6 Ways to Revive In-classroom Training
Technology has brought upon us a wealth of various learning options. There has been a lot of attention given to e-learning, social learning and gamification. I have often wondered if the quality of instruction from classroom training lacks the flexibility and adaptability that is required to inspire this generation of learners. Perhaps this has accelerated the popularity of "out of classroom" learning.
Thus, with so much attention on improving "out of classroom" learning, what is being done to improve its opposite? Here are 6 tips to help you in the classroom, or in your next presentation:
- Einstein's quote: "If you can't explain it simply, you don't know it well enough". Make sure you always understand your content. Ask all the questions you need to know beforehand, research, talk to people and learn it well. Don’t ignore any “small print” believing you won’t asked about it. If you can explain it to yourself in simple terms, then you’re ready. If the learners are asking questions you can't answer simply, chances are you need to go back and learn more.
- Duality - put yourself constantly in the learner's shoes. If you can master the art of listening and watching yourself whilst speaking, then you can be conscious of what the learners are hearing. If you can place yourself in the shoes of the learner who's sleeping, or the one that's constantly tapping their feet, or clicking pens, or simply looks like they'd prefer to be somewhere else, then that gives you the power to challenge yourself to get them engaged.
- Create that human touch that only humans can do! Expressions, music, sounds, props, use of voice (such as singing), environment can be so deeply effective in the emotional domain. Slam the board if you need to make a point. Be really part of the physical domain of those who gather in a common place. A friendly smile and demeanor will show that you care and add to the memorable experience. It could also open the door to new friendships.
- Flip your style. Run the lab exercise without teaching the theory and watch the learning patterns of each learner. You'll see some people scratching their heads, others surfing the web for answers, the ones checking through the manual, and the ones sitting there with their heads down waiting for the next person to do the work. This will help you quickly understand your audience and their potential learning behavior which will guide you to be adaptive in your training.
- Give technology a chance to mix things up. Why not run a short e-learning module, or an entertaining e-quiz. How about sending questions to the learner’s iPads? Change the setting and have them sit down in a lounge environment to answer them. Mixing up the class with technology can keep it engaging, fun and keep attentiveness high.
- My personal favorite is to enjoy what you do! When you really enjoy the subject, you’re interests excel and in the classroom you almost unknowingly inspire others to learn. The ripple effect will keep you on your feet for a long time and your learners will be inspired to learn more, even after the training has ended.
Thank you for reading, I sincerely hope this helps your next classroom adventure!