The four activities in this first chapter of The AMA Trainers ' Activity Book focus on getting the learner from seminar to workplace. They include elaboration on useful instructional techniques, primarily with learning and the learner in mind. The wisdom of good instructional design leads to facilitation of learning. Learning is what this book is about.
Design of these activities is based on the experiences of Seminar Leaders, whose goals are to help trainees take as much wisdom and as many skills as possible from the seminar to their organizations and jobs. This chapter focuses on the trainee in a variety of ways: recognizing the need to pay attention to learning styles of individuals as well as classroom management, helping trainees define their own special learning needs before the seminar starts, articulating and planning applications of new ideas and skills before leaving the seminar, learning new facts, concepts, procedures, and processes, and creating challenging questions based on a trainee-identified review of the seminar's most usable ideas and practices. This grouping of activities establishes the trainee's responsibility for continuation of learning, provides tools for that trainee, and prods instructional leaders forward in the quest for learning that can and will transfer.
As all trainers know, good instruction is more than good content, and learning is more than paying attention. Chapter 1, Getting from Seminar to Workplace, features a variety of process techniques that facilitate good teaching and reinforce the empowerment of individual learners. Transfer to the job has been one of training's great challenges; this chapter meets that challenge head on. Activities use group and team discussion and even a contest to reinforce and motivate learning. Materials include an exercise in process mapping, clever ways of remembering, a strong dose of self-analysis, and a template for trainee-focused, problem-based learning, all with the goals of transfer and trainee responsibility for learning. Trainees are led to increased self-understanding, shared learning, and commitment to action.