Choosing the right presentation and application (aka teaching and learner practice) methods is like choosing the right clothing to wear based on the weather…it needs to make sense. I live in New England where we enjoy all of the four seasons. Consequently, I have lots of different types of clothing to match the varying temperature fluctuations and weather conditions. As trainers and designers, we can use the same thought process when choosing presentation and application methods.
We have to ask ourselves, “Does the method fit our audience, time frame, and content? Does the method make sense?”
For example, if I trained sales reps, then I might choose game playing for that audience. This method makes sense because sales reps are competitive people and competition is an integral part of their job.
If I trained managers who have little time to give me, then I would choose a lecture method that permits transferring large amounts of information in less time but I would lecture in an interactive way to keep them engaged.
If I taught skill-based content, then I would choose demonstration method to appeal to all three learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic). I would also need to consider my audience, time frame, and content for choosing the most appropriate learner practice methods.
In several of our workshops we share up to 50 presentation and application methods that can be used during training sessions! This is the cool thing about training that I’m always telling my learners. In our world of instruction and design there is always more than one way to do just about everything! While this fact might be overwhelming for some, for others it is very exciting!
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed about what makes sense when choosing methods, give the following suggestions a try – keeping the key considerations of audience, time frame, and content in mind:
If you teach “hands on” skill-based content:Presentation Methods:
- Short Lectures
- Peer Tutoring
- Field Trips
- Practice Sessions
- Laboratory Settings
If you teach business skills like leadership, communication and customer service:
- Behavior modeling
- Mock Interviews
- Graphic Association
- Action Maze
- Case Studies
- Role Plays
In summary, there are many methods to choose from when your design your training programs. The method you choose depends on many variables but the main ones are time, audience, and content. The choice you make will either help or hinder the learning process so make this decision with great consideration.
Remember my analogy of comparing clothing with methods. Just make your choices fit your training conditions and you will be fine!
Hello, I’m Lynne Koltookian, a native New Englander. I have lived here all my life and am now the Boston-based instructor for Langevin Learning Services. I started working for Langevin in March of 2007 after working more than twenty years for corporations in eastern Massachusetts.