While their terminologies and goals may be unique, there are undeniable similarities between teaching and corporate training. In fact, of the many professional opportunities for those with a teaching degree, corporate training is a popular path for teachers looking for a career change. If you’re ready to improve your training skills, take a note of these core teaching tactics.
1. Backward Lesson Design
The most effective teachers start with an end goal in mind and then build a lesson plan around it. The first step of backward design is deciding which skills, concepts and knowledge your students need to learn. Once you have a strong understanding of the main objectives, you can plan backward for how to achieve them, including the materials and methods for getting there. With this approach, the main priority shifts from the content of the lessons to the end result or outcome.
Corporate trainers can implement this technique by thinking about the core competencies employees need, understanding which skills will best support those competencies and then creating a curriculum focused on developing these integral skills.
2. Regular Activity Changes
To keep children and teens engaged and attentive, teachers frequently alternate their classroom activities to keep the pace of their lessons moving steadily. In fact, the best practice is to change what students are doing every 10 minutes. From small group work to teacher instruction to individual study, there are a variety of content delivery methods teachers use to keep students interested and actively learning. The key is to change the activity before a learner has a chance to get bored or tune out.
Similarly, the average adult is unlikely to maintain an attention span or digest complex content while sitting through a 60-minute PowerPoint presentation – or even when discussing a topic with peers for 30 minutes. Corporate trainers can keep their learners engaged by introducing a new activity every 10 to 15 minutes, while making use of a variety of training tactics.
3. Peer-to-Peer Learning
As part of the effort to consistently introduce new activities, teachers are increasingly incorporating unique learning models into their classroom, including opportunities for students to learn from each other.
Peer-to-peer learning can involve many different strategies, such as discussion groups, role-playing, mentorship programs, peer critiques and more. Giving learners the chance to share knowledge with their peers can help them gain clarity and develop mastery within a subject matter and often spurs fresh, candid dialogue.
4. Comprehension Checks
A tried and true practice among teachers is inserting regular comprehension checks into their lesson plans. Simply asking, “Does everyone understand?” isn’t likely to produce a reliable response; even those who don’t quite understand will be inclined to say yes.
One technique some teachers use is to say, “Raise your hand if you would feel comfortable explaining what I just said.” With this more specific check for understanding, only those who truly grasp the material are likely to raise their hand. Trainers will gain a quick sense for who feels confident with the content and whether you need to explain further. Especially useful in training lacking a formal assessment, comprehension checks are a great way to evaluate learning in real time.
Of course, there are many fundamental differences between employee training and teaching in a school. But when corporate trainers implement some of these teacher-approved tactics, they may find that learners engage more with the material and walk away from training feeling confident in their skills and knowledge.