Tip #616: Effective Learning Facilitation Game

“Life is more fun if you play games.” Roald Dahl

This word search game requires the participants to read through a list of key points and find the letters that spell out a summary sentence. Working in pairs, the participants find this approach a lot more stimulating than simply reading through a long list,

  1. Remember that the training is about the LEARNER, not the t
  1. To light a spark, you need to find a good balance between sharing your enthusiasm and providing opportunities for the learners to become enthusiastic themselves.
  1. Avoid telling adults they must learn something. When you do, they’ll often learn only what they feel they need to learn.
  1. Provide a strong motivation for them to learn.
  1. Tie your training efforts in with information related to their experiences where possible. They value this type of information.
  1. Be aware that you’ll be most successful when you teach adults something that can be applied immediately and that is relevant to their needs.
  1. Have a clear, specific, observable and measurable learning objective.
  1. Spotlight the KEY information. You cannot cover it all at once, because learners can only absorb 2-3 new unfamiliar items and 4-5 familiar and meaningful items at a time.
  1. You may not justify boring training with the excuse that the topic is “d” There are many experiential learning activities you can use to engage the participants.
  1. Approach facilitating as a ping pong or tennis match- your job is to keep lobbing the ball over the net to the learners, because they are the ones who need the practice.
  1. Begin with common ground questions: “How many of you…?” to see if any of the learners already have some knowledge of the topic.
  1. Let them know you value their participation. This will enhance their self-concept as learners.
  1. Remember: it is both an insult to the learners’ intelligence and a waste of precious training time to lecture them on something some of them already kn
  1. Find a way to allow adults to take some responsibility for their own learning expe Don’t let them feel you have to coddle them or lead them every step of the way.
  1. Instead of telling them, ask questions to draw the information from them.
  1. TRUST the learners. They have a lot of knowledge and expertise. Approach training in this sequence: First, ask them. Then, if they aren’t sure that they know, coach them to draw out the information. Finally, if they really don’t know, (briefly) tell them.
  1. If you are the ONLY one with knowledge on the topic, use a lecturette. This means a maximum of 10 minutes, then “break” the lecturette to check for learner comprehension through pop ups, question and answer sessions, case studies, or worksheets, etc.
  1. If you think in terms of the pareto principle, 80% of the training time should involve learner participation to check for comprehension and to enable them to apply what they are learning.
  1. Present them with problems to be solved. Adults do better with problems than with theory alone.
  1. Give clear concise instructions for activities. Keep It Simple, Sweetie!
  1. Always model what you want the learners to do. To set them up for success, they need to be involved in a demonstration of the activity they will be performing.
  1. Provide specific time frames for any activity, so the learners can pace themselves.
  1. As they are working on their assigned activity, “dip stick”: walk around and listen to make sure that they are on task, to answer any questions, and to know if they need clarification or more time.
  1. Alert the learners when the time frame for an activity is ending: “You have one minute left…”
  1. Provide them with feedback. They need to know the results of their efforts.
  1. Have fun and make sure that they do, also!
  1. Remember that you are a change agent and the training should set the stage for a positive change experience.

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[Answer: The summary sentence is: “There is no dry content, only dry training.”]

May your learning be sweet and stimulating!




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