We talk a lot on this blog about ways to design effective trainings that are also–imagine!–relatively fun for trainers and trainees alike. A lot of this advice deals with the nitty-gritty of designing courses from the ground up or doing major projects like overhauling a course to teach it online for the first time.
Often, though, what trainers need are quick ways to jazz up a training or an easy way to get learners more involved in a particular activity. In this new series, we’ll offer quick tips for things you can do in about five minutes or so. No re-designing trainings or massive file updates, just easy ideas you can put into practice right away. Think of it as microlearning for the trainer.
Quick Training Tip #1: Review early and often
All the brilliant activities and sleek videos in the world don’t matter a bit if your trainees can’t remember what it was you were talking about last week. Or five minutes ago.
Of course, it’s smart to increase learner retention by building in review sections to your training course, but reviewing past material should also be something you do in quick bursts on a daily basis.
This can be as easy as starting off a hybrid or in-person training session by asking a trainee to give a brief re-cap of what the group discussed during the last session.
An effective way to close out a training session is to take the last five minutes and ask people to describe–in their own words–what they got out of the training. Keep it brief: have people reduce their takeaways to a sentence or even one word. Depending on the group, you can have people share aloud or jot it down. Either way, it’s helpful for you as a trainer to have first-hand feedback on what your learners are getting from the training.
If you’re working in an online environment, add a quick review question to the beginning of each new module. Sometimes it’s also helpful to give trainees a question or activity in the middle of a module that asks them to synthesize past material with what they’re currently working on. And again, wrap up each module with some kind of review question or activity that asks trainees to recall or reflect on previously learned material before they move on.
Review activities help trainees get a better handle on the information and retain it longer. These kinds of quick, frequent review activities are great for learners because they emphasize connections across modules and topics. When you’re familiar with a topic, these kinds of connections are automatic, but beginners often need help seeing them.
These review activities are also great feedback for trainers and can help you modify activities for the future.
Feel free to share your own tips for incorporating these kinds of quick reviews in the comments below.
I'm endlessly fascinated by how people learn, and I'm happiest when I'm in the process of learning something new myself.
When I'm not working on marketing for Avizr, I can be found teaching Spanish, working with my student teachers, hanging out with my dogs, and exploring the many trails around Bellingham.