Tip #739: Only three hours

On September 17, 2018, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #739: Only three hours

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Imagine that you are asked to convert die-hard lecturers into facilitative trainers. Imagine that you only have three hours to do this. What content and activities would you use to introduce and model the facilitation of interactive learner-centered training?

That was a challenge I recently had to meet. I’ll tell you what I did, then you can tell me if you would have handled it differently.

The room was set for accelerated learning, with colorful kites on the walls, glitter wands and koosh balls on the table, and bowls of candy.

I began by asking common ground questions, which had them … Read the rest

Tip #631: How Loyalty and Freedom of Choice Can Curb Learning

On July 25, 2016, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #631: How Loyalty and Freedom of Choice Can Curb Learning

“Your thinking depends on your perception, just as your perception depends on the way you think.”   Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

Andrea May has identified ten cognitive biases and we have considered the first six: Confirmation, Anchoring, Curse of Knowledge, the Dunning-Kruger effect, Functional Fixedness and Mere Exposure Effect in previous Tips.

Now we’ll look at the next two cognitive biases and discuss how we can counter their effect through our training design and delivery. The titles and descriptions of the biases are Ms. May’s. The commentary continues to be mine.

  1. Not Invented Here bias: The tendency to discount information, ideas, standards, or products developed outside of a certain group.

I have encountered this bias in regard to case studies. It … Read the rest

Tip #626:  When an Overview is NOT an Overview

On June 20, 2016, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #626:  When an Overview is NOT an Overview

“Once you get the right image, the details aren’t that important.” Abbie Hoffman

According to Cambridge Dictionaries Online, “overview” is defined as “a short description of something that provides general information but no details.” Vocabulary.com further defines “overview” as “a general summary of something. An overview gives the big picture, while leaving out the minor details.”

I am currently revising a three-hour lesson plan for a client that they have termed an “overview.” The content is studded with details that range from general procedures to specific forms, time frames and deadlines.

The client wants new hires to be aware of program activities that occur upstream of their job assignments. The new hires will not be involved in the conduct of … Read the rest

Tip #571: Tips for Transitioning Lecturers

On June 1, 2015, Posted by , In trainers, By ,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #571: Tips for Transitioning Lecturers

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” Gail Sheehy

When lecturers recognize the value of participatory learning, there is a relatively steep learning curve for them to transition into a facilitative trainer role.

It can be very daunting to let go of the role of an expert who shares knowledge and step into the role of a facilitator who enables participants to learn and apply what they learned.

Here are some logistical tips to help with that transition.

Moving from PowerPoint slide deck to participant manual:

  1. Take all of the content that is currently on each of your PowerPoint slides and place it into a participant manual as reference material.
  1. Consider the best way that your participants can
Read the rest

Tip #569: Participatory Training in Inhospitable Locations

On May 18, 2015, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #569: Participatory Training in Inhospitable Locations

“It is time for us all to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever — the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.”  Vince Lombardi

Last week, I conducted a train the trainer program in a very large training room with two screens in front of floor to ceiling windows that overlooked a stadium with continually running electronic signs. The lights over the screens were inoperative.

The large windows, even with mesh blinds, let in a lot of light. Without overhead lights near the screens, I became a silhouette standing in shadow. The constantly running signs created a ubiquitous visual distraction for every participant.

I had to stand between the two screens, which projected the same … Read the rest

Tip #568: Incorporating Participatory Learning Activities

On May 11, 2015, Posted by , In curriculum design, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #568: Incorporating Participatory Learning Activities

“If I see an ending, I can work backwards.” Arthur Miller

My experience as a curriculum designer to date has involved working with subject matter experts to design participatory skill-building training programs from scratch.

Yet I was recently presented with a very different curriculum design situation. The training program was already in place. It was PowerPoint and lecture-based.

The challenge was to identify where participatory learning activities would be most effective in either: conveying the information, checking for comprehension, and/or providing an opportunity to apply and test new techniques.

At first I was somewhat taken aback by this revisionist approach. I am accustomed to designing a lesson plan by: establishing learning goals; determining specific, observable and measurable learning objectives that … Read the rest