How to make training more effective? Let’s admit it, you, as a trainer, face this question all the time. Training is one of those necessary evils that you can’t get rid of. Rather you think how to set it straight and get the best out of it. Quite frankly, if you don’t act like a pro and do it all what it takes, it’s a waste of time, not to mention the energy, for both learners and instructors. It’s true for both offline and online trainings. Sure, there may be moments where it works, but for the most part training is just plain boring. And do you think it’s right to spend that much amount of time and money on something that doesn’t work most of the times?
Most often, trainers make mistakes that they are not even aware of. They forget that a training session is like a storytelling session, which has an interesting beginning, a meaty middle and a conclusive end, all supported by various activities and more stories. It’s far more important in online training settings. The entire session can be turned around and made engaging and entertaining with a little extra planning. Here’s how you can introduce storytelling in eLearning.
Great instructors can put life into the content and great trainers can fuel the imaginations of their learners, inspiring them to reach higher and excel. It’s all about what to deliver and how to deliver. That’s pretty hard to come by though. Few people want to put forth the time and effort to create a training program that works on this level. For the most part, they just throw something together, making sure that the relevant material is included. So what if it puts the learners to sleep.
You may look at this and think, “Not my course!” You may contend that your program is super awesome with all the bells and whistles. Maybe it is. Maybe it is entertaining, after all, you have at least a one third return on your investment, right? But why is that enough? Why waste the two thirds that’s left over? Why should you blindly accept that a one third return is good enough? Most of all, why are you settling for good enough?
How to Make Training More Effective
It is possible to make online training worthwhile. All it takes is some imagination, a little creativity, and the time to make it happen. You can take your existing content, give it a few tweaks, and you will have more effective training. What’s more, you will see your return increase, not to mention notice an impressive rise in engagement and attendance. To get you started, check out these 3 ways to make online trainings suck less.
1. Create a distinct beginning, middle, and end
Knowing how to make training more effective will give you leverage to draw attendance and prevent drop outs. This requires careful planning and very good organization. Your training session needs to be carefully laid out with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Longer courses should be broken into segments and they should be carefully timed as well.
- The beginning is an icebreaker, a way for the learners to get to know each other prior to the course. This can all be done online through social media or other platform that would allow the learners to chat and get to know each other a little better. Or you may include some games or group activities to break the ice.
- The middle is the actual training. Create segments and allow for breaks in between. Steer away from the routine, the mundane, the expected. This is the meat of your entire program and if it doesn’t provide something that the learner finds valuable then it is nothing more than just another requirement, a chore, something to get through and move on. How much do you think a learner will get out of a training program when they enter into it with that attitude?Training shouldn’t be boring – it doesn’t have to be. It should be engaging, powerful, thought provoking, something that will stick with them long after the session has concluded. Give them a variety of learning options and methods to keep them alert as they switch from task to task. Active learning through engagement should be your goal, as you create your online training program.
- The end is what happens after the training course has completed. Facilitating discussion groups on the material after the course has completed is a great way for learners to better understand what they’ve learned. Asking the learners to complete surveys or feedback forms can help you make adjustments to your course to make it even better.
2. Offer variety
When you include activities such as games, puzzles, tasks, videos, and field activities you create a more engaging learning environment. Listening to a lecture on audio or reading pages of learning material may fulfill the basic task of providing training to learners, but that is only at the most basic level. Yes, the information is there, but that doesn’t mean it will be ingested or even retained.
Online training effectiveness relies on a variety of activities, some interactive, to keep learners’ minds active and ready to learn. Adding various elements, such as including games or puzzles, help hold the attention of your learners. Anything that shakes them up a bit, that creates a break in the content will help to hold their attention. This can include a video, animation, quiz, or even a group discussion on the material that is being taught. Here’re four tips to ensure relevancy of your content.
And when delivering training, the key is to keep the brain transitioning from one task or activity to the next. This will help to maintain alertness and interest. If the material is continually introduced to the learner in the same manner, segment after segment, they will eventually zone out and struggle to be attentive. This leads to difficulties in comprehension and retention and, after all, those are two of your main objectives for your training – you want your learners to comprehend the material and retain the concepts presented.
3. Be willing to make adjustments
Effective training starts with being flexible. Invite your learners to provide suggestions for improving an existing course, material they would like to see covered in future courses, and what worked for them in the course. Understanding what interests your participants and following through to provide that will go a long way in ensuring that all your seats are full.
Be ready to adjust to different learning styles, training needs, or disabilities. Creating varied visuals within a training program will hold the attention of the learners better than straight text would. Each time there is a visual or the training mode shifts (such as from video to an interactive puzzle), the brain has to shift a bit, to wake up in order to process the new activity. So if your course is all written content you may want to make a few adjustments for your learners and include elements that will keep the learning environment changing ever so often to keep them interested and to hold their attention.
Knowing how to make training more effective puts you at the head of the game and gives you a competitive advantage over other training programs. If you want the attendees and you want to keep their attention throughout the entire course, then you need to offer them something extra.
In this society that thrives on instant gratification, attention spans have grown shorter. In order to keep up, you have to give learners an experience, not just a course. They need to be drawn in, engaged, entertained, and feel that their time has been put to good use. It’s a tall order, but it can be done.