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4 Instructional Techniques to End a Course with Impact

Posted by Alan Magnan on 7/6/15 4:00 AM
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In training, most courses end with a slide titled, "Summary,” and a few bullet points. The instructor talks about what's on the screen (yet again) and considers the course done. Not a very powerful ending to something that was intended to improve employee job performance. Here are four instructional techniques (each in the form of a summary or review) that can make a bigger impact and increase the chances that people actually use the skills they learned.

  1. Action Plan Debrief

After each lesson in the course, ask the learners to record their favorite ideas in an action plan. This is a great way to promote training transfer. For the summary, they can read through their ideas and highlight the top three. Afterwards, they each share their top three action plan items with the whole group.

  1. Hat Trick

On separate sheets of paper, write down each of the different job tasks/topics the training covered. Fold up the sheets and put them in a hat or a cardboard box. Learners pick from the hat and take a few minutes to determine the three key points they got from the task or topic listed on their sheet of paper. They then take turns sharing their job tasks and key points.

  1. Review Ball

Ask learners to stand in a circle. Pass a ball to one of them, asking that person to share a key idea learned during the session. That learner then throws the ball to another random person in the circle, who shares a key idea. They continue in this way until everyone has shared.

  1. Poster Review

Ask learners to work in teams and create a poster advertising the course for the next group of attendees. Ideally they would use flipcharts or whiteboards, but plain old lined paper works in a pinch. Tell them to include the outcomes and benefits they found most valuable. Afterwards, each group presents and explains their poster to the other groups.

A summary can accomplish many things – highlight key points, reinforce valuable elements in the course, or even persuade learners to adopt more of the course content as a result of hearing each other’s conclusions. Using the instructional techniques outlined above, the learners are actually involved in the review and get to end the course doing something more enjoyable than just sitting and listening.

For additional review techniques, check out our 25 Creative Ways to Add Excitement to your Training workshop!

Happy summarizing!

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Alan has been a course leader with Langevin since 1996. He studied business administration at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology. Alan’s philosophy on training is that it can be fun, engaging, and active, but that’s just what’s on the surface. Training must also be practical, realistic, and applicable. Alan is a computer geek at heart and enjoys programming and gaming in his spare time. He’s also a great fan of the outdoors during the summer months, and when the winter moves in, you’ll find him reading, or recording and playing music.

Topics: instructional techniques

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