Three Factors Impacting Learner Engagement
Some research related to brain-based learning suggests that by getting participants actively engaged during a learning event you potentially help them to better gain, retain, recall, and use what they experience. To accomplish this, be creative in identifying activities and processes that will allow your participants to actively engage in the training and share their knowledge and expertise.
Audience Makeup. Ensure that you choose activities and content that is 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 to discern who will comprise your audience.
Participant Knowledge and Experience Levels. To successfully build on what learners know, you must first determine current capabilities, knowledge, and experience levels. You can do this through the needs assessment process that is part of the Instructional Systems Design (ADDIE) model used by many learning and performance professionals.
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.
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 and knowledge with that of your learners, so that they feel appreciated for what they know, but also feel that you are contributing to their knowledge and skill development.
You should not be the “sage on the stage” with all the input or answers. Neither should you simply be a facilitator who simply draws out learner knowledge and expertise without helping meld it so that learners see connections to the session topic and hear valuable ideas from you. Strive for a combination of those roles.
Learn All About Robert C. ‘Bob’ Lucas Now and Understand Why He is an Authority in the Creative Training Skills Industry
Robert C. ‘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.