Training and Development

Design Training and Education to be interactive, participant-centered and experiential

(for those of you unfamiliar with these terms, see this description of interactive learning: http://www.openingspace.net/interactiveLearning_whatIsIt.shtml - in this case, I am talking about face-to-face learning - but technology for learning can and is also being used to engage more than text on a screen or audio in a podcast)

 

We have learned much about learning. We have learned that designing training and education in more interactive ways increases learners' ability to integrate and retain learning and also learn concepts, not just facts.

 

Interactive learning design includes not just a design of the facts to teach, but the whole 'ecology of learning', if you will. Placement around / use of / movement in the room, group dynamics and dialogue, using more than text or oral receipt of information. People absorb and exchange information / data differently, so to reach all forms of learners, a good interactive learning facilitator designs her/his workshops or presentations engaging more of the different modalities of learning. Instead of lecture or PowerPoint, more hands-on or teach-each other forms of learning. Instead of just delivering information through text or audio (lecture or reading), us of multiple modalities such as graphic, kinesthetic and/or relational learning. Instead of the same dynamic throughout the lesson, mixing in small group or duo discussion and discovery, silent reflective work, use of materials, and other approaches such as role play or scenario work, use of graphic templates or tools for participants, and moving to indicate such things as different places on a continuum or different points of view. Instead of question-and-answer, interactive dialogue and inquiry. Instead of the teacher 'owning' the information, designing learning so information is put into the hands of the learners and part of their learning is figuring out how to teach their peers.

 

My recommendation is to raise the capacity of those who present, teach and invite learning in government, business, educational institutions, non-profits and community. To teach interactive learning methodology; to shift folks 'at the front of the room' from 'expert' or 'knowledge holders' to learning facilitators.

 

With all of these recommendations about the use of facilitation or interactive learning, there are many of us who do this as a profession and several ways to locate and invite us into re-designing learning and training trainers and presenters nation-wide and internationally (the US government and US organizations do so much in so many locations around the world)

 

Organizations such as International Association of Facilitators, National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, American Society for Training and Development, many other organizations, associations, educational programs and regional networks of facilitators and trainers have within them people who specialize in designing and teaching how to teach and present using interactive methodology.

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Idea No. 1114