Taking an Experiential Learning Approach for Training

Taking an Experiential Learning Approach for Training

If you are a trainer or educator of adults, you likely already understand that training or classroom time is precious. The challenge is to get learners to appreciate that what you are delivering to them meets their needs, matches their personal learning goals, and is relevant. One means of accomplishing this is through applying brain research to your learning events.  By taking an experiential approach to learning and tying into brain-based learning research, you can help create connections in the brain and facilitate the likelihood that learning will be used once the session is over.

Taking an Experiential Learning Approach to Training

Taking an Experiential Learning Approach for Training by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Brain-Based Adult Training Author

As adults and professionals in a given field, your learners likely already have a base knowledge of the content that you plan to share with them. For that reason, you must take the information learned from your needs analysis and create links or short-cuts between what they know and what you have planned. For example, if you are facilitating a workshop for a group of experienced supervisors, they likely have already been exposed to the basics of coaching, counseling, communicating, motivating, and providing performance feedback to employees. If these are topic areas covered in your session, you will need to think of ways to show learners how to more systematically and logically use the knowledge and skills they possess to improve their on-the-job performance.

An easy way to help learners see how to apply what they are learning is to provide the format or structure for using knowledge or skills in the classroom, perhaps in the form of a model or through a team game activity. You could then give them an opportunity to work in small groups to determine ways of applying their new knowledge and skills in their work environments. Through this technique, they actually take what you give and customize it to their individual needs while receiving feedback from their peers on how it might be improved. In this fashion, when they walk out of the room, they have real-world knowledge, skills, and strategies that can be applied immediately.

Practical application and taking an experiential learning approach for training sessions and education typically add more value to any learning experience and enhances return on investment. It can also enhance your session evaluation results.

More Information On This Topic & It’s Blogger

For activities and games to engage your learners, get a copy of Creative Learning: Games and Activities That Really Engage People.

Learn All About Robert W. ‘Bob’ Lucas Now and Understand Why He is an Authority in the Creative Training Skills Industry

Robert W. ‘Bob’ Lucas has been a trainer, presenter, customer service expert, and adult educator for over four decades. He has written hundreds of articles on training, writing, self-publishing, and workplace learning skills and issues. He is also an award-winning author. Robert W. Lucas has written thirty-seven books. The book topics included: writing, relationships, customer service, brain-based learning, and creative training strategies, interpersonal communication, diversity, and supervisory skills. Additionally, he has contributed articles, chapters, and activities to eighteen compilation books. Mr. Lucas is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1991 after twenty-two years of active and reserve service.

Six Factors Affecting Active Learning

Six Factors Affecting Active Learning

Active, brain-based, experiential, and accelerated learning are terms used for training initiatives that involve getting learners to become active participants in your sessions. Various theories and research related to adult learning and brain-based learning indicate that through active involvement, participants become more vested in the session outcomes and are more likely to gain, retain, recall and use what they experience.

Six Factors Affecting Active Learning

Six Factors Affecting Active Learning by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adulting Learning Author

Consider the following factors when you sit down to create activities and initiatives that will involve and stimulate your learners.

Audience Makeup.

Ensure that you choose activities and content that are appropriate for the group you will be facilitating. Some activities (e.g. role-play) work best when participants know one another well or are comfortable with one another. Talk to program sponsors and/or participants in advance when possible and before you design your content and activities in order to determine who will comprise your audience.

Participant Knowledge and Experience Levels. 

To successfully build on what learners know, you must first determine current capabilities. You can do this through a training needs assessment process that is part of a standard instructional systems design (ADDIE) process. Also, ensure that the planned activity suits the audience level (e.g. frontline employee, supervisor, manager, or executive). Otherwise, you can easily either intimidate or bore your learners with your planned activities.

Desired Involvement.

Decide how, and to what extent, you want to involve participants. While much self-discovery is possible, you will need to intermingle your own involvement with that of your learners.

Available Time.

One mark of a professional creative trainer is to be able to accomplish established learning objectives and planned activities within the allotted timeframe in a seemingly effortless manner. When selecting activities, ensure that the time limit set is realistic and allows for successful completion and debriefing without intruding on other planned program segments.

Training Venue.

Take care to select a facility that has space and equipment needed to conduct planned activities. When possible, actually visit the site so that you can visualize layout and activities. Also, talk to the people who will do the room set up for the session to ensure that they understand your needs. Do not count on a third-party relaying your needs to setup people.

Group Size.

Choose activities that are appropriate for the size of your audience and ensure that co-facilitators are planned if necessary.

If you effectively plan and oversee the activity process, chances are that learners will feel a sense of accomplishment and that learning will more likely occur.

Learn This Blogger – Robert W. Lucas

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Robert Lucas was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Robert W. Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Experiential Learning Helps with Retention

Experiential Learning Is Key To Helping Adult Learners Retain and Use What They Experience

Experiential Learning Helps with Retention

Accelerated learning strategies (e.g. adult learning games and activities, role play, visioning exercises, team building games, outdoor group activities [ROPES course], and similar techniques) applied in an adult learning environment are paramount to assisting in memory development.

Experiential Learning Is Key To Helping Adult Learners Retain and Use What They Experience by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Blogger

According to some brain-based learning researchers, such active learning exercises potentially help strengthen memory formation through learner engagement but also help reinforce concepts shared through more traditional training means.

For more information and ideas on how to create your own active learning training environment, click here.

‘Experiential Learning Helps with Retention’ About This Blogger – Robert W. Lucas

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Robert Lucas was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Robert W. Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Accelerated Learning: Using Adult Learning Styles to Engage Training Participants

Accelerated Learning: Using Adult Learning Styles to Engage Training Participants

Accelerated Learning: Using Adult Learning Styles to Engage Training Participants

Anyone who trains and educates adult learners must be familiar with how to effectively use accelerated learning (active learning) strategies related to adult learning styles or modalities to aid participants in gaining the knowledge and skills needed to perform on the job. Learners do so through their senses – seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. More specifically, a number of research studies point to three primary adult learning styles or modalities: Visual (seeing), auditory (hearing) and kinesthetic-tactile (touching or physical movement). According to research on percentages of learners with each style, summarized by Laurie Ellen Materna in her book Jump-Start the Adult Learner : How to  Engage and Motivate Adults Using Brain-Compatible Strategies, 40-65 percent of learners are visually dominant, 25-30 percent are auditory and 5-15 percent are kinesthetic.

Accelerated Learning: Using Adult Learning Styles to Engage Training ParticipantsAccelerated Learning: Using Adult Learning Styles to Engage Training Participants by The Creative Trainer 

By designing your adult learning events to include a variety of opportunities for participants to use the three most prevalent sensory modalities; You aid learners in better gaining, training, Accelerated Learning: Using Adult Learning Styles to Engage Training Participantsrecalling and using what they experience. Some means for actively engaging adult learners and accomplishing this include applying accelerated or experiential learning techniques.

These approaches apply what researchers and educators in the past three decades have discovered about brain-based learning or how the brain best processes and retains information.

Here are some strategies related to the three prominent adult learning styles:

  • Add color to your learning environment with colored handouts, slides, markers, posters, pictures and other visual stimuli that relate to your session content.
  • Include sound by adding background music at the beginning of your session, during breaks and activities and as learners leave the room, varying your vocal quality (e.g. inflection, tone, pitch, and volume), using audio training aids (e.g. video, webinars, and recorded messages), and involving learners in training activities in which they talk and exchange information.
  • Encourage participation and interaction in activities such as icebreakers, games, simulations, role-play, small group discussions, team building activities, and other events where learners become active participants in the learning process and they learn from one another.

For hundreds of additional creative training tips, ideas, techniques, and strategies to help your adult learners potentially enhance their learning outcomes, get copies of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning, Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques To Engage Learners, Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events That Get Results, and Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People.

 

 

ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development, 2nd Edition

ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development, 2nd Edition

ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development, 2nd Edition

A big challenge for many trainers, adult educators in human resource development and related areas is that keeping up with current trends and issues in the talent development profession is time-consuming. Luckily, new resources such as the ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development, 2nd Edition provides a one-stop shopping source for ideas, techniques, and strategies related to various components of the training and development profession and areas of the ADDIE instructional design model.

ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development, 2nd Edition by The Creative Trainer 

In the latest edition of ASTD’s (now ATD) well-known resource, leading practitioners in many aspects of the profession share their thoughts and ideas, best practices and cutting edge strategies and techniques for making adult learning work. There is specific advice on how to turn your training sessions into dynamic, brain-based learning environments where adult learners can take what they learn and immediately apply it in the workplace.

For example, in a chapter on The Value of Experiential Learning, internationally known, award-winning author Robert W. Lucas and Kris Zilliox overview the experiential learning process from what it is, its history, how to implement it and a case study showing the process in action.

To get a better idea of how this dynamic publication can aid you and your organization in improving the way to design, develop and deliver adult learning events more effectively, check out the ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development, 2nd Edition.

About Robert W. Lucas

Listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the South & Southeast, Bob Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert who specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. He has four decades of experience in customer service, human resources development, and management in a variety of organizational environments. Bob was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD).

Bob has lived, traveled and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development Now Available

ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development Now Available

ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development Now Available

ATD (formerly ASTD) recently released the ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development, edited by well-known learning and performance expert Elaine Biech. This book is the sequel to the ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professional and offers practitioners of all levels in the learning and performance profession ideas and guidance on how to effectively handle today’s workplace challenges.

ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training

Like the first edition, this one draws on the expertise from noted thought leaders and experts in ATD’s core competency areas. Some of the featured authors include:

  • William J. Rothwell
  • Elliott Massie
  • Robert (Bob) W. Lucas
  • Bob Pike
  • Bev Kaye
  • Ken Blanchard

To enhance your knowledge and skills of the training and development process in areas such as, employee development, experiential learning, training, and development, assessing and analyzing learner needs, delivering training effectively, designing and developing effective learning, transferring and evaluating learning, order your copy of the ASTD Handbook: The Definitive Reference for Training and Development today.

Robert W. Lucas

Listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the South & Southeast, Bob Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert who specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. He has four decades of experience in customer service, human resources development, and management in a variety of organizational environments. Bob was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Bob has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Experiential Learning Techniques Help Adult Learners with Transfer of Training

Experiential Learning Techniques Help Adult Learners with Transfer of Training

Experiential Learning Techniques Help Adult Learners with Transfer of Training

Adult learners, like their child counterparts, learn best with they are actively engaged in an accelerated (experiential) learning environment in which brain-based learning concepts are being applied.

Experiential Learning Techniques Help Adult Learners

By getting learners to actively participate in the learning process, a facilitator can better ensure that the assimilation of ideas and information will more likely result in the transfer of training.

If you want more information on how to apply brain-based learning concepts identified by brain researchers to training, get a copy of my book, The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.

Learn This Blogger – Robert W. Lucas

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Robert Lucas was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Robert W. Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

What is Experiential Learning?

What is Experiential Learning?

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential Learning is a training process that capitalizes on the life experience as well as work experience, industry knowledge, and abilities of participants. Activities provide mental and emotional stimulation in which learners experience or replicate potential situations that they might encounter in real life. Throughout the training event, attendees are actively engaged in a learning process that incorporates a variety of active strategies, such as, goal setting, planning, critical thinking, observation, experimentation, personal reflection, and ongoing review.

A key component of experiential learning is that the learner, rather than the instructor, plays a pivotal role in ensuring that learning is taking place and transfer of knowledge and skills following the session. This helps each person extract meaning from the content and provides enhanced potential for application outside the classroom.

The following are additional terms often associated with and used instead of experiential learning.

These approaches incorporate various elements of creativity and interactive strategies and focus on experience-based learning:

  • Discovery learning.
  • Interactive learning.
  • Transformational learning.
  • Active learning.
  • Action learning.
  • Accelerated learning.
  • Brain-based learning.

For hundreds of ideas and strategies on creatively engaging adult learners, get copies of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning, Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners,  Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People.

Brain-Based Learning Quote

Brain Based Learning Quote

Brain-Based Learning Quote

Some brain based learning research suggests that by actively engaging adult learners as trainers, facilitators, and educators, we can potentially help increase learning and formation of memories in participants.  The simple act of getting people up and moving increases heart rate and blood flow, which carries oxygen to the brain and stimulates brain neurons. It also potentially helps learners maximize their learning potential and might allow them to better gain, retain, recall and use what they learn later.

You may have heard that as people age, their brains start to shrink and they do not use as much of their brain. While that is true in some instances, research continues to find that we still develop neural pathways through which ideas and information pass and that the brain can remain healthy and active well into senior years. We simply need to regularly engage it through activity, reading, problem-solving, and decision-making activities and through similar means. Getting older does not mean that people cannot learn new things.

For creative ideas on how to actively engage learners and apply brain-based research to your learning environments, get copies of Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People; The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning and Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners.

Brain-Based Learning Quote by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Brain-Based Learning / Adult Training Author

Meet Robert W. Lucas

Listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the South & Southeast, Mr. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert who specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. He has four decades of experience in customer service, human resources development, and management in a variety of organizational environments.

Robert was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD). He has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Mr. Lucas has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, he has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Using Active Learning Strategies to Increase Attention Span

Using Active Learning Strategies to Increase Attention Span

There are many ways to spark excitement and enthusiasm in your sessions. Take the time to search out and develop active or experiential learning strategies and techniques that are innovative and require learners to think while they have fun and enjoy their experience.

Using Active Learning Strategies to Increase Attention Span

 

Here are five ways that you can potentially gain and hold learner attention and help stimulate enthusiasm in your classroom.

Be enthusiastic about your facilitation.

Through your own interest and excitement, you can engage and stimulate learners.

Plan and deliver activities that add value.

Your goal is the overall accomplishment of learning objectives. Do not add activities just because they are fun. Make sure that anything you do in your programs is relevant to session content and aids learning.

Ensure that initiatives are well organized.

Take time to prepare and practice before learners arrive.

Clearly and concisely deliver directions.

To ensure that participants get the maximum benefit from all activity in a session, take the time to explain what learners are to do.

Since a majority of your participants will likely be visual learners, provide the instructions in written form via a handout or on a flip chart or slide. This allows them to refer back to the instructions during the activity.

Communicate the purpose and AVAR-FM of the activity.

Always explain the AVARFM (Added Value And Results For Me) to participants so that they feel the time spent on an activity will be valuable to them personally. It is crucial that learners have the value of what they are doing explained so that they will understand potential benefits. Making an assumption that the objective of an activity should be obvious could be a serious mistake. Remember that adults learn and process information differently.

For more ideas and strategies on engaging learners and increasing learning effectiveness, get a copy of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.

Using Active Learning Strategies to Increase Attention Span by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Training Industry Blogger

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Robert Lucas was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Robert W. Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.