comments Off on Tip #772: Treat the learner with respect

“The best way to respect learners: Use techniques that research has proven to work. Help people reach their goals without wasting their time.” Cathy Moore

There are only two immutable rules for a trainer. The first is to treat the learner with respect. This includes recognizing and respecting the learner’s previous experience, current expertise, and pressing interests and needs. The trainer can discover these through formal training needs assessments, informal e-mail queries, or introductory questions at the beginning of a session.  The workshop should be tailored to meet the learners’ needs. This also includes respecting the learner’s time by ensuring that there is good, relevant content and appropriate training methods that build or strengthen necessary skills; and using training methods

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Tip #771:  Create a sense of inclusion for all participants

On May 6, 2019, Posted by , In curriculum design, By , With Comments Off on Tip #771:  Create a sense of inclusion for all participants

“Asking questions is the first way to begin change.” Kubra Salt

Begin training by asking “common ground” questions that help the participants feel that they have something in common in relation to the training topic. A “common ground” question begins with: “How many of you…?” The participants who relate to the question should respond by raising their hands. Make sure that you ask enough questions to ensure that every participant feels included.  For example,  at the beginning of a conflict management class, if you ask: “How many of you have experienced conflict in your life?”, it is a good possibility that everyone will raise their hands.  However, if you ask: “How many of you enjoy conflict?”, you probably need to … Read the rest

Tip #770:  Do not waste time teaching learners what they already know

On April 29, 2019, Posted by , In curriculum design, With Comments Off on Tip #770:  Do not waste time teaching learners what they already know

“If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.” Benjamin Franklin

For the next series of Tips, we’re going to go back to basics.

For example:

If you have six hours to accomplish six learning objectives, do not allocate one hour for each objective. We never have all the time we want for a training program, so you don’t want to waste time teaching something that people already know.

Instead, think about what the learners may already know, and then check for their level of learning, using an interactive exercise, such as a discussion question, a questionnaire, or a case study.

Working in small groups, the participants will have an opportunity to … Read the rest