It’s not only about saving time. It’s about bringing every student or delegate into their most proficient space. Training becomes more efficient, more relevant and more profitable for all concerned. But the added ingredient is happy learners, and I can tell you why it matters.
Research confirms that positive emotion increases the attention given to a task, as well as thoughts and actions (Fredrickson, 2004). Providing learners with what they need to feel safe and confident is like turning the microphone on before addressing a large audience: You will be heard much clearer.
What L&D can learn from the delegate experience.
Pre-work has made my training courses much more enjoyable than the rest – and therefore been more effective. This has ranged from questionnaires or surveys to eLearning courses or short pieces of reading. In my experience, it’s an essential part of the course for all, not an optional headstart. It’s about time to competency – read whitepaper.
Here are four reasons why eLearning pre-work before a face-to-face training programme creates happy learners and should be compulsory:
1. It levels the playing field
Pre-work ensures everyone knows the basics, preventing the newbies feeling perplexed and the veterans feeling bored.
Few things are more embarrassing for a delegate than being in a room and realising they have no idea what anyone is talking about. Especially when half the sentences are made up of acronyms. Conversely, it can be really frustrating when you go on a course and all of the content is incredibly basic, and people are asking questions that show no understanding of the topic at all.
2. Your delegates feel more relaxed and prepared
Sometimes, training can be stressful. When delegates feel confident that they are prepared (by completing an exercise or eLearning course) it makes the time much more relaxing and enjoyable. They know what to expect and you can keep up with with everything – plus the more advanced areas the trainer discusses make sense and add to your understanding rather than causing confusion.
3. Get straight to the good stuff
By letting people read, absorb and understand the facts before the course, you free up time for what the training should really be about: facilitating discussions and activities with the group so the students can put their new knowledge and skills into practice ASAP. This fits the ‘flipped classroom’ model, allowing for more student-centric and enquiry based learning with video lectures preceding the class considered the necessary pre-work.
4. Prevent Information overload – pace the learning
When you go on a course that is very information rich it is impossible to take everything in. Giving your learners time to think, reflect and learn some of the content gradually, and by themselves, can be really helpful in preventing information overload. Time between learning will also help improve retention.
Don’t leave creating the best learning space until the face-to-face training. Start creating it now with eLearning opportunities that mean you can hit the ground running with happy learners on the day.