Archive for February, 2008

Deliver Training That Sticks and Lasts

February 26, 2008

Using collaborative activities is one of my favourite tools to make training more engaging and lasting experience.

I found a fantastic example of doing an evaluation of your synchronous training (classroom or virtual) in this post from Elliot Masie.
503 – Oprah e-Learning? Search and Your LMS :
“2. Tips for Trainers: Re-Design the Class Activity: Here is a different way to do an end-of-the-class evaluation. Instead of a smile sheet, ask your learners to, in small groups, re-design the program.  Give them 10 minutes and ask them to do a rapid re-design of the Sequence, Scope and Activities in the class.  You will be pleasantly surprised at the great ideas and rich data that this will yield.”

By engaging the learners at the end of the training this way you can be sure that they retain more from your class than just filling in an evaluation form.

Prior to any of my trainings I like use a short survey to increase the attention level of the participants. An option I use is to ask the major questions that will be addressed during my training and how relevant these questions are for the target group (rate 1 = irrelevant to 5= very relevant). A free survey tool is Kwik Online Surveys. My benefit is that I can better prepare the training for the target group.


Developmental Assignments – Wiki

February 21, 2008

I have created a wiki around developmental assignments.

The key factors for successful learning – continued 2

February 18, 2008

In my recent post I introduced you to filters as a great way to filter out what you really need to learn.

Now I found an excellent example of a filter for language learning by Timothy Ferris in his blog post: How to learn (but not master) Any Language in 1 Hour (Plus: A Favor).

With this Filter what he calles Deconstructing a langugae Timothy determines the likelihood of becoming fluent in a language in the next to two to twelcve month.

Timothy Ferris is the best selling author of “The 4-Hour Workweek“.

Free Teaching Tools Web2.0

February 11, 2008

One of the best ways to learn is to teach it to others. Therefore I will be listing some free tools to use to teach virtually. This list is not complete. I will do some maintainance over the next couple of weeks as I am going to test the tools before listing them here.
It is up to you what tools you finally use to teach to others. I like to make teaching a rather engaging and action oriented process. There are a number of tools to support this:

1) Scheduling tools:
To schedule a synchronous activity such as a Webinar I like to use Doodle. This tool allows you to poll your audiences’ prefered date for a synchronous event.

2) Sensibilisation: (Pre Event or Post Event Activities)
I like to sensibilize my audience especially when I have some key slides for them.
Just the other day I polled one of my audiences after delivering an online presentation via Netmeeting with a free tool called: Kwiksurvey. During my presentation I had introduced a list of factors having an influence on successful leadership career development. In the poll I let the audience rate each factor’s influence. After a week I shared the results with them.
Another way to use the tool is to poll your audience before delivering a presentation or a training. I usually have one main question for each slide I am going to use in this kind of events. By letting the audience rate the importance of each question before I get a good glimpse on which will be the key questions and therefore the key slides for them.

Collaborative Learning

February 6, 2008

During my time in university I have experienced the power of collaborative learning myself. We were about 15 students attending a class together. Our professor was one the advisors to the German Government. One thing he enjoyed most was thinking loud in front of this class. The class was officially scheduled for 90 minutes. This did not stop this famous professor to elaborate all aspects of the topic of the class during his lecture in a “dramatic” monologue while walking up and down in front of us. Needless to say that his type of lecture could last until 3 to 4 hours without break. Leaving most of us puzzled what his key message was and what to learn in respect of the final exam at the end of the semester. Not to mention that it was impossible to keep the attention level during this time in the classroom. I still wonder today how I was able to manage not to fall asleep.

Another obvious fact was that there was a large percentage of students who failed the final exam for this class.

The only way I thought about how to survive the exam was to form a study group. This seemed to be a good idea as then all the students of this class attended the study group. I remember some of them questioning at the beginning if studying together will be effective. By the end of the semester we were all fully engaged in this group and prepared the upcoming exam together. The result was better than imagined – None of us failed.

 Now I found a landmark study by Richard J. Light, of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Light discovered that one of the strongest determinants of students’ succes in higher education – more important than the details of their instructors’ teaching styles – was their ability to form or participate in small study groups. Students who studied in groups, even only once a week, were more engaged in their studies, were better prepared for class, and learned significantly more than students who worked on their own.” Seely Brown, John;Adler, Richard P.: “Minds on Fire – Open Education, the Long Tail, and Learning 2.0” Page 18

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