Make Your Instructor-Led Training Interactive
Instructor-Led Training (ILT) seemed to have had lost its sheen and eLearning had caught up big time. As a part of an eLearning content development company and involved closely with proposals and customers, there weren’t many ILT related proposals we got to work on. But since last couple of years, ILT have again gained importance and are in demand than ever before. My guess is flipped classroom and virtual ILT helped in this change.
We had quite a few of our clients thinking of ILT development, but were concerned about it becoming stagnant very quickly if developed the traditional way. Their learners would expect ILT to be equally engaging and interactive as their eLearning courses. That got us thinking. Apart from the traditional ways of engaging a learner in an ILT, what are some interesting ways to make it engaging and interactive?
An important point to note is that an ILT will require as much instructional design as an eLearning course development. Even though the PowerPoint presentation is the backbone of the ILT, just a good looking presentation with numerous bulleted lists and graphics thrown in will not be able to sustain the learner’s attention. There’s a lot an instructional designer can do to add value.
Here are few guidelines to follow while designing an ILT-
1. Design a theme for presentation and the guides– Design graphical theme of the presentation in line with the branding guidelines. Follow the theme for the Instructor/ Facilitator guide (FG) and Participant/Student guide (PG). Once familiar with the theme, it will then not serve as an attention diverter.
2. Use appropriate amount of graphics and multimedia elements – Have less text on your slides. Make use of graphics, infographics, multimedia elements such as animations and videos appropriately. Less text on screen will ensure learner to focus on the instructor rather than reading the slide.
3. Take benefit of learners being together by designing activities which encourage their participation.
Some techniques that can be used for increasing learner participation are listed below:
1. Ice breaker session is a must. Get people to know each other. Only then will they interact. Instead of having it as the first session, have it once the participants have settled down and are comfortable with the instructor.
2. Use training games– There are various training games that can be designed by the instructional designer in collaboration with the SME and instructor/facilitator. Some such games are Card or Board games, Puzzles, Show of hands etc. For one of our customer we designed similar games using YawnBuster (http://www.yawnbuster.com/). YawnBuster provides some interesting group activities and game templates.
Raptivity (www.raptivity.com) is another such tool which can help create variety of interactions that can be embedded into PowerPoint.
3. Role plays– By assuming roles and acting out scenarios that might occur in a situation, learners learn how to handle them before they face them on the job. It’s an excellent training technique for many interpersonal skills and sales training.
4. Quizzes– Design small end of topic quizzes or ask the learners to design one for you by jotting down questions on the topic and use these questions to create quizzes on the go. Reward the best question! Yes you read it right 🙂
5. Case studies– Discuss and analyze job related real scenarios that would allow learners to handle similar situations.
6. Crowd-sourcing– Get people to interact with each other. Encourage learners to learn from each other by designing small group activities.
At Harbinger we believe that ILT should not be designed as standalone training. They work best if they are a part of a flipped classroom or blending learning program. The ‘need to know’ content should be covered in the ILT and the ‘good to know’ content can be developed into an eLearning course to supplement learning. eLearning also acts as a good refresher to the classroom sessions.
A blended learning program could follow below format.
Are you seeing similar demands for ILT? What are some ways you make them interactive? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.