10 Tips for Bringing Training Back Into The Classroom

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In 2020, training or education as we know is out with the old and in with the new. Whether the current remote work situation will go on for many months or not, there’s no better time than now to evaluate how to handle the evolving training situation.

As we await word on guidance for returning to the office or school—part-time, full-time, or in a virtual/remote hybrid—trainers and learners have to be prepped once the switch is flipped. Are you ready to start back with in-classroom training with the protocols in place?

The Bob Pike Group team offers these 10 tips for transitioning your training program back into the classroom setting.

  1. Make a plan to reopen safely and share it with learners beforehand

Employers no doubt focus on protecting the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. Every state offers guidance that businesses and workplaces should make to keep this at the forefront. If training sessions require a move to the in-classroom setting, clearly communicate with participants the safety protocols taking place, so they feel at ease. Also be open to feedback and concerns from participants and take action appropriately prior to ensure their safety and well-being.

  1. Continue to use Instructional Design principles to plan

Using a repeatable formula, you will be able to reduce training time by 25-50% and cut prep time in half. This will help keep your session concise, clear, and effective.

  • Identify your goals for training. What will success look like?
  • Generate results-driven training objectives.
  • Design and develop engaging training materials.
  • Measure and evaluate training results.
  1. Use C.O.R.E. elements as you plan, too

Applying C.O.R.E. elements in the classroom will ensure continuous participant engagement, increased retention, and reduced training time. These are all especially important in this current work environment!

  • Closers: Tie training activities/content together and examine next steps.
  • Openers: Get learners mentally and physically “in the room.”
  • Revisiters: Reinforce the content effectively.
  • Energizers: Reduce tension to increase retention!
  1. Offer microlearning modules to reduce in-classroom time

Snack-sized learning options are absolutely essential in the workplace these days. Employees have deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, and reports to write—so much to do in so little time. Throughout your in-classroom training, offer access or links to microlearning options that include short videos, podcasts, blog posts, slide shows, surveys … and more that can keep them engaged long after the classroom session concludes. This can help keep some of your in-class time shorter to encourage social distance, but it’s been proven that short bursts of training (2-5 minutes) offer learners a quick and equally engaging content retention opportunity.

  1. Space out seating

Perhaps the most widely known phrase of the year: Social Distancing. As trainers, teachers, students, and other learners return to the classroom—this protocol definitely applies today. Look to local state guidelines in how many feet of space to provide between each learner in the classroom. Also be sure to look to local guidance on the number of people that can stay socially distant per square footage in a room. Another consideration is to position all desks, tables, and chairs to face the front of the room. But just because seats are more spaced out, it doesn’t mean there will be less learner participation!

  1. Encourage participation and incorporate gamification

As mentioned above, social distancing doesn’t mean in-classroom sessions should be dull! Classroom learning can still be highly participant-centered with a lot of interaction. Gamification allows learners to play games while learning, earn points and rewards, and compete against their colleagues to add some fun and excitement to the process. Mobile technologies can be used for in-classroom games or trivia, or other visual-based activities can be used to keep learners engaged with one another.

  1. Place handouts and materials on every chair ahead of time

Even offer more handouts than necessary if it helps to reduce the training session duration. With social distancing in practice, placing all handouts at each place setting reduces trainer-to-learner or learner-to-learner physical contact—which is likely to make everyone feel a bit more at ease. Plus it’s a great way to prepare for the training session ahead of time by preventing loud, shuffling paper passing between participants.

  1. Use data to target your content

To put it simply, less is more! While virtual learning allows you to target the most crucial content needs for the time being, it doesn’t mean that can’t be applied to the in-classroom setting. The classroom can still allow for greater focus on concepts or skills that are most useful at any given time. Run assessments on learners ahead of time to really target the content of your in-classroom training agenda. By utilizing this practice, you can improve and personalize the learning journey for learners and keep the content focused and concise for in-class training sessions.

  1. Create a virtual network of learners

Prior to this spring, alternative and multiplatform learning modes were on the rise—specifically e-learning and cloud-based learning. The mandatory focus of virtual training in the last several months has veered to be more individualized to participants, while offering them a greater interaction with the trainer and each other. A move to in-classroom learning doesn’t mean this has to end! With this in mind, encourage class participants to embrace open learning and to form peer learning groups outside the classroom. Provide learners’ email addresses and other contact information as a handout.

  1. Offer ongoing support and coaching beyond

Once the classroom session is concluded, the coaching and learning can continue! Consider establishing a communication channel for coaching, career counseling, and performance development. If possible, make yourself available to counsel learners as they navigate these uncertain times—listening, providing advice, and prepping them for when things return to normal.

These are just but a few ways to prep for a move back into in-classroom training! Sign up for an upcoming Train-the-Trainer Boot Camp workshop to get more in-depth tips and tricks.

The Train-the-Trainer Boot Camp is the cornerstone of The Bob Pike Group’s innovative instructor-led, participant-centered methodology. In just a couple days, you’ll be introduced to the Creative Training Techniques® that thousands of trainers all over the world have used to increase retention by 90% and on-the-job transfer by 75%.

We're now offering our Train-the-Trainer Boot Camp online!

Experience the cornerstone of participant-centered classroom training—delivered to you live, online. That’s right, this online session is all about face-to-face techniques, so you’ll be ready and agile when we all return to the classroom!

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