You’ve spent countless hours poring over your course content. You’ve searched the deepest corners of the internet to find creative icebreakers and brainteasers. Perhaps, you’ve even spent late night hours crafting visual aids that will be incorporated into the session. It seems like you’ve done everything possible to make your course a success.
So, don’t let your hard work be in vain by delivering training in a room that’s disorganized, uncomfortable, and difficult to maneuver in.
Classroom layout is very important. By taking full advantage of your classroom space, you’ll create an environment that promotes interaction and ensures comfort.
Here are five tips to optimize your training room layout:
- Create a classroom checklist. Your checklist should include items like a “to do” list, necessary course materials, and essential audio-visual requirements.
- Make sure your learners can clearly see visual aids from all seats and angles. Ensure they are not obstructed by items like furniture, equipment, or pillars.
- Consider learner comfort when determining seating arrangements. Be mindful of seating that is located directly under a vent. Be conscious of sunlight glare if seats are located near a window. Lastly, make sure your learners have a little bit of “elbow room.” At Langevin, our best practice is to allow 4-6 square feet of table space per person for small group seating arrangements. This allows each learner to have enough space to work and write, as well as store their materials.
- Maximize interaction by choosing the most ideal seating arrangement. Langevin’s preferred seating arrangement is to have our learners sit at round tables, in a crescent format. This allows our learners to sit half-way around a table, all while facing the front of the room. Having learners sit this way encourages a communal feeling that is well-suited for small group activities and exercises.
- Set up your room in advance, if possible. This will give you ample time to assess the room and properly arrange or rearrange furniture. It also allows you to test any technological or electronic equipment. And before you turn the lights off and leave that room, conduct one final walk-through to make sure everything is working properly, there are no visible obstructions, and everyone has clear access to exits.
Having an optimal classroom set-up is an important part of conducting a successful training course. However, it may require a bit of creative thinking and ingenuity on your part. Just be sure to think outside the box when creating the most ideal learning space.
For even more tips and techniques to get optimal use of your classroom, check out Langevin’s Instructional Techniques for New Instructors workshop!
What is your top tip to ensure you’ve created a training environment that is best for maximum participation? We’d love to hear from you!
This article was first published November 20, 2017.