On the call were Maurice Coleman, Kate Kosturski, Jill Hurst-Wahl, and Paul Signorelli (three with coughs and one with a “busted” foot).
Paul started us off on a conversation about the Communities That Work Partnership Playbook (Nov. 2016), focusing on page 11 (see image). We focused on “balancing customization and standardization” in terms of training and education. In self-directed learning, students (and trainers) need to know that the correct skills are being learned which are necessary for the workplace.
Maurice brought up a wonderful image of a honeycomb, where you provide some structure and people are free to then fill-in the structure.
We moved eventually to a long conversation about conference planning and changing from sessions to tracks. And we ended by talking again about customized learning, with a slight detour on the topic of “ambivert.” (See “9 Signs That You’re An Ambivert.”)
You can listen to the show here.
After a hiatus due to the November holidays, the T is for Training crew was back at it for the last show of 2016. On the call were Maurice Coleman, Andrea Snyder, Paul Signorelli and Jill Hurst-Wahl. Today’s topic built upon the Association for Talent Development‘s Employee Learning Week and was “who might be a champion of learning?” We began listing job functions and organizations that are champions. We noted that learners can become self-directed champions of learning. Along the way, we talked about the need for self-care (and referenced both Heather Plett and Episode 163). Self-care has been a recurring theme, as has been the power of networking. While we are all outstanding networkers, we are not always outstanding in terms of self-care (something which we acknowledged we need to pay more attention to).
Along the way, Paul mentioned the book The Nudge (his last book reference for 2016) and we engaged in a bit of “poking” at each other. Ah friends!
Our next call will be on January 6, 2017, then on Feb. 3, Feb 17 and Mar. 3. We’re skipping Jan 20 because many of the T is for Training regulars will be at the ALA Midwinter Conference.
At a recent workshop, Jill was shocked to hear that most of the techniques we use as learners to reinforce what we’ve learned do not work. She was referred to Dunlosky’s article for more information.
Dunlosky J, Rawson KA, Marsh EJ, Nathan MJ, Willingham DT. “Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology.”Psychol Sci Public Interest. 2013 Jan;14(1):4-58. doi: 10.1177/1529100612453266.
Dunlosky and colleagues looked at ten learning techniques which a student could do on his/her own. Those techniques are:
- Elaborative interrogation
- Keyword mnemonic
- Imagery for text
- Practice testing
- Distributed practice
- Interleaved practice
They assessed each technique for its utility or efficacy. Unfortunately, some of the techniques we have been told to use do not work unless they are implemented to support a specific way of studying. For example:
…highlighting does little to boost performance. It may help when students have the knowledge needed to highlight more effectively, or when texts are difficult, but it may actually hurt performance on higher-level tasks that require inference making.
Yikes! Clearly, there is more to know and this study provides that information. For each technique, the authors describe it, describe its effects, talk about issues for implementation, and give an overall assessment.
As teachers/trainers/instructors, it would be useful if we could recommend the best technique for the situation and this article could help us to just that.
The Dunlosky article is available from Sage Journals, which you may be able to access through your library. You can should also be able to order a copy through interlibrary loan.
Matt Abrahams did this 58-minute talk at Stanford University in which he gives techniques to help us communicate better in spontaneous situations. As trainers, one specific time we’re in spontaneous situations is during Q&A. His tips will work in that situation and in many others.
Julian Treasure has given several TED Talks all related to sound. This 10-minute talk is on how to speak so that people – a person, a small group or a large audience – want to listen. As trainers, we want our learners to pay attention and listen. This video may give you tips to help you be a better speaker.
Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross co-wrote the book Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, 2nd Edition. Angelo was in Syracuse in mid-October to give a workshop on the topic, which T is for Training regular, Jill, attended. (Presentation slides. Handout.) Angelo is a truly engaging instructor. It can be tough to be an instructor teaching a roomful of instructors (because we’re opinionated and hard to impress), yet he showed us that we all could learn to be better in the classroom.
Assessing students in a classroom – or workshop – situation is something every trainer or instructor needs to do. Angelo provides ideas on how to make assessment part of the instructor. He also talks about how to obtain actionable feedback from our students.
If assessment is a topic of interest to you, go find this book at your library. If you interested in this topic, but don’t want to read a book, look at this handout for a few specific techniques.
Kate Kosturski and Jill Hurst-Wahl talked about some of the things that a trainer should pay attention to, noting that little things – small details – mean a lot.
For the workshop/conference organizer:
- Appoint someone who will help each presenter understand how the technology works.
- Tell people upfront how the person should bring his/her presentation. USB drive? Post it online? Should the presentation be in specific file format?
- Tell the presenter if there will be Internet access.
- If lunch is part of the session, what is your expectation for how long it well be and ho the time will be used?
For the trainer:
- Get there early so you have time to test the technology.
- Make friends with the technology person. Be sure to ask lots of questions about how that setup works.
- Have a backup of your presentation on different media and in the cloud.
- Make sure your presentation is in a normal/frequently used format.
- Make friends with the facilities person. This is the person who can help with physical resources (e.g., heat, chairs, water, room setup).
- Be clear on how you will handle questions. Do you want questions as they come up or at the end?
- Tell participants how you want them to interact (or not) with their technology during the session.
- If the session includes lunch, will it be a working lunch?
- How many breaks will you give participants?
- Test your presentation on a projection unit before the workshop/presentation. Is the font color readable? Is the font large enough? Is the background distracting?
- Bonus (not on the recording): Use fonts that are good for accessibility. For some with print disabilities, a san serif font (e.g., Tahoma, Franklin Gothic, Arial) are good to use. (No, do not use Comic Sans or any of “fun” font that can be difficult to read, even if it is a san serif font.)
You can listen to the show here, and hear details about this show title!
“It’s the things you learn after you know it all that count.” – Coach John Wooden
Rarely do we hear about training from a student’s perspective long after the lessons have been given, and the real “training” has sunk in. This 25-minute podcast is an interview with NBA Star Bill Walton, who learned from one of the best coaches who ever lived, John Wooden. As a student, what did Walton learn from Wooden? And how did Wooden teach? And – in trivia – what is Walton’s connection to libraries?
Load this Growth Show podcast on your mobile device, go for a walk, and give it a listen. (It is available through Soundcloud, iTunes and Google Play.)
Kate Kosturski guest hosted episode 195 and found that she was the only one of the call. Having been to NYC ComiCon, she did a short talk on virtual reality. And left us with this question: What affect will virtual reality (VR) have on libraries and library training?
On the call were Andrea Snyder, Kate Kosturski, Michael Porter, Jill Hurst-Wahl, and Maurice Coleman. We began with the topic: How do we connect with our learners, whether it is a workshop or a speaking gig or webinar? What tips or tricks do we use?
As background, Jill has been listening to a nearly two-hour interview with Seal (the singer). At one point, Seal talks about advice he was given early in his career. He had a hit (“Crazy“) and was on a popular music TV show in England. A colleague told him that the performance was “good”, but that he hadn’t connected. She said Seal would know when he had done it.
Tips mentioned were:
- Provide some background on yourself to help build rapport.
- Give the learners power by engaging them in the conversation.
- Food! – In all seriousness, it helps people be comfortable and know that their needs will be met.
- Assigned seating, so that people aren’t with their usual cliques.
How do you know that you “lost the room”?
- Are people looking at you, every once in a while?
- Scan the room. Is the behavior in the room changing?
- Is there someone who is a “canary”? For example, someone who unconsciously will nod her/his head “yes” when the person gets it.
Reading the room is a soft-skill. Can it be taught?
It was pointed out that sometimes you have to power-through a training, even if you’ve lost the room.
Can you have someone in the audience that gives you feedback or ensures that there is engagement?
Managing the flow of the training is a soft-skill that a trainer needs to learn. Managing the flow means the person needs to be flexible and nimble. The person needs to know the content well and be able to alter priorities on-the-fly, if necessary.
One other soft skill is learning how to hide the butterflies (or worries).
What do you do before you present to an audience that you don’t know?
- Take a few deep, focused breathes.
- Close your eyes and do deep breathing.
- Put on lip balm and hand lotion, and check your zipper.
- Empty your pockets. (Your pants or outfit will look better.)
- Go to the bathroom. If you have a lavalier mic, turn it off or take it off.
- Take some time to yourself right before. Center down and calm yourself.
You can listen to the show here.