Keeping learners engaged - it’s the boundless task as a facilitator. There are a whole heap of ideas and tactics that work but here’s one I have used that may be a bit different… Shock your learners! Embarrass yourself! Give them what they never expected, SING loud and proud😊
Imagine my scenario –
I was training learners how to navigate an application, and we all know how exciting application and software training can be (insert yawn here). In this training session, there was one point I wanted to make: if you change something in the search criteria fields on the left side of the screen then you need to remember to refresh your search results on the right side of the screen - it’s not automatic!
So I sang to the learners - “If you make a change on the left!!!!! (insert desk drumming effect) Then you gotta refresh on the right!!! (more desk drumming)” and repeat one time. It worked! My classes had the fewest errors related to forgetting to refresh the search results after making a change to the search criteria.
I previously tried asking checking questions to make sure the learners knew the procedure, I tried placing a question on a quiz, but there were still too many errors. I often find that when training application navigation and software, many of the procedures get lost between the learning and the real-world application.
Now let’s think about why this worked. I am admittedly on the quiet side, making up a jingle and singing it to a group of people is certainly out of my comfort zone. The learners did not expect me to break out in song so it was memorable and engaging. It wasn’t just the fact that I did something unexpected, I made it shocking!
The core take way I have is this: stepping out of your comfort zone can make a lasting impression, and it’s completely worth it.
*Theresa Smith has been facilitating for 14 years. She enjoys the creative aspect of virtual learning and finding new ways to keep learners engaged and poised to retain information.*