Beyond Lecture: Training Delivery Methods

Listening to a lecture isn't the best way for anyone to learn. So how can you add some zip to your technology training? If your participants are actively involved, they will learn more and (even better!) they are more apt to retain what they've learned. Let them do it!

Here are engaging training delivery methods to incorporate into your training:

  • Storytelling and narrative examples: weave stories into your training to share practical examples and illustrate immediate benefits and application of the technology.
  • Guided discussions: encourage sharing among your participants to tap their collective knowledge and experience.
  • Group discussions: divide participants into small groups (could be 2-3 or 4-5, depending on number of people) to discuss topics or situations and then have them summarize their discussion for the class.
  • Learning games: can be used to introduce, demonstrate, review or apply concepts; competition and a fun atmosphere can increase learner motivation.
  • Q & A: give the questions to participants and have them determine the answers, or you can let them come up with their own questions and answer them in small groups.
  • Case studies: can be helpful to give participants an opportunity to think and discuss a real situation and how it may be relevant to them.
  • Group projects: participants can work together on a goal or product; for example, creating a blog, PowerPoint presentation, flyer, or quick guide.
  • Individual/self-paced exercises: participants work on their own to practice a skill or extend the knowledge on their own; create several versions that participants can choose from depending on their interests or knowledge level. May be a print exercise or web-based.
  • Independent practice: allows participants to explore and work on their own and is usually very well received! The trainer should provide help and feedback, while roaming around the room.
  • Role playing: can be useful to demonstrate how something should be done, the results, or adding context. Never assign a role to a participant who hasn’t volunteered. :)
  • Demonstration: The trainer shows the participants how a program can be used, examples of completed projects, or how to complete certain tasks.
  • Guided practice: while you demonstrate, participants follow along on their own computers. Participants progress as a group at a rate equal to that of the slowest participant. It can be difficult to keep everyone together, but can be helpful with beginners.
  • Reflection: a little quiet time provides an opportunity to contemplate what has been learned and how they may use it; could be accomplished by having participants complete an action plan.
  • Panels or guest speakers: bring experts into the workshop to show how they’ve used the technology or give context; can also be accomplished via a webcast.
  • Videos: provide visual interest, or showcase expert advice. YouTube provides many free, entertaining videos and also check out Common Craft's 3-minute videos that explain complex technology tropics.
  • Technology: create a website that has all the information and links the participants need to follow in the workshop; have them use blogs, wikis, online tutorials, or other websites for research and exploration.

Mix a few of these methods in your workshops and have fun!