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Langevin's Train-the-Trainer Blog

Steve Flanagan

Hello, I am Steve Flanagan. (Only my mother calls me Stephen.) I was born in Glasgow, Scotland and moved to Canada with my family when I was 12 years old. I currently live in the beautiful wine region of Niagara, Canada. As Senior Instructor with Langevin Learning Services, I enjoy a variety of duties but mostly enjoy conducting our excellent workshops in fantastic locations throughout the world.
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Recent Posts

5 Instructional Techniques for Managing Instructional Time

Posted by Steve Flanagan on 7/13/15 4:00 AM

Instructors are often required to deliver a whole lot of content in a very short period of time. It doesn’t take much to get off track or to spend more time on a topic than is allotted in the lesson plan. A quick glance at your watch and you are way behind time.

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Topics: instructional techniques, tips-for-trainers

10 Signs of Instructor Burnout

Posted by Steve Flanagan on 5/18/15 4:00 AM

Training managers, a heavy training schedule with several weeks of classroom instruction in a row can take a toll on an instructor. Combine this with travel and administrative duties and an instructor can be at risk of burning out.

Here are 10 “tell-tale” signs to watch for:

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Topics: training manager, tips-for-trainers

3 Tips for Working with Subject-Matter Experts

Posted by Steve Flanagan on 12/15/14 3:00 AM

Since moving to our farm a few months ago we certainly have learned a great deal. We've discovered a lot of "what to do" as well as "what not to do" when it comes to growing grapevines. Since all of this is very new to us, we've had to rely on some seasoned farm experts. Our main resource is our vineyard manager – Roger. He has 30 years of experience in the farming industry as well as endless resources and contacts. Roger coaches us on how to prune, tie, sucker, and tuck the vines. However, when we are unable to perform a task around the farm, even with his help, he finds someone who can. He truly is a subject-matter expert and a valuable resource.

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Topics: subject-matter expert

How to Decide Whether to Fix a Course or Scrap it

Posted by Steve Flanagan on 9/22/14 4:00 AM

My wife and I recently gave up city living and bought a farm. Fourteen acres of grapes, a big farm house and a huge barn, all in a beautiful country setting. We knew it was going to be an adjustment in our life style, but we really had no idea how much. The grape vines need a bit of work after some years of harsh winter weather and unfriendly bugs. We had to make some decisions about some of our varieties; do we prune, tie, fertilize, and nurture these plants back to health or do we pull them up and replant?

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Topics: managing training, training manager

5 Tips for Virtual Classroom Trainers

Posted by Steve Flanagan on 7/7/14 4:00 AM

Preparing for the virtual classroom (synchronous training) is critical for a virtual trainer. Failing to consider all that could happen could mean an unsuccessful session. Sure, there are the obvious things that need to be done, such as checking that your computer is plugged in, the internet connection is wired and reliable, and you have thorough knowledge of your virtual platform and content.

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Topics: virtual trainer, virtual classroom

How to Develop an Online Mindset

Posted by Steve Flanagan on 4/10/14 4:00 AM

I’ve seen a lot of changes in the training industry over the last 20 years, from the days of the overhead projector and acetate slides to smart boards, iPads, and e-learning. We were just starting to get our heads around rapid e-learning and along comes social media for trainers.

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Topics: virtual trainer, virtual classroom

5 Instructional Techniques for Building Climate and Rapport

Posted by Steve Flanagan on 3/24/14 4:00 AM

Colourful Round Table People Looking Up.jpg
When participants first arrive at a course, they have doubts, concerns, and fears. Many don’t know what to expect or even why they are there. It is critical that instructors work hard to build climate and rapport to help participants feel connected and as comfortable as possible, as soon as possible.

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Topics: difficult participants, instructional techniques, tips-for-trainers

6 Tips for Developing Ground Rules in a Facilitated Session

Posted by Steve Flanagan on 2/27/14 3:00 AM

When running a facilitated session we would like to think that common sense and good manners would prevail. This is not always the case. Sometimes in facilitated sessions, particularly those sessions dealing with contentious issues, participants can let their emotions get the better of them. In these situations it is a good practice to develop ground rules.

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Topics: facilitation, instructional techniques

5 Ways to Reinforce Learning

Posted by Steve Flanagan on 1/27/14 3:00 AM

Here are five performance support activities that will reinforce learning after the core learning solution has been completed.

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Topics: blended learning

5 Ways to Make Practice Sessions Job-Like and Realistic

Posted by Steve Flanagan on 12/23/13 3:00 AM

A big part of an instructional designer’s job is to make learner practice as realistic and job-like as possible. A simulation can be used to add extra challenge to a practice exercise by introducing real-life standards and conditions. This is especially important when learners are required to meet job standards immediately after training when they return to the job, and when the consequence of error on the job is serious.

Before considering the addition of job-like conditions to a practice exercise, the learner must have had the opportunity to develop the skill first; otherwise, they will be set up for failure.
Here are five ways to make practice sessions simulate real-life job conditions:

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Topics: tips-for-trainers, instructional design

About this Blog

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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