-- Archibald MacLeish
Based on the complexity of the skills being taught, and the participants’ prior experience using the skills, 90 minutes may be enough time for a complete active-learning experience, or it might not. 90 minutes might only be enough time for one lesson instead of an entire course. I think it’s okay for us to request more time in the classroom to get it right, but we’ll take what we can get. Adding value comes from the complete experience, not from the 90 minutes in the seat.
Let’s find out what is meant by modeling, practice, and feedback.
- Modeling: Watch a video showing correct behavior or skill being taught, evaluate photos showing parts to a whole, listen to a podcast interview or story, study a visual representation of data, and read a case study or scenario in which the skill is discussed.
- Practice: Participants discuss how they imagine implementing the skill, talk to others who have done so, ask questions about possible complications that might arise in applying the skill, and share ideas on workplace improvements that can come from using the skill
- Feedback: Participants take a quiz to check knowledge, demonstrate a task and receive feedback from peers or the instructor (or both!), and participants reflect on their own knowledge or skill and document their thoughts in a journal or workbook
What barriers do you come across in implementing active learning sessions? Are you struggling with participants who don't engage, or don’t have the skills needed to participate? As a facilitator, are you facing pressure to present a lecture without taking the time for active engagement? Is the organization so comfortable with lecture-style “training” that it’s too risky to step outside the box?
Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, and if you like this post please share it with others.
Bowman, Sharon L. (2009). Training From the Back of the Room: 65 Ways to Step Aside and Let Them Learn. San Francisco: Pfeiffer, an imprint of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Kittee, K., and Gerzon, J. (2008). MIT Training Delivery Guide, Full Scale. Retrieved from http://web.mit.edu/training/trainers/guide/deliver/train-guide-matrix-full.pdf