Langevin's Train-the-Trainer Blog

How to Apply the Concepts Behind Common Training Buzzwords

Posted by Lynne Koltookian on 4/8/19 8:00 AM
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Photo by: Matthew_T_Rader via Unsplash

If you’re like me, perhaps your head is spinning with all the buzzwords that float around our training profession. But, don’t fret. To be an effective trainer for your learners and organization, the main thing is to understand and apply the concepts behind these buzzwords!



Micro-learning is an instructional approach that involves learning through short, bite-sized lessons that gradually build skills over time. This is not a new idea. It is based on the chunking concept rooted in adult learning theory. Adults need to learn and digest new knowledge in small chunks over time rather than a vast amount given at one time. This is true for those of us who train for a living. We need to make sure learners have mastered the pieces before we can expect them to produce the whole.



Gamification refers to the use of elements of games, like badges, scoreboards, and avatars to motivate and engage learners. Nothing new here. Trainers have been using game elements in training for years. We often display leaderboards to ignite friendly competitions and use game boards to excite learners. Game elements make learning fun and memorable. This concept also has its roots in adult learning theory. Adults learn and retain more information when it is fun and motivating. Although gamification has increased in popularity as it is now used in other fields, like human resources and sales, we can’t ignore it’s been used in training for years.


Personalized Learning

Personalized learning refers to learning that is relevant and customized for each learner’s unique role and needs. Have you heard of the acronym WIIFM (What’s in it for me?)? Trainers have known this adult learning principle for years and instructional designers use the principle as a guide when designing training. We know training needs to be relevant for learners so they will stay engaged, benefit from the content, and walk away with new skills and knowledge. Recently, personalized learning has gained popularity as it’s more easily accessible in e-learning, letting individual learners choose what information they’d like to access first. This concept has been used in classroom training for groups, where learners can vote to identify which topic they’d like to cover first. This type of personalized learning is not suitable for task-based lessons, or lessons that require a certain sequence.


User-Generated Content

User-generated content is content used in training that is generated by individuals other than learning and development professionals. Once again, this concept is not new. Learning professionals that are true facilitators know that adults like to bring their own knowledge and experiences to the learning process and they are quite capable of telling the instructor what they need to know and what is important to them. As instructors and instructional designers, we need to give learners a platform to share this type of content. At Langevin we say to our clients, “Never do for the learners what they can do for themselves!”


If you’re looking for ways to enhance your classroom-based instructor-led courses before, during, and after training, The Modern Classroom workshop introduces a variety of fun and engaging techniques including social media, microlearning, video, gamification, graphic facilitation, virtual reality, and more!


Ultimate Guide to Making Training Fun

Topics: gamification, microlearning

Written by Lynne Koltookian

Lynne has been a course leader with Langevin since 2007. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Penn State University and a Master’s degree in Education from Boston University. After working many years in human resources and sales, Lynne transitioned into training, her true passion, where she’s been facilitating since 1994. Her training philosophy is simple—learning should be fun! The essence of a good instructor is someone who can make complex things easy to understand and fun to learn. In her free time, you’ll find Lynne cycling, hiking, downhill skiing, and scuba diving.

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