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BLR’s Human Resources Training PresentationsTraining Strategies II: State-of-the-Art Classroom Training Background for the Trainer: Although technology-based training is becoming increasingly popular, training experts agree that it will never completely replace classroom training. At present, an overwhelming number of companies continue to use classroom training alongside an increasing amount of technology-based training, such as e-learning and computer-based training (topics that are discussed in Parts I and III of this training strategies series). This training session focuses on how supervisors and managers can use classroom training effectively to train and develop employees throughout your organization. Review your organization’s training policies and procedures so that you can include relevant, company-specific information during this training session. Be prepared to discuss specific situations in which classroom training is commonly used in your organization and when other training methods are preferred. You may wish to begin the session with an interesting or amusing story about classroom training from your own experience, or encourage a couple of participants to share their war stories to get the session off to a good start and engage participants’ interest. During the session there are numerous places where you can encourage participation by asking attendees to express their ideas about and experiences with classroom training. Take advantage of these interactive opportunities as time allows. Speaker’s Notes: This training session will focus on classroom training. It used to be that classroom training meant the trainer stood in front of employees lecturing and the employees just listened, or maybe some of them took notes. But all that has changed. State-of-the-art classroom training is interactive and engaging. Employees share responsibility for learning and contribute in important ways to the training process. Today, there is an array of techniques, methods, activities, and training aids available to create and present memorable, meaningful, and successful classroom training sessions. During this session, we’ll discuss how you can make the most of your classroom training opportunities. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Goals Understand the goals and criteria for successful classroom training Know how to design effective training sessions and motivate active participation Realize that you have a variety of classroom training methods to choose from Recognize the importance of evaluating employee learning and training effectiveness Speaker’s Notes: First, we will talk about the goals of classroom training and the criteria for success. Next, we will discuss how to design effective training sessions and motivate active participation. Then, we will review a variety of training methods used in the state-of-the-art classroom and talk about how each method can be used most effectively. We’ll also discuss the importance of evaluating both employee learning and the effectiveness of the training itself. Finally, we will wrap up the session with a summary and quiz. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Classroom Training BasicsDefinition Options Subject matter Use with other learning strategies Background for the Trainer: Before you show this screen, ask one or two participants to give a brief definition of classroom training. Speaker’s Notes: Classroom training is a workplace learning strategy that removes employees from the work area and brings them together in a safe and appropriate environment, free from distractions, to teach skills, transfer information and knowledge, shape attitudes and behavior, and build competencies. Training in the classroom, of course, is only one of many workplace training options. Among other training strategies you can use effectively are on-the-job training, self-directed learning (which today often involves e-learning or computer-based training), coaching and mentoring, cross-training, job rotation, apprenticeship, conferences and seminars, and training courses offered at local universities and technical schools. The choice of the classroom really depends on the nature of the subject matter of your training. The classroom is a good place to transfer information and knowledge, for example. And classroom training is often an effective way to shape attitudes and behavior. But it is not always the best way—or the only way—to teach specific job skills and build competencies. At least some of that has to be done on the job. In most cases you will use classroom training in conjunction with one or more other training strategies to provide a balanced, comprehensive training program that helps employees learn all they need to know to perform their jobs well. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Goals of Classroom TrainingParticipation Understanding Retention Application Speaker’s Notes: There are basically four goals for any classroom training session: To encourage the active participation of trainees To promote clear and complete understanding of the subject matter To make sure employees retain what they have learned during the training session And to ensure that employees are able to apply what they have learned to their jobs /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Criteria for Successful Classroom TrainingMeets needs Timely Applicable Clear and concise Background for the Trainer: Before you show this screen, ask participants to identify some criteria of successful classroom training that they have identified from their own experience in the classroom. Then relate their suggestions to the bulleted points listed in this screen and the next screen. Speaker’s Notes: To be successful, classroom training must achieve certain criteria. To begin with, it has to meet employees’ needs. It must be designed to help trainees do their current jobs better and develop their potential for new challenges and future advancement. It has to be timely. For example, it should be timed to coincide with: Changes in job procedures Introduction of new production processes, hazards, or equipment Promotions or new job responsibilities Classroom training needs to be directly applicable to trainees’ jobs. They have to be able to go back to the job and put what they learned in the classroom to work easily and immediately in order to improve their performance. During training they have to be saying to themselves, “Yeah! I can really use that.” It must be clear and concise. Employees need to understand completely, but at the same time not be overwhelmed with too much information. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Criteria for Successful Classroom Training (cont.)Right level Interactive Useful and challenging activities Strong links to job Speaker’s Notes: Successful classroom training also hits the right level and doesn’t speak down to employees or go over their heads. It is appropriate based on trainees’ current knowledge and skills. It is interactive. Lots of participation is encouraged. Trainees have the chance to ask questions, talk about their experience, and learn from other employees. It is composed of useful and challenging activities. Trainees have an opportunity to practice skills, solve problems, and discuss important issues. Finally, classroom training builds links to the job. It constructs a bridge between the classroom and the work area through examples, analogies, checklists, action plans, and so forth. Without this bridge, classroom learning often won’t find it’s way back to the job. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Advantages and Disadvantages Of Classroom TrainingSpeaker’s Notes: Like all other forms of training, classroom training has its advantages and disadvantages. There are many advantages to classroom training: It allows you to teach employees in a safe, quiet, clean environment, away from the noise and pressures of the work area. Training groups can be large or small. The classroom environment provides the important “human touch,” so often missing in technology-based training. Group interaction enhances learning. Employees learn from one another as well as from the trainer. And the group setting also teaches employees how to interact with one another in a professional, productive, cooperative way—something that other forms of training often don’t provide. But there are also disadvantages to classroom training: You have to pull employees off the job, which cuts into work time and production schedules. If you run shifts, it’s often hard to schedule this kind of training, especially for night shift workers. While the classroom environment is quiet, safe, and conducive to focused learning, it’s also removed from the equipment, processes, and materials that employees actually use on the job. Lack of hands-on experience is frequently an obstacle to adult learning, which brings us to our next point. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Keys to Adult Learning Adults are self-directed learnersAdults bring a broad base of experience to training Adults respond best to problem- or task-oriented approaches Adults need to know why they are learning something Speaker’s Notes: It is essential that you always remember in the classroom that you are teaching adults. To train employees effectively, you must be aware of how adults learn. Most adults are self-directed learners. It’s the old “you can lead a horse to water” story. Adult trainees tend to learn what they want, when they want, and how they want. This means that for classroom training to be effective, you need to share with employees the responsibility for their learning. In the state-of-the-art classroom, the trainer facilitates learning and engages employees in the process rather than simply reciting information and giving instructions. Adults also bring a broad base of experience to training—both job and life experience—and they like to draw on all that experience when they learn something new. That’s why it’s important to link new knowledge and skills to what employees already know from their own experience. You can also capitalize on the experience of your trainees by using it in the learning process. The classroom is an ideal place for employees to share their experience with their co-workers. Because of their base of experience and a preference for experiential learning, adults respond best to problem- or task-oriented training approaches. This means that even in the classroom you have to provide opportunities for challenging and hands-on learning. For example, you often need to provide activities that allow employees to practice new skills or role-play new behavior. Adults also need to know why they are learning something. To motivate trainees to make the most of classroom training opportunities, you must give them a good reason for learning what you are trying to teach. Motivated trainees learn faster, retain more, and are more likely to apply what they’ve learned back on the job. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Designing Effective Training SessionsTraining objective Training method Skill and knowledge of trainees Content Sequence Visual aids Background for the Trainer: Before you show this screen, ask one or two participants to briefly describe their most successful classroom training session. Use these descriptions to elicit some of the bulleted points listed in this screen and the next screen. Speaker’s Notes: With those points about adult learning in mind, and the points we made earlier about the elements of successful classroom training, let’s now turn our attention to designing effective classroom training sessions. You absolutely must have a written training objective. In a sentence or two, state specifically what you want the training session to achieve. In other words, what skills, information, etc., do you want employees to have learned by the end of the session? Without a precise objective, your session can easily lose focus and fail to achieve your purpose. Based on your training objective, you can then choose the most effective training method to obtain the desired result. We’ll talk about different training methods you can choose from in a few minutes. Make sure that your session is appropriate for the level of skill and knowledge of trainees. If you fail to take this point into account, some or all of your trainees may become lost and unable to fully participate in and benefit from the training. Next, clearly and concisely define the content of your training session. Keep your focus small, and limit the content to what can be comfortably presented and retained in the time allowed. The old “kitchen sink” has no place in the classroom. If you try to cover too much ground in one session, employees will be overwhelmed and forget most of it before they get back to their workstations. Distill the content into a set of key training points that can be expressed in a few words, the way we’ve done in this training session. Then organize your key points into a logical sequence. Build your sequence of points step by step so that everything employees need to know to understand point 3, for example, has been thoroughly explained in points 1 and 2. Be sure to incorporate visual aids into the session. Studies show that people remember only a small percentage of what they hear but a much larger percentage of what they see. Charts, graphs, diagrams, pictures, and samples, for example, all help employees remember what they are supposed to be learning. No matter how lively a presenter you are, you still need some visuals. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Designing Effective Training Sessions (cont.)Activities Feedback and clarification Time limits Group size Evaluation Additional concerns Speaker’s Notes: Most classroom training sessions are more effective if they include training activities in which employees get hands-on experience to explore the topic in an active, participatory way. Be sure to include frequent opportunities for feedback and clarification. If you just present material in one solid block with a test at the end, most trainees will not retain much. On the other hand, if you frequently summarize, clarify, and encourage feedback during the session, most of your employees will retain most of what they have learned. You also need to consider the amount of time you have for the session. Make sure the content fits into the time allowed. The best way to do that is to take your training outline and allot a specific amount of time to each part, including introduction, training points, activities, and so forth. You may find you need to cut down or add material to fill the available time. Also take into account the size of your training group. If you’ve got a large group, the session will move more slowly, since you can expect more participation and more questions. Make sure to include some form of evaluation at the end of the session to test and evaluate employee understanding and retention. We’ll talk more about evaluation toward the end of this session. Finally, when you’re designing your training session, don’t forget to think about the physical environment in the classroom. For example, how big a room do you need? Are there enough chairs for everybody? Will you arrange chairs in a circle, in rows, in a square, or a U? Where will you stand or sit? How will you minimize noise and distractions? Will you need tables for employees to work at? Is there enough light and ventilation? Also think about and plan for any materials and equipment you will need during the session. For example, do you need computers, VCR, overhead projector, handouts, flip charts, etc.? /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Motivating Active ParticipationExplain how trainees will benefit Get the session off to a good start Use examples and analogies Give and encourage feedback Ask questions to stimulate discussion Include engaging activities Background for the Trainer: Before you show this screen, ask participants what they do to motivate full participation in their classroom training sessions. Speaker’s Notes: Even the best designed and planned classroom training session can fail if you can’t motivate active participation. Here are some tips for getting employees involved in training. One of the best ways to motivate active participation is to explain exactly how trainees will benefit from the session. Will it help them prevent accidents and injuries? Will it help them do their jobs better, improve performance ratings, and get better raises? Will it make them more promotable? In other words, how is the training relevant to their jobs, and what do trainees stand to gain personally from it? Getting the session of to a good start is also critical to promoting active participation. There are many ways to do this. For example, to stimulate interest and curiosity, begin by posing a problem, asking intriguing questions, or giving a short pretest. Or tell a relevant story from your own experience. Or start of with a fun, engaging activity, like some kind of game or competition. Or introduce startling or disturbing statistics, such as accident and injury statistics, customer complaint statistics, or data on rising error rates. Another way to establish relevance and maintain interest is to use examples that relate directly to trainees’ jobs. Or use analogies to compare new information that has no precedent in employees’ jobs to similar information workers already know. To maintain involvement throughout the session, give and encourage feedback. Keep telling employees what a good job of learning they’re doing. Keep probing to see if they are understanding what’s being presented and for concerns or problems they have with the material. Keep listening to their questions and ideas. Another good way to engage employees and stimulate discussion is to ask questions about the material you are presenting. If you’re the only one talking, the session is not engaging employees and encouraging participation in the training process. And as much as time allows, include activities that get employees involved in the training process, keep them interested, and give them opportunities for hands-on learning. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Training Methods: LectureCommunicate expectations Provide handouts Make it visually stimulating Background for the Trainer: Before you show this screen, ask participants to identify the classroom training methods they use most often. Briefly discuss why they prefer these methods. Speaker’s Notes: Lectures are probably the most common classroom training method. They are an efficient and cost-effective way to convey information and general knowledge to large groups of employees at one time. For example, lectures are a particularly good way to explain new policies, train employees in the requirements of laws and regulations, and update procedures. The drawback of lectures is that, unless they are properly designed and presented, they can lack the important element of employee participation. Here are six suggestions for using lectures effectively in the classroom. Communicate expectations. Let trainees know right from the beginning of the lecture exactly what you expect them to learn by taking a few moments at the outset to preview lecture content. Provide handouts. For example, you can hand out a sheet that contains the key points of your lecture. Or better yet, you can use the guided note-taking technique and hand out a sheet with the key points arranged so that there is space under each point to take notes during the lecture. Make your presentation visually stimulating. As we said earlier, use charts, graphs, diagrams, pictures, etc., to supplement and reinforce your words. Use a flip chart to write down key points as you make them. Or use transparencies and an overhead projector. Better yet, use a PowerPoint presentation like this one to display key points in a colorful and visually attractive way to grab and hold the attention of trainees. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Training Methods: Lecture (cont.)Ask questions and summarize Include stimulating activities Combine with other training methods Speaker’s Notes: Ask questions and summarize frequently. Don’t just stand up there and read your lecture notes. Every ten minutes or so summarize what you’ve just covered. Ask questions to verify understanding. This also gives employees the chance to take in what you’ve said, ask questions themselves, and clarify anything they’re not certain about before you move on. Include stimulating activities. Again, don’t just plan to talk for a half hour or an hour. Include activities that give employees the chance to use what they’ve learned and discuss issues, practice skills, or solve real-life job problems, for example. The same studies that show that people remember much more of what they see than what they hear show that people remember even more of what they actually do. Hands-on learning is the most effective learning. Combine lectures with other training methods. For example, give a short lecture and then watch a video. Or discuss a current job problem and then use the lecture format to explain a new job procedure designed to solve the problem. Or give a short lecture instructing employees how to fill out a new type of paperwork. Then give them a chance to actually fill out the new forms. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Training Methods: Q & A Determine training pointsDevelop a series of questions Present training points Alternative: Let employees ask questions Speaker’s Notes: An alternative to lecturing is the question and answer format, also sometimes called guided learning. Instead of presenting information to employees as you would in a lecture, with this method you elicit information from them. Here’s how it works. Begin by determining the main training points you want to get across to employees during the session. Then develop a series of questions about the points. The questions should be designed so that the answers will identify the training points. For example, if one of your training points is, “Criticize employee performance in private,” you might ask, “How would you go about criticizing an employee’s poor job performance? Would you talk to the employee at his or her workstation, or would you discuss the matter privately in your office?” As each training point is elicited through questions, write it down on a flip chart, transparency, or chalkboard. Keep asking questions until all of your training points are on the chart or board. Employees may even come up with other points you hadn’t anticipated. That’s fine. If they’re relevant, list them, too. An alternative to this method is to let employees ask the questions. This can work well with a topic with which employees are not familiar—something that’s entirely new to them. You still need to go into the session with a set of training points. But instead of asking questions, you give a brief presentation of the topic or provide them with a short handout summarizing the new information, and then invite employees to ask questions about it. What don’t they understand about this topic? What would they like to know about it? Through asking their questions, employees should identify most or all of your training points. You can guide the discussion to add any issues their questions don’t raise. This approach is a little harder to manage, and you have to guide the discussion carefully to keep from straying off the central topic. But it can also stimulate a lot of participation and give employees a strong sense of ownership in the training process. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Training Methods: DemonstrationIntroduce Demonstrate Highlight Practice Review and evaluate Speaker’s Notes: Demonstration is another very common classroom training method. Instead of talking about what to do, or asking questions about it, in some cases you can actually show employees how to do something. For example, demonstration is a great way to teach employees how to use a new piece of equipment or follow a new method or procedure. Here are some suggestions for presenting successful demonstrations. Begin by introducing the procedure, concept, or skill you want to demonstrate. Be crystal clear about the purpose of the demonstration, and point out any special features. The demonstration itself can be handled in various ways. You can demonstrate. You can have an experienced employee demonstrate. Or you can use a video that demonstrates the procedure, concept, etc. While the demonstration is in progress, highlight the key steps you want trainees to remember. It’s a good idea to have a handout with these steps for trainees to follow during the demonstration and on which they can take notes. Allow time for employees to practice the steps. If you have a large group, you can divide them into smaller groups and let the small groups practice together while you move around the room observing and giving feedback. Finally, quickly run through the steps again and then evaluate learning, preferably with a performance test. If time is short, you can use a pencil and paper quiz and then check performance back on the job. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Training Methods: Problem SolvingSelect a problem Present the problem Discuss possible solutions Guide trainees to the best solution Speaker’s Notes: As we mentioned before, adults are usually problem-oriented in their approach to learning. This makes problem solving a highly effective training method in many situations. It is a challenging and motivational method that strongly encourages participation. Furthermore, in addition to learning about a particular problem and solution, employees also get to practice the problem-solving process and develop positive attitudes about problem solving. Select a real work problem, one that is relevant to the jobs of all participants in the training session. Briefly present the problem and discuss its impact on the job. Encourage employees to talk about their own experiences with this problem. Then lead a discussion about possible solutions. Make sure everyone in the group participates and offers suggestions. Conclude the session by choosing the best solution. Sometimes the best solution will arise naturally out of the discussion. Other times, you’ll have to guide the group to the best choice. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Training Methods: Case StudyWrite up the case Present the case Highlight the key question(s) Discuss possible solutions Review issues Speaker’s Notes: Case study is closely related to problem solving but presents training issues in a slightly different format. It uses a case that poses a problem or problems concerning a particular work-related situation. To prepare for the training session, write up the case. You can use or adapt a real situation or create a fictional account. Either way, tell it like a story. Develop an interesting plot. Make up names for the characters. For example, “Rita notices that her co-worker Joe isn’t wearing safety glasses, which are required for the job he’s doing. She says, ‘Hey, Joe. Where are your safety glasses? You don’t want to lose an eye, do you?’ Joe tells her to mind her own business. He knows what he’s doing. What should Rita do? Ignore the situation? Try to get a co-worker to talk to Joe? Talk to the supervisor?” This is just a brief, simple example. Your case will probably be longer, more complicated, and more challenging. Begin the training session by reading the case to your training group. Highlight the key question or questions. The basic question is usually “What should be done in this case?” Related questions include how it should be done, why it should be done that way, and what the implications of the action may be. Lead a discussion of possible solutions to the problem posed by the case. Encourage all trainees to draw from their own experiences, express their thoughts, and offer solutions. Review the issues involved in the case and the key steps involved in a successful resolution of the problem. In other words, what points did you want trainees to learn from this case? /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Training Methods: Role-PlayingIntroduce Select players Perform Process Reflect Speaker’s Notes: Role-playing allows employees to become actively involved in training as they assume roles and act out situations that might actually occur—or have actually occurred—in the workplace. Role-playing exercises help employees learn how to handle various situations before they face them on the job. Role-playing is an excellent way to teach interpersonal skills—for example, customer service, interviewing, and violence prevention. It’s also a good way to explore work-related attitudes and feelings, such as in diversity or ethics training. Role-playing can be used alone or combined with other training methods. Begin by introducing the role-play. Talk briefly about the issues or skills that are the focus of the exercise. Select employees to take the various parts in the role-play. Usually, it’s best to ask for volunteers. Some employees may be reluctant at first to stand up and act before the group. After a while, they may change their minds. Some never do. And that’s okay, too. They can watch and give feedback. Not everyone has to be an actor if they don’t want to be. A role-playing exercise can either be scripted—by you or by employees—or it can be improvised based on a quick explanation of the situation. In some cases, role-plays can even represent real-life work situations, with employees playing themselves and portraying what they actually did in the particular situation. After the role-play has been enacted, it’s time to process the situation. Encourage all trainees, including the actors, to give feedback about what they just saw or did. Give your own feedback as well. Some trainers videotape role-playing exercises and then play back the video during processing to assist in examining the action detail by detail. Finally, allow a little time to reflect on what can be learned from the situation portrayed in the role-play. You should have developed a number of key training points you want employees to take away with them. You can either present your points—on a flip chart or in a handout—at this point or, if you have time, you can guide the training group to come up with the points on their own. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Training Methods: Additional OptionsVideo Games and simulations Team competitions Study groups Speaker’s Notes: We’re not done yet. There are a host of other training methods you can successfully employ in the classroom. Here are some of the most popular and effective. Training videos can be used effectively to provide information, demonstrate, and shape attitudes and behavior. Good videos attract and hold employees’ attention, are convenient for the trainer, can be used to train large groups of employees at the same time, and can be used over and over. Video training can be combined with many other methods, such as lectures and group discussions. You can also present cases in video format, using professional or employee actors, and then discuss the issues after the video. Games and simulations can be used effectively at any time during a training session to stimulate interest and encourage participation. You can easily create your own games by adapting the formats of popular TV quiz shows. Simulations can be created by adapting popular board games. Just remember that while games and simulations can be fun—and there’s nothing wrong with having fun during classroom training—they are not just for fun. They need to be relevant to training content. And they must always be followed up with a discussion or review to make the connection to the job clear. Team competitions are similar to games and simulations in their ability to heighten participation and get employees involved in the training process. This method is especially useful with large groups. You can divide the training group up into two or more small teams and then play a game or set challenges for the teams. The competitive spirit and group interaction make these sessions lively and enjoyable for trainees. But again, you can’t forget to tie the competition firmly back to the point of the training session to make sure that trainees aren’t just having fun but are also learning something. Study groups are sometimes used by trainers as an alternative to lecturing. Instead of reciting training content to your group, you divide the class into small groups and give each group written materials covering training content. The materials can be taken from a book, manual, or other primary source—or you can develop your own study materials. Then ask the groups to answer a number of key questions about the content. The groups read and discuss the material, write down their answers to the questions, and then the whole class discusses the answers together. You can also give each group different materials and then give each group the chance to teach the class about the content of their materials. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Training Methods: Additional Options (cont.)Learning projects Observation Reading and writing assignments Information searches Background for the Trainer: After you show this screen, ask participants to briefly describe other classroom training methods and activities that they have used successfully. Speaker’s Notes: Another effective method is to assign trainees a project related to the training topic. With your help employees learn by doing. Short projects can be completed within one classroom session. For example, if you were training clerical employees to file documents, you could provide them with a pile of documents and folders and after a brief introduction describing correct filing procedures, you could let the trainees set up files and file the documents. Larger projects may be completed over the course of several classes, or employees may do some of the work outside of class. For example, in a customer service training course, after explaining procedures for handling customer complaints, you might assign employees a project involving contacting customers who have complained to find out if the current procedures are really working. Based on their findings, employees suggest ways to improve the system. Projects can be assigned to trainees individually or to groups of trainees. Observation can be used with demonstrations, role-plays, or with videos of on-the-job situations. Employees observe a situation or action and note exactly what is happening. This method works best if you provide trainees with a checklist to guide their observation and clarify training issues. Afterwards, the training group can compare their observations and you can review the training points you want to drive home. You can also effectively train employees in the classroom using worksheets, workbooks, and other materials that involve reading and writing. After a brief introduction to preview the content of materials, you give employees time to read about the topic and complete worksheets, make lists, outline the steps in a procedure, write responses to questions, or even write reports about the information presented. Then the group can review their writing assignments and discuss what they have learned. Information searches also involve reading and writing, in a slightly different way, however. This method is kind of like the open-book tests you took in school. For example, say that you wanted to teach machine operators to run a new machine. Before actually demonstrating and practicing machine operation in the work area, you could get your operators together in the classroom and give them a general introduction to the new machine and its operation. Then you could give them an operator’s manual with a list of questions about operating the machine. Trainees read through the manual to find the answers to the questions, which they then write down. They can work alone or in groups. After everyone’s finished the information search, you review the answers with the whole group. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
To Get the Best Results Employ a mix of training methodsMake training interactive Use a lot of visuals Change activities frequently Match methods to subject matter Speaker’s Notes: Regardless of which training method or methods you use in the classroom, there are five key points that apply to all methods and that can help you get the best results from your classroom training. Let’s take a moment to review these points. First, employ a good mix of training methods. Variety enhances employee interest and participation. For example, as we said before, you can deliver a short lecture to highlight key issues and then show a video or use a role-playing exercise or case study to challenge and engage employees. Or you can combine a group discussion with a team competition or a game. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and energy. Second, make training interactive. Engage employees with stimulating and interesting activities and discussions. Make sure everyone participates fully. Third, as we mentioned earlier, use a lot a visuals to enhance learning. Seeing aids retention. Fourth, remember that training experts recommend changing training activities frequently during long training sessions. At least every 15 or 20 minutes, try to switch from one activity to another. For example, you could start with a short game or other group activity to get employees involved and participating, then give a short lecture or watch a video, and then follow up with a discussion and review. Or you could begin with a role-play, have a discussion, and review the training points by examining a related case study. Fifth and finally, be sure to match training methods to subject matter. If you want to show employees how to do something, use a demonstration or a video. If you want to shape attitudes, role-playing may be your best choice. If you need to convey a body of information, a lecture and discussion may be the most efficient method—and so on. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Evaluating Employee LearningIn-training monitoring Written tests Performance tests On-the-job observation Self-assessments Background for the Trainer: Before you show this screen, ask participants how they generally evaluate employee learning after a classroom training session. Speaker’s Notes: An important part of any classroom training session involves evaluation of employee learning. Most people think of evaluation as something that comes at the end of training—and it certainly should. But evaluation should really be built into the session itself. You should be checking for understanding throughout the session by asking questions and asking for feedback in order to make sure that employees understand the material you are presenting and are retaining course content. Then at the end of the session, you can check learning again with a written test or quiz. You can also use performance tests at the end of the session and have employees demonstrate competence with new skills or understanding of the concepts presented in training. Often there isn’t time to check out performance of each trainee in the classroom, or the necessary materials and equipment are not available. If that’s the case, you can observe employees back on the job to see if they are using what they learned in the classroom correctly on the job. You can also use self-assessments to evaluate learning. For example, you can have trainees complete a questionnaire in which they are asked to provide specific feedback about how they are using—or not using—what they learned in training and how their performance has improved—or not improved—as a result. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Evaluating Training Methods And PresentationEmployee feedback Learning indicators Behavior change Performance improvement Background for the Trainer: Before you show this screen, ask participants how they generally evaluate their own performance as trainers and the success of their classroom training sessions. Speaker’s Notes: Evaluation of classroom training also involves evaluating your own performance as a trainer and assessing the effectiveness of your training methods and presentation. One of the most common ways to do this is to ask trainees for feedback, using some kind of survey or questionnaire to be completed at the end of the session or shortly afterward. You can also review test results to see if employees have actually learned what they were supposed to. If you give a pretest at the beginning of the session and a posttest at the end, you can compare results to see if your methods and presentation achieved the desired result. Another indication of the success of your training is to look for behavior change on the job. Are employees actually using proper lifting techniques after your session on safe lifting? Are they following a new procedure correctly? Have disturbing incidents of harassment stopped after your class on diversity in the workplace? Finally, you can look at overall performance. Are your employees performing better as a result of training? Are they more competent and confident? Are they more productive? Has quality improved? Are there fewer accidents? Fewer mistakes? /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Making the Link between Training and Job PerformancePlan for integration of training Link training to the job throughout the session Use job aids Develop an action plan Follow up Speaker’s Notes: When all is said and done, the whole point of training is to improve job performance. From the distance of the classroom, this fundamental point is sometimes forgotten—both by trainers and trainees. Be sure to plan for integration of training back on the job. You can have a great and interactive training session, but if employees don’t go back to their jobs and use what they’ve learned, training has basically failed. Throughout your training session, make the connection between the points you are making in the classroom and performance on the job. Use job aids such as checklists and worksheets that employees can take back to the job with them and use to implement training points. At the end of each training session, develop an action plan with trainees to help them put training to work for them on the job. And be sure to follow up to make certain employees are not only using what they learned in training on the job but also using it correctly. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Goals Understand the goals and criteria for successful classroom training Know how to design effective training sessions and motivate active participation Realize that you have a variety of classroom training methods to choose from Recognize the importance of both employee evaluation and trainer evaluation Speaker’s Notes: Are there any questions concerning classroom training? Let’s wrap up this training session with a summary and a quiz. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Summary Classroom training can be used successfully to teach skills, transfer information and knowledge, shape attitudes and behavior, and build competencies The goals of classroom training are to encourage participation, promote under-standing, make sure employees retain what they’ve learned, and ensure that they are able to apply it to their jobs /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Summary (cont.) There are numerous effective training methods available for you to use in the classroom— you don’t have to rely solely on lectures The key to a successful classroom training session is to employ a variety of methods, make training interactive, use a lot of visuals, change activities frequently, and match methods to subject matter /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Quiz 1. Define classroom training.2. When you’re talking about classroom training, you are really talking about giving a lecture. True or False 3. What are the four goals of classroom training? 4. Identify four criteria for successful classroom training. 5. Adults are usually self-directed learners who respond best to problem- or task-oriented training approaches. True or False Background for the Trainer: Remind participants that the quiz is to encourage further discussion and to ensure that everyone understands what was discussed. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Quiz (cont.) 6. It is important to use visual aids, because people tend to remember what they see better than what they hear. True or False 7. Identify three ways you can encourage greater employee participation in classroom training. 8. Name three training methods you can use effectively in the classroom. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Quiz (cont.) 9. To get the best results from classroom training, you should use only one training method per training session True or False 10. Identify three ways you can evaluate employee learning in the classroom. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Quiz Answers 1. Classroom training is a workplace learning strategy that removes employees from the work area and brings them together in a safe and appropriate environment, free from distractions, to teach skills, transfer information and knowledge, shape attitudes and behavior, and build competencies. 2. False. Lecture is only one of many classroom training options. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Quiz Answers (cont.) 3. The goals of classroom training are to encourage full participation of employees, promote clear and complete understanding, make sure employees retain what they learn in training, and ensure that they are able to apply it to their jobs. 4. Criteria of successful classroom training include meeting employees’ needs, being timely, being applicable to the job, being clear and concise, being at the right level based on trainees’ current knowledge and skills, being interactive, providing useful and challenging activities, and creating strong links back to the job. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Quiz Answers (cont.) 5. True. Adults also bring a broad base of experience to training; and to buy into training, they need to know why they are learning something. 6. True. And people remember what they do even more than what they see, which is why it’s important for employees to participate actively in classroom training. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Quiz Answers (cont.) 7. To motivate active participation, you can explain how trainees will benefit from training, get the session off to a good start with a stimulating activity, use examples and analogies that employees can relate to, give and encourage feedback throughout the session, ask questions to stimulate discussion, and include engaging activities in the session. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Quiz Answers (cont.) 8. Among the options are lecture, demonstration, question and answer, problem solving, case study, role-playing, video, games and simulations, team competitions, study groups, learning projects, observation, reading and writing assignments, and information searches. 9. False. It is best to employ a variety of training methods during each session to hold employees’ interest. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
Quiz Answers (cont.) 10. During the session, you can monitor participation and check for understanding. At the end of the session, you can give a written test or have employees demonstrate new skills or understanding by actually performing the task. Outside the classroom, you can observe employees on the job after training to see if they are correctly applying what they’ve learned. You can also have employees fill out self-assessment questionnaires. /0304 © 2004 Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
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