How Adults Learn
The following conditions must be in place for people to learn more effectively. The learner::
- must feel welcome and safe in a classroom that is physically optimized with good lighting, ventilation, size, and efficient table and chair configuration.
- should be actively involved in learning.
- must feel they need to learn the subject matter.
- must be socially connected.
- must experience two-way communication with the instructor.
- learners must set their own learning goals to evaluate their progress to determine if the training has been successful.
- should be able to link the training to their long term memory for retention of the subject matter.
To become a great trainer, you need to have a mindset focused on the learners and develop techniques used to maximize learning efficiency.
Training Program Development
A good training program has a structure and logic to it that promotes understanding within the organization and should continue throughout the life of the organization. It should include initial training for new staff and professional development for veteran staff to allow the organization to grow and change for the better.
A training plan is the overall goals, learning objectives, and activities to develop, conduct, control, and evaluate instructions the trainer provides for users, operators, administrators, and support staff who will use, operate, and support the company.
Training materials are any resources created to support training, including the documentation associated with the deployment of the business product to include:
- instructor and student guides,
- audio-visual aids, and
- computer-based or other media
used to disseminate the training to the target audience in need of the instruction.
A training plan is a document that communicates with management and stakeholders details of the proposed training program. An approved training plan authorizes the training manager to expend resources for the development, implementation, and execution of the planned training program. The document outlines critical information regarding the training program’s objectives, schedule, strategies for designing and developing curriculums, and supporting training materials, methods for implementation, campaigns for continuous improvement. The training plan helps the company train stakeholders for their specific job functions.
The training plan outlines information about items such as:
- Training requirements
- Training strategy
- Training schedule
- Training resources
- Training environment
- Training materials
The Lesson Plan
A lesson plan is the trainer’s road map of what students need to learn and how the trainer will deliver the training. Before you plan your class, identify the learning objectives for the class meeting. You can then design appropriate learning activities and develop strategies to obtain feedback on student learning.
A successful lesson plan involves three key components:
- Objectives for uniform understanding
- Teaching/learning activities
- Strategies to check student understanding
Learning objective development is one of the most critical steps in the training process. Well-constructed learning objectives enable trainers to know what they will teach and participants to know what they will learn. Learning objectives help all stakeholders involved to share an understanding of what the training programs will accomplish.
Activities will determine how you will check whether you have accomplished the learning objectives.
The trainer should consider the following for lesson planning. Know:
- your students by using a needs analysis, personal interview, and a discussion with the individual’s supervisor. Know the student’s ability level, background, interest level, attention span, ability to work together in groups, prior knowledge, and learning experiences, and learning preferences.
- your content by researching the subject matter you will be teaching. Note the essential facts, key concepts, skills, or key vocabulary terms you intend to cover.
- the materials available to help support learning. For example, technology, software, audio/visuals, trainer mentors, community resources, equipment, library resources, guest speakers (in person or through webinar), volunteers, or any materials that can assist you in teaching. You will probably choose what materials you are going to use
Planning Activities to Support Learning
A wise person once said, “It is by doing that understanding comes.” Students come to training expecting to learn, and one of the best ways to learn is through activities that support the learning objectives and allow for some engaging action and development.
Trainees expect training to be stimulating, engaging, and fun. That does not mean you have to be a comedian, but you need to introduce activities into your training that engages your students.
Planned activities enhance your training by:
- keeping things moving at an engaging pace.
- introducing fun and laughter to bring people together and break down barriers.
- improving the retention of material by providing hands-on application and practice.
Preparing Audio and Visual Aids
The trainer can use visual aids such as graphs, photographs, and video clips in addition to spoken information. Visual aids enhance training by increasing the audience’s understanding of the topic, explaining points, making an impact, and creating enthusiasm. It is critical to make information visual. You can choose visual aids to enhance training:
- Summarize information.
- Reduce the number of spoken words.
- Clarify and show examples.
- Create more of an impact.
- Emphasize what you’re saying.
- Make a memorable point.
- Enhance your credibility.
- Engage the audience to maintain interest.
- Make the subject matter more manageable for the audience to understand.
How to Ask Questions
Asking questions in a training course gives you the following fundamental benefits. Questions:
- raise interest in a focused area.
- Increase participation and engagement to improve memory and recall.
- improve thinking skills and the ability to think on the spot for answers. It also helps students to stay focused.
- can help you assess students’ knowledge about a particular topic, which allows you to tailor the training course based on their current knowledge and specific needs.
- help spread group knowledge, particularly important when teaching soft skills since a significant part of learning takes place by learning how others deal with specific situations.
- encourage the expression of thoughts and feelings rather than the student remaining quiet and passive to create a trustable environment where students can freely talk about their problems and address them during the course.
A trainer’s most important duty is to keep the students engaged. Students immersed in a training course are more likely to learn. You can do this by telling compelling stories. Stories capture people’s imagination and help them to visualize a concept.
When it comes to training, you have two critical goals: to teach a new skill and to increase the likelihood this new skill is retained long after the course.
Stories can serve both needs. The trainer can use the story itself to explain a particular concept or illustrate the benefits of following a specific attitude vividly. It is also easier to remember the story, which can reinforce the learning after the course. People can tell the story to others and thereby spread your training without your direct involvement.
Motivated people learn better. The motivation keeps them excited about the course and further learning. As a trainer, you need to be aware of this single parameter. Learning speed is reduced when students start to get bored or confused, leading to more misunderstandings and a feeling there is no need to put any effort into the process of learning.
If students are not motivated, they will be less engaged in an activity. When students are not motivated, they don’t learn.
It is a trainer’s responsibility to make a course engaging by maintaining energy and pace.