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Participants involvement tools & techniques

Category: Training

Questioning skills. Involvement is one of the best ways for learners to learn. One way that an trainer can promote involvement is by asking questions. Through questions and answers learners can manipulate knowledge and skills while engaged in a verbal task.

The trainer also uses questions and answers to monitor learner comprehension. Therefore, the trainer must know how to frame, time and direct questions to elicit necessary information. The trainer must be able to do so in a way that gives a valid and reliable indication of the level of learning accomplished.

Finally, the trainer uses questions to add variety to presentations and to revive interest and attention. Particularly during longer deliveries (lectures, video or film), short presentation segments interspersed with interactions involving asking and answering questions can reinforce or recapture the learners’ attention and enhance or revive interest.

To question productively and effectively, trainers must be willing to experiment with instruction and reflect on their actions as they are related to participant learning and achievement. It means becoming actively involved in collecting instruction data about both our learners and ourselves, analyzing it, and reflecting upon it in order to make informed instructional decisions. When we inquire, thoughtfully, into our own learning about questioning, by practicing and reflecting on our experiences, we grow as learners into caring, proficient educators. As we mature as educators, we substantially influence the lives of our learners forever.

Feedback. Feedback is a way of helping another person or group consider changing behavior. It is communication which gives information about how others are affected. Feedback helps people keep behavior «on target» and more in line with current goals.

Feedback then, is a way of giving help; it is a corrective mechanism for people who want to match behavior to intentions; and it is a means for establishing one’s identity.

Every learner in training is an individual, which poses challenges for you because you train people in groups. When learners are actively engaged and involved in training, they send you signals to display their level of comfort and understanding. You can also expect to pick-up signals from the actively involved learners who need clarification or feed-back.

The following critical incident dramatizes one trainer’s experience in working with a learner who required much clarification and feedback.

From conducted surveys, trainers regard responding appropriately to learners’ needs for clarification or feedback as critically important. Respondents rated it of top importance (number one) of fourteen competencies for success in training delivery, which indicates the high importance trainers place on learner satisfaction.

Carl Rogers listed five main categories of feedback. They are listed in the order in which they occur most frequently in daily conversations (notice that we make judgments more often than we try to understand):

Evaluative: Makes a judgment about the worth, goodness, or appropriateness of the other person’s statement.

1. Interpretive: Paraphrasing — attempt to explain what the other persons statement mean.

2. Supportive: Attempt to assist or bolster the other communicator.

3. Probing: Attempt to gain additional information, continue the discussion, or clarify a point.


5. Understanding: Attempt to discover completely what the other communicator means by her statements.

Recognition. It is recommendable to offer recognition to those participants who are involved in order to motivate them and to create good examples for others.

Instructional methods

Lecture — speaking to the participants. An old fashion approach of performing training activities

Interactive discussion — the trainer act mostly as a facilitator by motivating participants to interact, discus and change opinions. Questioning skills are very important here.

Video — act as an additional training input used to assist the trainer during the session to cover the topic, especially when you are in situation of having big audience. Sometimes used as a practical tool to offer efficient feed back by recording the participants activities during the session and after that analyzing the tape identifying opportunities for improvement.

Case study — is a real description of a situation which is analyzed by the participants during the training session in order to generate improvement ideas using the theoretical materials which were given beforehand.

Problems/Exercises same as case studies but less time consuming because of there focused accuracy in comparison with study case.

Role play — physical involvement of the participant putting them in real situation in order to experience the «practical reality»

Teamwork often called as a group work in which participants are divided into small groups in order to solve a study case, problem, or to play role play. This is a powerful participant involvement and learning tool.

Games — a tool to dramatize the content of the training using to warm-up the participants during long training sessions.

Computer simulations — using during highly technologies training as a practical demo of software or a program, or ways of operating the related software/program.

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