By Michael Hackett, LogiGear
Training has to be fun. Simple as that. To inspire changed behaviors and adoption of new practices, training has to be interesting, motivating, stimulating and challenging. Training also has to be engaging enough to maintain interest, as trainers today are forced to compete with handheld mobile devices, interruptions from texting, email distractions, and people who think they can multi-task.
Many trainers cringe at the term edutainment, the necessity of education to be entertaining. But the fact is: if class time is boring – regardless of how important – your efforts will fail. Regardless of the content, to boost interest and retention, training has to be interactive.
Today, there is great innovation going on in classroom practices – and not only from online delivery. In class, I use as many games, exercises and examples as I can to engage and challenge students. It takes longer than a lecture, but it’s much more effective.
What is clear about training adults is that lectures alone do not work. The content is easy to create and most efficient in terms of delivery time. But, in my experience, the retention rates are just too low! It’s essential that there be learning activities – and the more the better.
There must be learning activities to:
- Verify the content delivered was received
- Get feedback and replay to gauge the level of understanding
- Challenge adults with having them immediately apply the information – a key achievement for adult learners.
- Make the training more diverse and interesting to keep attention and increase retention
- Entertain, make training more interesting and fun
This does not have to be complex, time-consuming or a big event. At a minimum it can be an instructor-led walk-through of a testing example. It could be relating a past project experience. Although an instructor-led walk-through will have less interaction, telling effective stories can expand thinking and application. It could also be a testing simulation applying a newly learned process from start to finish. Knowledge needs more than one method of delivery for retention and application.
It has become increasingly popular in recent years to have corporate classes designed as simulations. Within this format, the classes are conducted with numerous activities and learning games, which have proven to be the key method to learning and applying job skills.
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