When I’m delivering a workshop, and ask the question, “What is your biggest frustration as a trainer?”
I almost always have one or two participants say that “lack of participation from their learners” is a big one.
1. When discussing housekeeping rules, discuss group dynamics and point out that the workshop is a “participation sport” rather than a “spectator event!”
2. To help the learners develop a “response habit,” have them do a puzzle when you start a course.
3. Devote 1/3 of your course to presenting content and 2/3 for your learners to apply the skills you’ve taught them—the more hands-on the activities are, the more involved the learners will be!
4. “Never do for the learners what they can do for themselves.”—this is my favorite saying! Rather than using one-way lectures, involve the learners in presenting the content. Brainstorming, buzz groups and neighbor discussions are all great ways to get them more involved!
5. If you must provide some content via lecture, when you’re finished ask the group to summarize the main points.
6. When using PowerPoint, have the learners read the slides to themselves and then give them a task to complete such as identifying the most valuable items or summarizing how they will use this information back on the job.
7. Divide your learners into groups and ask them to devise challenging, yet answerable, questions to be answered by the other learners.
8. When your learners ask questions, rather than answering them all yourself, relay some of them back to the group so that they can answer them to reinforce what they’ve learned.
Using these tips will add variety to your training programs and will help your learners better absorb and retain the content. Enroll in Langevin’s Instructional Techniques for New Instructors workshop today to learn even more ways to connect with your learners!
What are some of your best practices for enhancing learner engagement? I look forward to reading them in the comments below!
Hello, from Washington, DC, I am Beth Brashear. I was born outside of Pittsburgh but spent the majority of my youth in Charles Town, WV. I have lived in the DC area for the last 15 years and absolutely love our Nation’s Capital!