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8 Tips to Increase Learner Participation and Involvement

Posted by Beth Brashear on 1/30/17 8:00 AM
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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. When you apply principles of adult learning to your instructional design process, you can include proven strategies that will increase learner participation. Starting the course with high impact and welcoming the participants as they arrive will pave the way for a positive learning experience.


Here are eight tips you can use in your training sessions to engage your learners:

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!


Ultimate Guide to Making Training Fun

Beth has been a course leader with Langevin since 2015. She currently resides in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Beth began her training career in 2006 and believes, while training needs to be educational, it also needs to be fun! Outside of the classroom, Beth enjoys spending time with her daughter, reading, playing volleyball, photography, and travelling. She hopes to one day visit India during the Festival of Lights, Mexico for the Day of the Dead Celebration, Rio for the Carnival, and China for the Chinese New Year.

Tags: instructional techniques

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Our very own world-class course leaders share their experiences, tips, best practices, and expertise on virtual training, instructional design, needs analysis, e-learning, delivery, evaluation, presentation skills, facilitation, and much more!

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