Benefits of Increasing Participation in Training Sessions

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”.

Confucius – Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC – 479 BC)

I often use this quote when training trainers, as it really brings home the importance of getting the group more involved in the learning process. Some learners are auditory, and learn best by listening and speaking, others are visual learners, and learn by seeing and reading. But we must not forget the kinesthetic learners that learn by touching and doing. By getting the learner participating in the training session, whether through questioning techniques or some sort of exercise or activity, the potential for the learning of the whole group is maximised, therefore making your training sessions much more effective and productive. The training will be more fun and stimulating for the learner, but also for you as a trainer.

Learning is often increased the more an individual is involved and allowed to participate in the learning process. This is because the learner is given more time on a particular subject area, and is encouraged to think and make sense of the information given. They will then be able to relate the learning to their own experiences and assimilate the information at their own pace, level and style. Getting learners more involved increases interest and motivation, and can make the learning much more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Another one of the benefits of increasing participation in training sessions is that it allows the trainer to gauge if the pace and level of the training is right, and if the desired level of understanding has been reached. It allows the trainer to clarify points of confusion or misunderstanding, and learning can be measured or consolidated to achieve learning outcomes. It allows for much more flexibility of approach and enables techniques to be used that meet different learning and trainer styles.

There are lots of ways to get the learners more involved. Icebreakers can warm up a group at the beginning of a training session, and can help to establish a connection between participants. Energisers can invigorate a group at the start of a training session, at a break, or particularly after lunch, or as we trainers call it ‘The Graveyard Shift! They can increase energy and motivation, encourage creativity and help the concentration levels within the group.

But there are other types of interactive methods that can aid the learning process. Activities such as facilitated exercises, syndicate work and discussions can all help to take the learning forward or develop understanding. Individual, pairs or exercises in groups of three can all be introduced in to a training session depending on numbers, nature of the topic and desired learning outcomes. Quizzes, games, case studies and post-it work can also be fun and stimulating ways to consolidate a training session.

Next time I will discuss the factors to consider when incorporating interactive methods in to your training sessions.

How interactive, fun and effective are your training sessions? If you want to learn more about how to maximise learning through increasing participation, then please contact me.

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