Helping others learn


Published on

This little guide helps those managing, creating, delivering or evaluating training and instruction. It can also make a great "brief" for those thus engaged to share with their program managers, directors, leaders, etc. so they can understand WHY you do what you do and WHY you are asking for the kinds of support you are.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Helping others learn

  1. 1. Me Helping Others LearnFacilitating Performance On The Job by Improving Training Design/Delivery
  2. 2. Helping Others Learn Table of Contents 2
  3. 3. Helping Others Learn Helping Others LearnAbout This BookletOverview Understanding how people learn, and what you can do to facilitate that process, is your key to helping prepare people for their real jobs in the real world. As a subject matter expert or training instructor, you have a unique opportunity to influence the on-the-job performance and behaviors of others.What’s Inside This booklet will help you by providing some useful information to help you help others learn. It includes some basics regarding: • How adults learn • Training design and delivery • Enhancing retention of learning • Resources and training tips/trapsPeople will perform with excellence IFthey: • Have well-defined jobs • Are capable of doing the job • Know what is expected of them • Have the necessary skills and knowledge • Receive feedback on how well they perform • Perceive and receive rewards for performing as desired ENJOY THE READING AND…GOOD LUCK ON YOUR LEARNING EVENT! 3
  4. 4. Helping Others Learn Before We BeginSomething to Think AboutOverview This section surfaces some assumptions and expectations that are often made of those taking the lead in helping others to learn. It is important to review these before we begin our discussion of the mechanics of learning.Assumptions The following are assumed to be true about you and your involvement in developing the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities of others. • You are a subject matter expert on the training your are designing/delivering • You are knowledgeable about basic adult learning theory and techniques • You have some experience as a trainer/learning facilitator • You have some level of “business literacy” – meaning you understand your company’s business, and where the training you are involved with will help others meet their individual, group, and organizational goals.Expectations The following are some of the expectations others may also have of you: • You have thoroughly mastered the content of your course before you attempt to teach it • You are thoroughly familiar with the course materials and objectives • You will be a good leader, listener, and observer in class (i.e. be “student-centered” • You will be innovative, caring, adaptive, and flexible as you work to help others learn and master the training objectives • You will make yourself available to learning event participantsNOTE: You should identify your own expectations and get alignment between yours and those ofyour learning event participants. Don’t leave learning to chance. Plan your learning event andwork your plan! Continued on next page 4
  5. 5. Helping Others LearnSomething to Think About, ContinuedInstructor The following are offered as suggestions – not rules – to help ensure you and Guid your learning event participants have a positive experience together. ance • Come to class prepared – instructor and participant! • Together – create a positive learning environment • Cover the objectives – first, last, and always! • Give participants lots of practice • Provide both motivational and development feedback • Be available; focus on participant learning needs • Manage expectations – yours and theirs!Adult learners can be demanding creatures. Work with them to meet their needs not againstthem. Facilitate their learning, don’t dictate!S.P.I.C.E. As a subject matter expert and/or instructor, it will be helpful to remember theIt Up! following learning event elements. The acronym SPICE will help you remember them as you design and deliver your learning event. • Student – Who are they and what are their needs? • Process – What is the best way to meet those needs? • Instructor – How can you facilitate (make easy/easier) the process? • Content – What are the objectives of the course? • Environment – The learning and workplace environments look like?NOTE:This booklet, or the instructor’s package for your particular course, is not in any way intendedto limit your flexibility, creativity, or adaptability in class. It is, however, designed to facilitatethe delivery of effective, student-centered, performance-based instruction.Remember, the content of your course will be challenging enough to your learners. The time tocover the objectives will be limited. Using the tips, suggestions, and resources in this booklet canhelp you conduct a more successful course – one that accomplished the learning objectives andmeets both your and your participants’ expectations. 5
  6. 6. Helping Others Learn Starting On The Right FootBeginning with the End in MindOverview This section provides some advice on getting started with your leaning event. Remember, the best way to take care of your learners is to ensure they are successful in mastering the learning objectives. That way, upon completion of the learning event, they can return to their “real world of work” and perform the new skills/tasks better, faster, and more efficiently.Take You are encouraged to take ownership of your course. Sharing your Own experiences and knowledge will help “put a face” on the concepts, principles, ershi processes, and procedures you may be teaching. It will be up to you to turn p “dry” material into an exciting learning adventure. Every course can be fun to deliver. Just be your natural self and let your participants be their natural selves. Together, you both will be successful.Understanding It is crucial you – of all the stakeholders– understand the context for your the learning event. Lear ning • For many people, this may be the only chance they have to attend Even t training. Therefore, they HAVE to “get it.” It is crucial that your course be very student-centered. It is about THEM and their needs! • Your participants are adult learners. As such, they bring a wealth of experience into the learning event. They will be looking for their time to be well spent, relevant to their needs, jobs, and expectations. They will want your event to prepare them to be successful on the job. Add value with your expertise and instruction. • Participants will see YOU as THE expert. They will be looking to you to make the course content come alive. Having lots of clear examples, anticipating their needs and questions, and being accessible are all important to your success. Be there for THEM! • Your course helps lay a foundation for participant success back on the job. Its content must be presented in a clear, concise, and non- confusing manner. It is much harder to “unlearn” something than it is to learn it. Teach it right the first time! Continued on next page 6
  7. 7. Helping Others LearnBeginning with the End in Mind , ContinuedUnderstanding • You will not only be teaching facts, concepts, principles, processes, the and procedures, but you will be role-modeling the behaviors expected Lear of course participants when they return to the workplace. You will ning have to be “ON” for the full length of the course. It will take stamina. Even t (cont • Sometimes, in spite of your own best efforts, course material (theory, inue data, terms and definitions, etc.) can be tedious and boring to one or d) more of your students. Especially when you have groups with mixed backgrounds and experience levels. It will be up to you to breath energy and life into your course material. The process will require all your talent, skill, good humor, and patience. Be prepared. • Let the learner’s needs and course materials provided guide the instruction. Get your learners interacting with the content at a good pace, in a positive environment, and led by an instructor who cares that they are successful. • Finally, it is said that just three things are necessary for successful learning: 1. Quality effort (motivation) 2. Time on task (opportunity) 3. Meaningful feedback (reinforcement) Make sure you create a learning environment that provides all THREE! Don’t Drop the Ball…Plan, Prepare, Execute and Evaluate/Improve! 7
  8. 8. Helping Others Learn Facilitating Adult LearningGetting the Basics DownOverview This section presents a brief overview of adult learning theory. It is not the intent of this booklet to make you an expert. However, having a solid foundation in the basics will help you understand and interpret both the recommendations in this booklet and those things you will observe in your learning events.Evaluating The effectiveness of learning events is typically evaluated using Donald Trai Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation. Understanding each ning evaluation level allows you to “begin with the end in mind” and guide your actions to ensure effective learning and transfer of skills to the workplace. 1. REACTION – Did participants like the learning event? 2. LEARNING – Did participants learn what they were supposed to? 3. BEHAVIOR CHANGE – As a result of attending your learning event, did their workplace behaviors/performance change (do they now do their work more efficiently and effectively)? 4. RESULTS – As a result of the learning, the behavior changes, what kinds of results participants have achieved individually, in their larger work groups, and by their organization?How Adults According to David Kolb, adults learn best through experience. He outlines a Lear complete “learning cycle” that we need to progress through to maximize our n learning: • EXPERIENCE – Activities (thinking, feeling, physical) • REFLECTION/INQUIRY – Thoughts, feelings, importance, meaning, questions, and problems we may generate from those experiences • UNDERSTANDING/CONCEPTUALIZING – The “sense” and mental models we make of our reflections and inquiries • DECISION/ACTIONS – “Acting out” our understanding and accommodating our mental models to our real work of experience Continued on next page 8
  9. 9. Helping Others LearnGetting the Basics Down , ContinuedLearning Benjamin Bloom identifies learning outcomes ranging from the basic to more Outc complex. In conducting a learning event, it is crucial that YOU are clear as to omes what your intended outcomes and learning objectives are. Just keep asking – yourself, “What do you want them to DO back on the job?” Wha t Do You • KNOWLEDGE – The recalling of specific bits of information; little Wan or no comprehension is required (i.e. names, dates, titles, definitions) t • The • COMPREHENSION – Understanding the meaning of the m To material/course content (i.e. the concept of Freedom or Love) DO? • • APPLICATION – using methods, concepts, principles, etc. in new situations (i.e. decision-making, planning, interpreting, etc.) • • ANALYSIS – Breaking down information into its basic elements (i.e. trouble-shooting a circuit, looking for a “root cause.”) • • SYNTHESIS – Putting together new elements or parts to form an original result (i.e. creating a new work process from collected data and diverse employee inputs) • • EVALUATION – Making value judgments; applying standards or decision-making criteria (i.e. using Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels to evaluate your training course)Learning Event Every training or learning event contains some mixture of the following Cont content types. Make sure your event has the right mix! ent 1. FACTS – discrete, one-of-a-kind bits of information 2. CONCEPTS – things with common attributes; meaning 3. PRINCIPLES – Rules, guidance, cause-effect statements 4. PROCESSES – Ordered sequence of group activities 5. PROCEDURES – Ordered sequence of individual activities Continued on next page 9
  10. 10. Helping Others LearnGetting the Basics Down , ContinuedThe “Laws” of Edward Thorndike identified the following “Laws of Learning” as Lear contributors to effective learning, retention, and transfer back to the ning workplace. 1. PRIMACY – First things taught tend to be retained best 2. RECENCY – Last things taught tend to be retained second best 3. ASSOCIATION – Linking what is already known to the new knowledge, skill, attitude, or ability being taught/trained 4. RELEVANCY – Establishing value for training to the participants (i.e. What’s in it for ME?) 5. INTENSITY – The more dramatic, challenging, fun the experience the better the recall 6. EFFECT – Basically, behaviors followed by positive outcomes are strengthened (people will try to continue to do them) and behaviors followed by negative outcomes are weakened (people will quit doing them) 7. READINESS – People learn better when they are prepared for the learning experience (pre-work, prerequisites, assessments, attention getting, etc.) 8. REPETITION – Lots of practice, performing a new skill repeatedly, use of standardized formats, terms, models, images/icons (especially on e-learning and computer based learning) Continued on next page They can’t take the learning back to work if you don’t get them involved in “school” first 10
  11. 11. Helping Others LearnGetting the Basics Down , ContinuedEnhancing Educator Jay Felder and the National Training Institute came up with the Rete following chart to show how different levels of participation and instructional ntion delivery affect retention. The bottom-line…the more involved and active and your participants are the better they learn and retain the new knowledge, skill, Tran attitudes, and/or abilities. sferLearner Types There are three basic learner types. • Auditory – those who prefer listening, reading, sounds, music • Visual – those who prefer symbols, pictures, videos, graphics • Kinesthetic/Tactile – those who prefer movement, hands-on, doing In the American population, the percentages breakdown like this: • Auditory – 5 to 10% • Visual – 40 to 45% • Kinesthetic/Tactile - 45 to 55% The bottom-line to remember is that you should use lots of effective visuals and give learners something to DO! Continued on next page 11
  12. 12. Helping Others LearnGetting the Basics Down , ContinuedThe Nine Robert Gagnè identified nine events (conditions of learning) needed to Instr facilitate learning acquisition, retention, and transfer/application. They uctio provide a very handy framework for ensuring you “cover all the bases” in nal your learning events. Even ts The Nine Events can be grouped into three categories: OPENING ACTIONS: 1. Gain learner attention/break preoccupation with their own thoughts 2. State, clarify the intended learning objectives 3. Review, identify prerequisites or previous learning relevant to the course objectives; pre-test/assess to ensure participants are prepared to learn DELIVERY ACTIONS: 4. Present the course material/content/information 5. Provide necessary learning guidance, task direction, and support 6. Provide adequate opportunities to practice CLOSING ACTIONS: 7. Provide meaningful feedback on performance (motivational AND developmental) 8. Post-Test/Assess performance according to the course objectives 9. Enhance retention and transfer of the learning back to the workplace; recognize and reward; celebrate accomplishing the objectives; conduct action planning for applying the new skills and knowledge Effective learning is not magic…it just takes proper planning and preparation! 12
  13. 13. Helping Others Learn Delivery OptionsCreating a Positive Learning ExperienceOverview Environment is one of the key contributors (or distracters!) to effective learning, retention, and transfer. This section contains some helpful suggestions for improving your delivery.Topics In this section we will cover five key contributors to a positive learning environment: 1. Sequencing of course content 2. Pace of delivery 3. Time Management 4. Questioning techniques 5. PowerPoint Tips/TrapsSEQUENCE Sequencing refers to the amount, types and order in which instructional content is presented (what and when).Amount We can generally process/recall bits of information in groups of seven (plus or minus two). That means, it is important, especially when covering long lists of topics, terms, definitions, names, dates, etc. to break them into more manageable chunks. Using labels on each chunk makes it easier to retain. This booklet, for example, uses this technique by taking each topic, breaking it into small, concise blocks and then labeling each block. Additionally, lots of white space and lines are used around/between blocks to aid in keeping the focus on the individual topic and to make it easy to locate information.Types Course content is generally broken into three types: • Information to be presented (things you want them to KNOW) • Activities to be performed/practiced (things your want them to DO) • Attitudes you want them to display (things you want them to FEEL) Continued on next page 13
  14. 14. Helping Others LearnCreating a Positive Learning Experience , ContinuedOrder The order in which course content is presented can dramatically affect the amount of learning than happens. Remember the “Laws of Learning?” Course material can best be arranged according to: • Simple to complex • Basic to advance • General to specific • Known to unknown • Just-in-Time (immediately before they need to complete an assignment/activity requiring the new information, knowledge, attitude or abilityPACE Pace is the tempo, the speed, at which the course is delivered. Generally speaking, a varied pace works better than a consistent pace that is too slow or that is too fast. Participants are the best source of feedback on whether your pace is effective. Check with them periodically during the session.TIME Master trainer Bob Pike offers two helpful models for managing your time MANA in a course effectively. He recommends dividing up your course into GEME several 20-minute cycles instead of one long event. Each cycle contents NT three elements. You can enter at any point and use either cycle. The idea is to mix it up and vary the delivery. A-D-A: Activity, Discussion, and Application E-A-T: Exercise, Awareness, Theory • In the first cycle, ADA, you conduct an activity, facilitate a discussion, and then look for/practice application. • In the second cycle, EAT, you conduct an exercise, discover the things participants became aware of as a result of the exercise, and then present the theory/rationale behind their observations and/or the learning objectives. Continued on next page 14
  15. 15. Helping Others LearnCreating a Positive Learning Experience , ContinuedHow to Spend Here is an example of how you might spend 60 minutes of instructional time. Your Time TIME ALLOTED Wise ACTIVITY ly 5 minutes Introduction/Overview/Objectives 2 minutes Transition/Set up of first learning point 20 minutes Conduct an EAT cycle around a single learning point 5 minutes Review/Transition to second learning point/cycle 20 minutes Conduct an ADA cycle around a single learning point 5 minutes Review/Discuss/Clarify/Summarize 3 minutes Transition to next learning cycleUse the Clock! Educator Bernice McCarthy suggests using the clock to pace you. She recommends: • Conduct a learning activity or exercise for 15 minutes • Facilitate a discussion, reflection activity, or inquiry exercise for 15 minutes. • Present concepts/principles/theory for 15 minutes • Wrap up the session with 15 minutes of application, practice, performance assessment, or other activities to enhance retention and transfer of the learning. 15
  16. 16. Helping Others LearnQESTIONING Questions are an instructors AND a participant’s best friend. Using them TEC effectively can help liven up the environment, pace, and learning! HNI QUE STypes Most questions can be classified as: • Direct – question is directed to a specific participant • Indirect – question is directed to anyone in the group • Open – any answer is acceptable or no specific answer is expected • Closed – only one “right” answer is expected The goal is to mix up your questions and use a combination of these types. Continued on next page 16
  17. 17. Helping Others LearnCreating a Positive Learning Experience , ContinuedPowerPoint PowerPoint is a wonderful tool for visually presenting your course materials. However, it is ONLY A TOOL and should not be allowed to dominate your instructional delivery. Below are some helpful suggestions regarding the use (or non-use!) of PowerPoint. • Position the projector so all participants can see clearly each slide • Do NOT read the slides. Let the audience read them. Your words should amplify, clarify, and expand upon the information being projected on the slide. Add value. • IF you must read a slide, ask a participant (or all participants) to do it • Use large fonts and only a few words on each slide • Use pictures, symbols, graphs, etc. as much as possible instead of words. Make them large enough to see. • Do NOT use long lists of terms, titles, names, numbers, etc. Break them up into smaller chunks, label them, and separate by lines, space, etc. • Use color carefully! Generally, use three or less colors per page. • Use bright colors (red, orange) for titles and highlighting important information. Use dark colors (black, deep blue) for text. • Many PowerPoint templates use a dark background and light text. While this may work on the computer, most of the time these templates do not project well. Use light backgrounds (white, yellow, pastel) and large, dark (black, deep blue, brown) text. • Check out your slide presentation from the participant’s view. Project it on a wall and then go sit where a learner might sit. How does it look from there? • Keep the number of slides to a minimum! Avoid “death by PowerPoint.” • Break up the presentation of slides with an activity, an exercise, discussion, etc. Cover or turnoff the projector during these times. Give your audience a mental and physical break. • Use clip art and pictures sparingly. Avoid clutter! • Keep PowerPoint animations and sound effects to a minimum. They can become extremely distracting after the first couple of times. • Use humor – appropriately of course 17
  18. 18. Helping Others Learn ResourcesBe a Good Observer!Overview This section presents a short list of resources for instructors. However, the best source of assistance will be other instructors. Get to know them, observe what they do (and don’t do!). Read, read, and read. Become an expert observer of the learning and presentation process.WEB SITES A few helpful Web sites for instructors include: • Donald Clark’s Training Super site: • Bob Pike Group (formerly Creative Training Techniques): • Games by Thiagi (for increasing participation and adding some fun!): • American Society for Training and Development: • Presenter’s University: • Presenters Online: • PowerPoint Helps: • - PowerPointers • - Microsoft • PowerPoint TutorialMagazines Here are some training/presenting industry magazines. • Training and Development (ASTD publishes) • Training Magazine (has a great website: ) • Presentations Magazine • Meetings Magazine • Online Learning Magazine 18
  19. 19. Helping Others Learn Continued on next page 19
  20. 20. Helping Others LearnBe a Good Observer! , ContinuedBooks There are literally thousands of excellent books on learning, training design and delivery, and presentation tools and techniques. Here are a few of them. • ABOUT LEARNING – Bernice McCarthy • THE 4MAT SYSTEM – Bernice McCarthy • THE ADULT LEARNER – Malcolm Knowles • EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING – David Kolb • TELLING AIN’T TRAINING – Harold Stolovitch & Erica Keeps • THE NEW SIX PACK – Robert Mager • TROUBLESHOOTING THE TROUBLESHOOTING COURSE – Robert Mager • ACTIVE LEARNING – Mel Silberman • LEARNING AS A WAY OF BEING – Peter Vail • INSTRUCTOR EXCELLENCE – Robert Powers • YOU ARE THE MESSAGE – Robert Ailes • THINKING ON YOUR FEET – Marlene Caroselli • INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNIQUE – Ivor K. Davies • THE ART OF COMMUNICATING – Bert Decker • YOU’VE GOT TO BE BELIEVED TO BE HEARD – Bert Decker • THE CONDITIONS OF LEARNING – Robert Gagnè • CREATIVE TRAINING TECHNIQUES – Bob Pike Don’t forget all the great resources available online. Improve YOUR performance as a Learning Facilitator! 20
  21. 21. Helping Others LearnBe a Good Observer! , ContinuedBooks There are literally thousands of excellent books on learning, training design and delivery, and presentation tools and techniques. Here are a few of them. • ABOUT LEARNING – Bernice McCarthy • THE 4MAT SYSTEM – Bernice McCarthy • THE ADULT LEARNER – Malcolm Knowles • EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING – David Kolb • TELLING AIN’T TRAINING – Harold Stolovitch & Erica Keeps • THE NEW SIX PACK – Robert Mager • TROUBLESHOOTING THE TROUBLESHOOTING COURSE – Robert Mager • ACTIVE LEARNING – Mel Silberman • LEARNING AS A WAY OF BEING – Peter Vail • INSTRUCTOR EXCELLENCE – Robert Powers • YOU ARE THE MESSAGE – Robert Ailes • THINKING ON YOUR FEET – Marlene Caroselli • INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNIQUE – Ivor K. Davies • THE ART OF COMMUNICATING – Bert Decker • YOU’VE GOT TO BE BELIEVED TO BE HEARD – Bert Decker • THE CONDITIONS OF LEARNING – Robert Gagnè • CREATIVE TRAINING TECHNIQUES – Bob Pike Don’t forget all the great resources available online. Improve YOUR performance as a Learning Facilitator! 20