Tip #6: 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 learner will do to learn and to demonstrate that learning has occurred]; and 3. Trainer Activities [what the trainer will do to facilitate learning, through group facilitation and stand up presentation techniques]. Notice that this is TLC, backwards!
We need to continually consider whether it will be most helpful to alter the content (perhaps by inserting new content, or changing the content to a more basic or more advanced level, or deleting content); or to use a different learning method (by changing from large group to small group discussion, providing additional examples, or adding exercises to check for participant comprehension); or to change the learning atmosphere (perhaps by providing more frequent breaks, inserting humor, or refocusing a more dominant participant, etc.)
*This concept is drawn from the Mastery Teaching Model, which was developed by Dr. Madeline Hunter of the University of California at Los Angeles to increase training effectiveness.