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The 5 “W’s” of Using Review Techniques in Training

Posted by Dawn Lang on 2/13/17 8:08 AM
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As a Langevin Course Leader, I want all our workshop participants to get the most out of the training they attend with us. That’s why using creative and memorable review activities during the courses we teach, is so essential! These activities help learners store and retrieve information, especially after they leave the training session.


So, what do I mean by review activities? I’m referring to the transfer of knowledge and skills that takes place once a learner is back on the job. Let me share the basics of this very effective instructional technique with you, along with a few of my favorite review exercises.


WHAT is a review?

A review activity clarifies and highlights the key points for learners during training. You’ll want to incorporate a variety of review types throughout your training. They can include activities like friendly competition, physical movement, background music and active engagement.


WHY do a review?

A review activity reinforces key concepts. It also allows participants to experience success when they give the correct answers. It provides the participants with opportunities to elaborate and reflect on what they’ve learned. This in turn gives them time to make connections and comprehend the value and relevance of their new learning. 

Review exercises also give you—the instructor—a chance to determine if there are any gaps in their understanding and an opportunity to clarify any misconceptions. Instructors can then answer questions before moving on to the next chunk of content. 


WHEN should I do a review?

Instructors typically use a review after presenting a chunk of content, before moving on to a new chunk of information. You’ll also want to give your learners more frequent chances to review material that’s more complex or that they may be less experienced with.

Starting each morning by reviewing the previous day’s work is an excellent way to reinforce what was learned before moving on to new content.

There are other times during training when reviews are beneficial. For example, before or after breaks, before and after lunch, and before the end of the training day. An end-of-day review also leaves the learners with a positive note and a sense of accomplishment.


WHO does the review?

The key to a successful review is to involve the learners and have them interact with the content as much as possible. The review method you choose can be instructor-driven or participant-driven depending on your purpose and the participant’s level of knowledge and skill.

For example, you may want to plan an exercise that is peer-driven or includes table group presentations. Collaborative reviews and fun, game-like competitions between groups increase participant engagement and take learning to a higher level.    


WHERE do I get ideas for creative review methods? 

There are dozens of review exercise techniques that you can find online and of course, in a Langevin workshop! A variety of methods are presented and applied during every Langevin workshop. Here are three of my favorite review methods that will work with many types of content:

Peer Review
Provide a list of key points and ask learners to review the material associated with each item. Once the groups have had a chance to review the material, have different partner groups share their findings, allowing other groups to add on, clarify or ask questions as needed.


Pull it Out of the Hat
Collect a variety of items and place them in a hat. Ask each learner to select one item and describe how it relates to something learned in class and how they will transfer that learning back to their job.


Team Challenge
Have learners work in teams to create challenging—yet answerable—questions about the content that was covered during training. Once each team has had an opportunity to design their questions, they try to “stump” the other teams. Add rules, points and other guidelines to make this a competitive and interactive activity.


During your next training session, I challenge you to build in memorable and fun review exercises to help your participants focus on key takeaways! Looking for some inspiration? Check out Langevin’s 25 Creative Ways to Add Excitement to your Training workshop!


Share your favorite review techniques in the comments section and help all of us add to our training toolbox!


Ultimate Guide to Making Training Fun


Dawn has been a course leader with Langevin since 2015. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education at Kansas State University, followed by a Master’s in Information and Learning Technologies/Instructional Design from the University of Colorado Denver. Her passion for teaching started in third grade and she’s never looked back! As an educator, technology trainer, instructional designer, and facilitator of virtual training, she’s had the opportunity to work with a variety of stakeholders in all different contexts to support their learning and application of skills and knowledge. As a trainer, Dawn strives to inspire and empower people to reach their full potential. Consistently incorporating fun and laughter, building connections, and respecting others are important components she utilizes as a trainer. She enjoys spending time with her family, playing tennis, biking, being in the mountains, as well as reading at the pool or the beach!

Tags: instructional techniques, instructor-led training, summary and review 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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