Table of Contents

Classroom Training is a Bit Like Live Theater

The choreography matters.

When you go to see a play – whether a local high school production or a Broadway musical – a lot of time, thought and rehearsals are devoted to where the actors will stand and how they will move across the stage.  They don’t show up each night with a general idea of how they’ll approach the show.  There is a very intentional plan for how the performance will proceed.

I spent the past few weeks reviewing my colleagues’ lesson plans.  My biggest contribution has been to ask for more detail from them.

Here is an example of something I’ve seen a lot recently in lesson plans I’ve been reviewing:

Time

Content/Key Points

Instructional Technique

60 min.Coaching – Application

  • Have learners work in groups of 3 or 4; rotate roles as coach, coachee and observer(s)
  • Large group discussion
 

Small group work

Large group de-brief

While I never advocate for a verbatim script in a lesson plan, I strongly suggest that instructions for each activity are spelled out in detail.  For the example above, I have several questions:

  • Does it matter how the small groups are created?
  • Should supervisors be part of (or perhaps be intentionally separated from) their direct reports during this activity?
  • To save time, should the facilitator simply assign groupings or is it ok for participants to spend several minutes breaking up into groups of their own choosing?
  • When it comes to the observers, will they simply give general feedback or will there be a specific observation form they’ll use?
  • When it comes to rotations, does it matter that groups of 4 will only have 15 minutes per rotation while groups of 3 will have 20 minutes per rotation?
  • Will the large group discussion have any structure?
  • Are there specific questions that should be asked during the large group de-brief?

When people take time out of their schedules to participate in a training session, we training professionals owe them a good show.  Having a general idea of what we want to happen and then just “winging it” at the time of the presentation generally doesn’t make for a great show.

The Train Like A Champion Blog is published Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  If you think someone else might find this interesting, please pass it along.  If you don’t want to miss a single, brilliant post, be sure to click “Follow”!  And now you can find sporadic, 140-character messages from me on Twitter @flipchartguy.

Related Articles

Better PowerPoint

Creating Better PowerPoint Decks, Faster

PowerPoint can be a very powerful visual aid and important tool for training… if it’s done well. Today’s post isn’t so much about pretty images, it’s more about organizing your thoughts before you even open PowerPoint on your computer.

Read More »
airline flying through a sky with palm trees

3 Job Aid Design Lessons from a Beach in Hawaii

An effective job aid might be able to replace the need for actually training someone. At the very least, it can be distributed as part of a training to help people remember a rule or how to do something new. Drawing inspiration from “job aids” we see every day when we walk around can make our job designing effective job aids easier.

Read More »

Join our Mailing list!

Get regular updates from Endurance Learning.

Subscribe for Updates

Get regular updates from Endurance Learning.