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How do you encourage trainers to adopt a more experience-based approach?


asks Roger Greenaway

Answer please by clicking Comments below.

4 Responses

  1. NTS Ltd. Getting results through people
    Key first step is to make it easy for trainers to use an experiential approach. Good quality, simple, exercises with straight forward tutor notes which clearly guide the trainer through the review process help considerably.

    Many trainers are put off experiential work by being introduced through overcomplex exercises which a. allow the group to blame the exercise for any failure b. generate a large volume of reviewable experience and are therefore c. difficult for the trainer (with little experience) to review effectively.

    Hi Roger!

  2. Presenting Opportunities
    Giving trainers an opportunity to gain hands on experience within the “context” can also be an effective method – encouraging an experience based approach. This approach is particularly useful with technological or practical learning activities, and if managed effectively – ie through manager involvement in the design of learning activities:
    * crafting the specific activity
    * providing feedback and support during the activity
    * reflecting on success or failure by debriefing what they learned

    Can be a very efficient experiential activity for inclusion in their delivey approach.

  3. also another type of experience-based learning
    Interestingly, when I read the question I was not thinking about structured exercises but, rather, how to encourage people to use everyday experience as the vehicle for learning.

    I think I would ask them to identify some of the key learning events in their own lives. Nearly always these are mainly things that happened and from which they learned. From this it is reasonably feasible to introduce ideas about experiential learning cycles, learning skills at each part of these cycles, how they learn, how they can use these skills and cycles to help others learn.

    I think the comments from someone about fears of using experiential exercises when a beginner make a lot of sense. Many of the published exercises contain guidelines on what to look out for.

    But I would be sorry if that’s as far as it went. I believe strongly that such exercises have limited value and what we need to do (ie what I want to do! and indeed what I am doing) is to move increasingly away from simulations, exercises etc into using real life as the main learning vehicle.

    Action learning might be a good starting point, either face-to-face or Inter/intra-Net based.

  4. Participant Centered
    An organisation called Creative Training Techniques, International is based in Minnesota, USA. Bob Pike, the founder, wrote a book called Creative Training Techniques Handbook. The focus is instructor-led, participant-centered training & the methodology works!! If trainers can see the difference that this approach makes- it isn’t a struggle to have them start using this approach. Good Luck!


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