Every individual has a preferred style of learning. Active and effective learning involves the following:
Trainers who want to promote learning needs to promote active learning and need to include a wide variety of strategies that involves the above listed activities.
No one can learn anything really well by simply being told about it. There are some things that you as trainer can do to maximise understanding and retention:
• Help learners to organise their listening by stating your major points and conclusions first before you going into details
• Use the major learning points to headlines in learning materials and visual aids
• Support major learning points with real-life examples
• Create a connection between new learning points with learners own knowledge and experience
It’s a known fact that adding visuals to teaching/training sessions result in better retention.
A picture is worth a thousand words
When teaching/training with an audio and visual dimension the message is reinforces by two systems of delivery. Also learners have different styles of learning.
What visuals aids can assist with the delivery process?
- Slides or overheads
Real simulated environment
Only hearing something and seeing it is not enough to learn new information. The adult learner does not function like an audio or video recorder.
Our brain asks questions:
- Have I heard or seen this information before?
What does it remind me of?
Where does this information fit?
What can I do with this information?
Is it the same as what I learnt before?
What are the purpose / objective of this training?
What does the Learning Program entail?
Is this information correct and valid?
Does the facilitator have the necessarily experience?
The brain processes information.
If learners are invited to ask question about what they are learning their brains will do a better job or processing.
To prompt questions you might want to do the following:
Pair learners up and ask them to develop question about what you are teaching/training them
Give learners a workbook activity in which they write questions down. Learners can discuss the questions in groups
Give learners some index cards on which they write down questions. Collect the card shuffle cards and give them to other learners to answer.
Write questions in whiteboard /flipchart
Give learners highlighter pens. Ask them to read learning materials/text books and highlight what they don’t understand, invite questions.
Provide a list of questions about the subject matter and ask participants to select a question that interest them
C) Speaking – Discussion
Discussion always promotes the processing of information. There is a wide range of methods that can be used to obtain active participation in discussion portions of a training session.
Here are some of the options:
- Open discussion
Ask a question and open it to the entire groups without any further structuring. If you have a very participative group of learners and you are worried about time say beforehand: “I’d like to as four or five of learners to share….”
If you are worried about few learners responding rephrases your question:”How many of you can tell me….?
Form groups of learners (four/six/eight), ask them to share and record the information. This is one of the key methods to get participation.
Cluster learners into pairs and instruct them to work on a task or answer pre-prepared questions.
Go around the group and obtain short responses to key questions.
Pass out index cards and request anonymous answers to your questions
Calling on the next speaker
Ask learner to raise their hands when they want to share their views.
Request the present speaker in the group to call on the next speaker.
For some fun use a ball and ask learner to through the ball to the next speaker.
Pull names from a hat to be the next speaker
Invite small number of participant to present their views in front of the entire group of learners. Rotate panellists to increase participation.
Use an enjoyable activity such as a quiz game to elicit participation. Use games to stimulate energy and involvement. Games also help to make dramatic points that learners seldom forget
D) Creating a love for learning
It’s the trainers’ duty to make sure that learning is a pleasant experience and learner develops a love and passion for learning.
Writing down skills in one of the most important ways to learn.
You learn better through text
You read through written instructions when setting up electrical goods and kit sets and you follow the directions to a tee
If you travelling somewhere you will write down the directions rather than use a map
You use a dictionary rather than ask someone else when you need to know how to spell a word
You are a strong reader and consume text quickly. You enjoy reading a lot and can easily recite parts of the books you have read
You prefer to read things to yourself rather than out loud
You use manuals and texts to help you understand things
You are a list person and know how to make up schedulesYou will turn diagrams and charts into words so that you can better understand them
When you are out looking to purchase a product you prefer to read through brochures and pamphlets rather than speak directly to a sales person
In classes your enjoy lectures that provide lots of information and notes
You may be a little shy when it comes to conversation but can write a very explanatory letter with a lot of detail
How can you enhance your learning experience with a Read-Write learning preference.
When in class take lots of notes
– Reread all your notes over and over again
– Rewrite text in your own words so that you can understand topics better
– If you have to work with diagrams and pictures, use words to describe them
– Arrange text into points
When learners are ask to do something with the learning materials they have read, heard, questioned and discussed, they are given the opportunity to really acquire knowledge and skills.
Here are some guidelines to promote learning by doing:
Ask learner to give examples of concepts your are presenting
Have them recap the major points of the learning session
Invite participant to create skits/role-plays that demonstrate a skills have taught them
Give learners a self -assessment to assess their knowledge and understanding
Provide real-life problems in which learners have to apply what they have learnt
Give learners an on-the-job (in the workplace) assignment that requirement them to extend the knowledge and skills they have acquired in the teaching/training session
Demonstrates relates to doing, when learners are asked to do something they really acquire knowledge and skills.
After providing step-by step demonstration to learners
Invite learners to perform a skills that was demonstrated