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Optimizing Training Transfer Tips

For Use with All Participants with Special Application for Difficult Participants

Here are three quick tips that can be used as instant reviews to gauge what the participants are learning, what is of value to them, and give them a way to become familiar with one another. These are excerpted from Optimizing Training Transfer.

Optimizing Training Transfer Tip #49: Putting Bounce into Review

As a quick and simple review technique, Ruth Wenzl Gerber, owner of The Training Edge in Lincoln, Neb., uses two dozen fluorescent “super balls,” the super-charged variety that can easily bounce to the ceiling.

At the end of class, she asks participants to share their biggest “aha” from the training curriculum—the learning point that had the most meaning to them or “from which they’ll get the greatest return from the smallest investment.” She tosses each participant a super ball as he or she recites a point.

This allows Gerber to have them do their own review and evaluation of the training session as well as provide additional applications. Because of the interaction and group participation, this is also a useful technique to use with difficult participants who have a difficult time focusing, disconnect from the group or learn by kinesthetic activity.

Optimizing Training Transfer Tip #50: Ask the Expert

Lori Smith gets all participants in her classes involved in reviews by allowing them to act as experts in her “Ask the Expert” exercise.

At the end of her management practices courses, Smith asks attendees to write a difficult question or scenario related to the course topic and put it in a basket. She then draws the submissions one at a time and opens the floor for comments and input. The collective answer from all contributors becomes the “expert,” Smith says. She says this exercise allows participants to share their knowledge and experiences involving real-world situations.

This tip works well with difficult participants that can be characterized as: pre-occupied, introvert, elder, domineering, know-it-all, skeptic, and apple polisher.

Optimizing Training Transfer Tip #53: Instant Survey

Milli Morisette, a trainer for the Southern Region Children’s Service Division, Eugene, Ore., gives each student a set of three 5x8 inch cards labeled “yes,” “no” or “undecided,” at the beginning of class. Throughout the session she makes statements—some of them course-related, others playful or trivial—and asks participants to respond by holding up the appropriate card. Statements vary from contextual ones like, “Of all the places I could be right now, this classroom is where I would choose to be.”

The technique helps students review their knowledge of materials while getting to know one another, Morisette says. Attendees sometimes request the chance to ask the class a few questions of their own.

This technique works well with the pre-occupied, the introvert, the bored, the confused and the unqualified.