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Think about your last classroom experience. Did the instructor teach like you liked to learn? How do you teach? Are you varied in your teaching methods, or, perish the thought, a ‘one-trick’ pony?

I’m working on converting my Train the Trainer distance learning course to a new course software format. The information below is excerpted from the course.

How do you like to learn? I ask that question in my pre-conference survey before I teach the ‘live’ version of Train the Trainer–Instructor Development Workshop. (coming up in Bellevue, WA. Oct. 3-4). Interestingly, people’s answers vary greatly. Here are some of their answers about how they like to learn:

•Concrete sequential •Interaction and involvement •Experience first-hand how to teach a class •Listen and see visual examples •Small groups •Interactive environment •Take notes and ask lots of questions •Variety: lecture, video, exercises Doing/listening/visual

Do We Teach to How They Like to Learn?

Too often, we launch right into creating a course without acknowledging how adults learn. To optimize adult learning, we must include in our course those methods that are proven to result in better adult learning.  This will solve many of our teaching challenges! that means we have to have a wide ‘repertoire’ of teaching methods!

How Adults Like to Learn

1. Adults learn through association:  “We learn what we already know”.

I’ll bet you can remember a time when you took a course and got lost because the instructor didn’t relate what he was teaching to what you already knew.

Give an example of a time when you took a course, or taught a course, and the students didn’t understand what the instructor was talking about, even though the instructor kept trying to explain.

In both my ‘train the trainer courses, I show you how to teach with relevance, so you never ‘lose’ the student along the way!

         2. Adults learn and retain best by doing.

Life is “do it yourself”. This means that the highest level of learning occurs when the student practices in class. Otherwise, there is little skill developed and little retention.

Can you remember a time when you saw the instructor demonstrate the skill, but you had no chance to practice the skill in class.  (This is too often the case in real estate courses!)

     How did that affect your ability to do the skill later—your retention?

Does your favorite method of teaching match how adults learn best?

What does the research about retention suggest about the importance of role play (each person practicing the skill in class) in the learning process?

3. Adults learn from each other – Use teaching methods to encourage information exchange.

What teaching methods do you use in your teaching to ‘choreograph’ (organize and facilitate) the students in your class learning from each other?

4. Adults learn through repetition – Use several approaches to the same concept/process.

What kind of repetition have you seen be effective to increase students’ retention?

     What do you plan on doing to provide repetition and thus, long-term retention?

In both my courses, we explore several methods to provide repetitition–without being repetitious!       

5. Adults learn through rapid recall.

What methods have you seen used by instructors to provide situations where students could practice their recall, and thus, increase their retention?

In my new Train the Trainer course, I introduce Rapid Recall, where those taking the course have an opportunity to revisit the important concepts in that section of the course.     

6. Adults seek to satisfy individual needs – Experience levels vary greatly.

What methods have we already discussed to discover individual student needs?

  How have you seen instructors (or how have you) revisited those student needs during the course to remind students of their needs, and to see that you are meeting their needs?

    7. Adults learn practical information best. They want to know how your course content applies to their lives.

What methods do you use to assure that students can apply what you’re teaching to their lives?

Expand your teaching ‘repertoire’ with dozens of interesting, exciting, and new teaching methods. Explore either my distance learning Train the Trainer Course, or, my ‘live’ Instructor Development Workshop.

      

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audience sleepingIs your audience’s mind ‘wandering’? Here are 42 ways to keep their attention.

This month, I’m focusing on training. Why? Because you’re hiring good potential, but you need a plan to develop that potential. And, that development comes through training and coaching.

Trainers: Do they snooze when youa��re in front of them? Do their eyes slowly closea��and then blink open when theya��re startled by something you do in the classroom? Do you feel frustrated when you cana��t keep their attention?

The solution is simple: Gain more teaching skills.

Sounds easy, doesna��t it? But, the most difficult thing for us adults to do is to gain new skills. Instead, we tend to try to purchase competency (invest in software, programs, and a�?thingsa�� that supposedly do the work for us). But, in this case, all the PowerPoints in the world cana��t overcome a boring presenter!

You Can Expand Your Teaching Repertoire

Did you work to put yourself through college? I did. I found out it was much easier to put my talent to work and get paid, than to pick beans! So, when I was nineteen, I got a job playing piano in a bar. (Boy, did I learn about human nature).

When I was tickling the ivories, playing my way through college and graduate school, I noticed that, the more tunesa��and styles–I mastered, (that’s the repertoire), the more tips I made. I could please more of the people more of the time. Ita��s the same way with teaching, or doing keynotes, or presentations, or facilitation. The more skills you hone, the easier it is to be effective in front of people.

Most Presenters Know Just One Tune and Style

Most of us who present start by getting in front of people, and naturally doing some things right. We get acceptance. We get acclaim. We find wea��re good talkers in front of people. In fact, most people think that refining presentation skills are merely a function of

talking better.

So, we try to talk better. But, then, we hit our a�?ceiling of achievementa��. We cana��t seem to get any better. Then, we get frustrated. We try harder. That doesna��t help. Sometimes we look for someone who can help us a�?talk bettera��. We take a class thinking that someone will make us titillating on the stage. The interesting thing is thata��ita��s not the answer for most of us.

Gaining Other Presentation Skills

Sure, there are a myriad of presentation skills that help us in front of audiences. We can speak slower, speak more clearly, pause more effectively, use our bodies more effectively.A� But, in addition, there are teaching methods that increase the effectiveness of our presentations. These include

Crafting of the presentation

Audience participation

Use of visuals and props

How good are you at these teaching methods? Do you tend to rely on the good old stand-by, lecture? A�If so, youa��re boring your audiences to death!

A Great ‘How to Teach’ Course Will Help You

I teach Instructor Development Workshop in the state of Washington. This fulfills a requirement for instructors to teach clock-hour approved courses in the state. So many times, people come into the class wanting me to a�?fix thema�� so they will be fascinating in front of people. What I have to do is to teach them all those other methods to teach effectivelya��skills they can learn and master. Ita��s interesting to watch their paradigms switch from a�?make me another Johnny Carson or Don Ricklesa�? to a�?Ia��m grasping great teaching methods that work for me.a�?

To see my upcoming courses, click here.

Those 42 Teaching Methods

One of the things I do in Instructor Development is to demonstrate to students many teaching methods. Then, we a�?take it aparta�� and talk about how they would apply these methods to their own situations. Ia��ve developed a list of 42 Teaching Methods to summarize the course. Click here to get it.

Bring Skills to Your Company or Association

Want me to come toA� your company or association and teach these methods? Ia��ll customize the subject matter to match what you need. I believe training is major answer to our industrya��s offering value for services, and I can help you create great trainers and effective training. Click here to contact me, and wea��ll talk about your needs.