At Langevin, we survey our learners at the beginning of every course. In our Instructional Techniques for New Instructors workshop, one of the questions on the survey is, “What is the biggest issue or challenge/barrier you face in your role as an instructor?” One of the most common responses I receive to this question is, “How to get learners to participate or be more engaged.” As new instructors, it can be challenging to think of ways to get your learners to participate and be involved in your training. The key is to truly want and welcome learner participation.
Here are eight tips to help increase participation and involvement from your LEARNERS:
The Less you dominate, the more they will participate.
Exercises – use frequent small group activities.
Ask learners to have a brief discussion with a neighbor. Get them to formulate a question, think of examples, react to a statement, formulate a rebuttal, etc.
Add Reinforcement techniques – include both verbal and non-verbal.
Never tell the learners what they can tell you.
Encourage learners to continue speaking. Use minimal encourages such as “uh-huh,” “good,” or “right.” Also use head nods and smile at the speaker.
Reviews should be done by the learners, not the trainer.
Sit down to remove the attention from yourself.
By using some, if not all, of these tips, you will motivate your learners to become more involved and increase their participation. By doing this, you will create an enjoyable atmosphere which will help increase the learners’ ability to retain the skills and knowledge being taught in your courses! Hopefully these tips can help alleviate some of the challenges you face when trying to get your learners to participate or be more engaged.
To learn how to promote learner participation, establish a good climate for learning, and many other tips, enroll in our Instructional Techniques for New Instructors workshop!