Learning Environment, Pre-Training Communication
The following are the key steps you should adopt to enhance learning and create a positive environment in your classroom.
1 – Link the training to their work
Highlight the value and relevance of the training by clarifying the purpose and outcome. Show them how the learning from the different activities and key points fits into the larger picture of their work and life. Encourage participants to set their own learning objectives by putting the learning in context.
2 – Awaken their sense of responsibility
Engage participants in motivating discussions that deepens their commitment to the training program. Highlight their responsibilities and obligations towards themselves, the organizations they represent the training group and training team.
3 – Make it personal, honest and sincere
Building your credibility with your class participants from the very beginning of the training program will take you a long way. Make sure to to establish yourself as a professional, build trust and goodwill. Participants will assess your credibility from the first minute by your professional competence and how you approach the topic of the training program as well as the sincerity of your purpose, honesty and openness.
4 – Flex your training style
Your own training style is a key factor in promoting a healthy, learning environment. As the training program progresses, its requirements and those of the group change. You should be willing to examine the relevance and appropriateness of your style in accordance with the demands of the training program and bring in the desired changes.
5 – Use a variety of training methods
A key ingredient that promotes learning is the proper use of a variety of learning methods that stimulates active participation and reduce learning fatigue. Take into consideration the different learning styles of the participants. while you may focus on group learning, you must also offer opportunities for learning through individual activities and exercises.
6 – Create a risk-free environment
Assure them that you are willing to help them learn; and committing mistakes or slip-ups will not invite censure or ridicule from you or the participants. Recognize initiative and enterprise but remind them that lack of efforts will not be in the spirit of the training program.
7 – Infect them with your excitement
You have to lead by example upfront. Demonstrate that you are enjoying your work, relaxed, fully committed to the success of the training program and willing to take risks. If you are excited about the training, it’s contagious – they will catch it too.
8 – Keep it timely
Besides the use of basic tools, you can also enhance the learning process by attending to the nuts and bolts of the training program. Make sure that no time is wasted. Start and finish the session on time. Breaks between the sessions should be regulated, enabling the next activity to start on time. Give clear and precise instructions for group or individual assignments and let it be known to the participants that you want these assignments to be completed and submitted on time. However, you need to be careful and not overburden them.
9 – Be courteous
Treat the participants with respect and courtesy. You will find that they will reciprocate this gesture. Respond to the participants in the way you expect them to respond to you and others in the group.
10 – Highlight their strengths
Establish support system in the group as key to risk-free participation bringing forward their strengths. Open their eyes to their own worth. Make them aware of what they already know; about their strengths. Harness positive energy by making a conscious effort to harness positive energy (and minimize the influence of negative energy) and stimulate them to get into a learning mode.
In the entertainment industry, trailers and previews are a great way to prime fans. In education, there are some primers that serve this same purpose. Some of them are effective, and some are not. All techniques need to be tested, as they vary based on the audience you work with and the information you deliver. Here are some approaches to try:
- Incentives –You can try offering employees a reward for signing up for a course. For instance, offer a certificate of completion, and explain how this certificate is going to enhance the learner’s career. Get creative. Here are more ideas.
- Surveys –By giving learners a survey, before the course begins, you let them know that you’re thinking of them, weighing their thoughts and opinions, and making them feel like a part of the course experience. People love choice, and a pre-training survey is a great way to make learners feel like they’re being given more options, or are at least a part of a group who is making a decision.
- Skills & Knowledge Assessments –Send out a quick quiz to find out what learners already know about the topics to be presented in an upcoming course. Those who score well will feel proud, and those who score low will be anxious to learn more.
- Learning Preferences Assessments – Conducting a learning preferences assessment with your learners will create introspection as well as remind learners which aspects of the course they may need to focus more on (written, audio, visual). This can also provide you with valuable insight into which aspects of your course could use improvement – if you’re teaching a mostly visual group of learners, it can be a good idea to reformat your text documents into videos, etc.