In today’s society, everyone wants to learn something quickly and master it straight away. In reality, this doesn’t happen—to learn something well takes time and practise. A couple of articles I’ve been reading lately can help shed some light on training techniques that work.
In a recent post for VeryWell, Kendra Cherry, author of The Everything Psychology Book, identifies ten ways learners can help themselves be more effective. Out of the ten, my favourites are these:
Keep learning (and practising) new things. Let’s take learning a new language: You have to keep practising in order to become fluent. The best way is to live in the country in which the language is spoken and be immersed in it; otherwise, you can forget what you have learned. The same can be said when you have just taken a training course. If you don’t keep practising what you have learned, you will forget.
Teach what you’ve learned to another person. Teaching other people what you have learned embeds the learning. If you take a training course, go back to your organisation and talk to your colleagues or team about what you have learned. It will not only help embed your learning, it will also help create a shared learning environment.
In an article for Training Journal entitled “Making eLearning More Engaging for Your Learners,” writer Duncan Brown looks at ways to increase learner engagement for more successful eLearning. Brown shares that 75 percent of learners are happy to engage in online learning. However, 44 percent of L&D leaders say employees are reluctant to engage in online learning. Online content needs to be inspiring and engaging to capture the audience. Brown suggests that the click next model will not keep participants engaged.
Looking to apply some of these concepts to your training design? Here are three ways to get started, based on three types of training.
Face-to-Face Classroom or Instructor-Led Training
Classroom training is still a highly effective training technique and offers support and guidance in real time.
- Add some highly interactive videos. YouTube receives 250,000 visits per second. It has 4 billion hours of content that is viewed each month. People like to watch videos to learn, rather than simply reading from a book. Dr Itiel Dror suggests that training should incorporate videos and involve learners by having them answer questions and determine errors and hazards. Brandon Hall found that videos used in training offer high level of engagement and are highly effective.
- Make the content relevant to the person/organization. When detailing case studies or examples, ensure they are relevant to the organization and make them relatable. When people can see how a principle would work in their workplace, it is easier to understand and apply.
Asynchronous is a great way for busy people to learn content at their own pace; however, it cannot be done in isolation. Participants need to have interaction with others by discussing how the learning can be used in practise and talking about how the content can be applied to real life.
- Include quizzes or other ways to test the learning.
- Create a community by having an online forum where people can chat with each other.
- Have an instructor who can guide the e-learning.
Training people virtually is great for a dispersed workforce; it saves time and money on travel. We all know that when we are on virtual calls and can’t be seen, we tend to procrastinate and multitask. So ensure your training is interactive.
- Use breakout rooms. When people are in smaller groups and have a part to play, they are more interactive and present.
- Use polls throughout the training to ensure people are still there.
- Assign tasks before the training to ensure people feel part of the group.
Now imagine if you mixed all of the above together in a training programme, or at least had options to learn the content in different learning modalities. Why not learn the content asynchronously, practise face-to-face and have sustainability virtually? Keep people engaged, mix it up a little, and practise, practise, practise!