“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
“If I see an ending, I can work backwards.” Arthur Miller
My curriculum design process for clients typically begins by meeting with a subject matter expert (SME). We work together to identify the goals and the learning objectives. I may take the lead in proposing the learning activities, but the SME provides the focus and context.
I then organize everything into a lesson plan that is sufficiently detailed so that both the SME and I know what content is necessary for both the reference pages and learner activities.
It is a logical step-by-step collaborative process that usually operates very smoothly. I may have to refocus some content and ask for clarification on occasion, but the SME actually does the heavy … Read the rest
“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
“Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight.” Thomas Carlyle
I just audited a workshop and the experience gave me a renewed appreciation for all of the things that a facilitator should NOT do when in front of a class:
- Do NOT begin the training session and introduce yourself while standing behind half of the participants. Stand where everyone can easily see you.
- Do NOT leave any participants sitting alone and isolated from the rest of the group. Make sure that all participants are seated with 4 or 5 other people.
- Do NOT tell the participants that: “You will get sick of us.” That thought may not have occurred to the participants until you brought it up.
- Do NOT tell
“Concentrating on the essentials. We will then be accomplishing the greatest possible results with the effort expended.” Ted W. Engstrom
I am in the process of finalizing a 22-day business management program for the owners of private medical practices in Africa and in other underdeveloped countries. It was a huge challenge and the program is almost complete. When all of the materials (the facilitator guides, agenda tables, participant materials, PowerPoint slides, pre- and post-tests with answer keys, and additional reference materials for both the half-day and full-day programs) have been properly branded by the United States Agency for Industrial Development, they will be placed on a dedicated website so that any trainer can find and use them.
My next … Read the rest
In diagnosis think of the easy first. Martin H. Fischer
In response to last week’s Tip, “Make Learning Sweet,” Joyce Doakes Smith, CPM,
Quality Oklahoma and Productivity Enhancement Programs Coordinator, Office of Personnel Management had this wonderful idea to add:
“I do much of what you have listed (no kites on the wall, but I have seen yours). Additionally, I have created two long slide shows (over 200 slides each) that run before class, during breaks, and over the lunch period. One is trivia information (strange laws and interesting facts) and the other is all pictures (from optical illusions to sand and ice sculptures). Other than being careful of the copyrights and credits it’s easy to do and the participants … Read the rest