Making Training Meaningful
Each training activity/method needs to have a purpose in order to be meaningful. Once learners understand the purpose, they then draw meaning out of the activity by applying it to their own personal situations. Some of this application will happen naturally, and some of it you will have to point out to them.
OPENINGS FOR EACH ACTIVITY/METHOD:
Start with an attention-getting opening that has to do with the objective of the activity/method and directs their attention to this objective and away from the previous objective.
APPLY EACH ACTIVITY/METHOD TO THE JOB:
Throughout the activity/method, remark to learners about how the activity applies to their 'real world'. Ask questions like: "How will you use this skill on the job?", "How does this activity help you to ...?"
Or, ask learners to share examples of how they will apply the information or skills learned to:
Or, have them check off tasks on their job description in which this skill will be used.
Or, consider having the learner use their own example scenario in the activity. That way they can apply the learning directly to their own situation.
PROCESS AT THE END OF EACH ACTIVITY/METHOD:
After they've completed the activity/method, ask a key "processing" question(s). Processing questions are questions that directly help the learner make the connection between the activity and the objective. This also allows you to determine if they really got it.
FOLLOW-UP AFTER THE TRAINING:
After the training is over, be sure to reinforce the learning points with follow-up activities like games or simulations where learners practice new skills learned. Or use observers or testing or even give them an article to read and discuss with you.
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