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Have you ever applied for a home loan or refinanced your existing home loan? If you have, you know that it can be a long, tedious, and frustrating process. Often there’s too much time spent on the process, an abundance of paperwork to sign, too many fees, and there are too many people involved. By the end of the process, you may even wonder why you bothered in the first place. The process is much too cumbersome. This makes me wonder if anyone in the banking or mortgage business has asked the question, “How can we make this process easier for the customer?” If they did, maybe the entire process would be simplified.
Those of us in the training industry can and should be doing the same thing. We should always ask, “How can I make learning easier and more fun for my employees?” If you do, then every decision you make moving forward will lead to improvements in your training!
Here are ten ways to make learning easier and fun for your participants:
1. Use a variety of visual aids – tap into multiple learning preferences by using slides, videos, pictures, charts, infographics, and audio clips to deliver your lessons.
2. Incorporate short breaks frequently – adult learners need physical and mental breaks to help them stay focused, energized, and engaged in your classes. Strive for short breaks every hour or hour and a half.
3. Use small group exercises – these activities help to break up the lectures and give your learners a chance to have fun, work with others, and get a physical break from hearing your voice.
4. Incorporate the principles of adult learning – if you follow the seven adult learning principles(e.g. adults must know what there is to gain, adults want content that’s focused on real-life problems/tasks, adults have experience to share and want to participate, etc.) featured in Langevin’s How Adults Learn workshop, your training will be focused on the learner, interactive and fun, and relevant to the participant’s jobs.
5. Include brain teasers and icebreaker activities – adding an element of entertainment and friendly competition to a training session is a great way to get participants engaged and working together. Use them at strategic times like first thing in the morning, right after lunch, and right after breaks.
6. Use Energizers if classes run a bit long – at strategic points in a training day, use fun energizer activities like magic tricks, video clips, and stretch breaks to keep things moving.
7. Use analogies often – people learn better when you link something they know with something new. Use analogies often to shorten your lecture time.
8. Use multi-media in the classroom – don’t be afraid to incorporate multi-media and technology into your classroom. Play a game using a SMART board or allow learners to use their smart phones to play games or to look up information to answer questions in a scavenger hunt.
9. Tell stories often – people retain information better when it’s learned through storytelling. Keep your stories brief and compelling. The story can be made up, from your personal life, or from your professional experience. When you can link stories to key learning moments, your training becomes more memorable.
10. Get people moving – have learners change groups, write on whiteboards and flip charts, exchange work with classmates, and literally move around the room for various activities.
So, trainers, if you put these ten tips to use, you will be answering the question, “How can I make learning easier and more fun for my employees?”
To learn more about these instructional techniques, and tons of others, our Instructional Techniques for New Instructors workshop is the perfect place to start!
This article was first published March 18, 2019.