Effective instruction depends on ensuring that learners are actively engaged in both receiving the information being taught and processing it for later use. But doing so in an adult learning environment can be challenging.
Fortunately, by making use of audience response technology, there are several instructional techniques that managers can use in the adult training environment that help foster trainee engagement. These techniques can be strategically placed throughout a presentation, minimizing the risk of participants losing focus.
The word “test” for many can trigger immediate anxiety, so let your trainees know that this initial test will not be scored or used to assess their performance in the training session. This helps reduce anxiety and puts trainees in a learning frame of mind. Display a series of questions related to what will be covered in the instructional material, then invite participants to answer using their keypads or smartphones, depending on your audience response arrangement. Because the audience response software will gather and process trainee responses, the pretest results can be easily compared to final test results to determine how well participants understood the material.
Adult learners, because of their sophistication and life experience, are more easily influenced using emotion, so make sure that your presentation includes an element that will connect them emotionally to what they’re being taught. This makes them more engaged and more likely to retain the subject matter.
Asking true-false or multiple choice questions throughout a presentation helps challenge participants’ assumptions about the material being taught and helps open their minds to innovative ways of thinking. By using audience response technology, the presenter can gather the results of these questions and display them in real time, allowing participants to note whether they gave the correct answer and alter their thinking if they didn’t.