“You have to get up and plant the seed and see if it grows, but you can’t just wait around, you have to water it and take care of it.” Bootsy Collins
Last year, a friend gave me iris bulbs from her garden. I planted them in three different places and was delighted to see their skinny green leaves poking up out of the soil.
Much to my surprise, although they were divided from the very same iris plants that my friend had in her garden, there was a distinct difference between the irises that grew in my yard.
The first to grow and blossom were the beautiful deep blue irises of Van Gogh’s painting. They grew in great profusion … Read the rest
“Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.” Sue Grafton
An international organization asked for suggestions regarding how to move their highly technical subject matter experts (SMEs) from reliance on lecture and PowerPoint to interactive learning in 1.5 hour modules.
These were my recommendations:
- Ask the SMEs exactly what they want the participants to know or be able to do when they leave the session. This will give you the content portion of the goal- what the participants will learn.
- Make sure you also find out why the participants will want to learn this- what will they do with the information or skills imparted?
- Provide a reality check- there is only so
“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:
- Take all of the content that is currently on each of your PowerPoint slides and place it into a participant manual as reference material.
- Consider the best way that your participants can
When there is a lot of information to cover, not even a fast-talking lecturer will be effective.
There are two reasons for this:
1. There is only so much information that learners can absorb at one time. Brain studies have found that participants can learn only 2-3 new and entirely unfamiliar items in a training segment. If the learning involves items that are familiar and meaningful to the learners, the number that participants can learn increases to 4-5 in a training segment. (Please bear in mind that a training segment is the amount of time necessary to teach the specific content to the desired level of learning. This period of time may be 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or even an … Read the rest
There is a prevalent and very persistent proposition that lecture is the only practical training method to use with large groups.
There are two reasons why this belief is inaccurate.
1. The first and primary determinant of a training or learning method should be the desired level of learning. The size of the audience has absolutely no bearing on this decision. Unless the desired level of learning is knowledge, lecture is an inappropriate and ineffective method.
2. It is possible to use a variety of interactive learning methods, regardless of the audience size.
For example, a questionnaire can be used in a variety of ways. Participants can be asked to discuss the answers with someone seated next to them (for … Read the rest