Active learning strategies are up to 18 times more effective than passive learning techniques, yet most training and development activities don’t include enough of them. Here are five ways to uplift capability in your team using active learning strategies.
According to research conducted by the NTL Institute, active learning strategies, including practicing by doing and teaching others, are up to 18 times more effective for knowledge retention than passive techniques. Learners retain 90 per cent of what they learn when they teach someone else/use the knowledge immediately compared with just five per cent for lecture-style learning.
Higher levels of knowledge retention, greater engagement with the material and better connections between team members are some of the key benefits of active learning. When employees guide one another, brainstorm, and give feedback, they draw more connections between what they’re learning and workplace problems, which prompts more effective solutions. This increases interest and motivation and builds valuable networks.
It’s a compelling reason to include active learning strategies in your training initiatives and capability uplift programs. Here are five ways to make a start, which you can initiate in collaboration with your training provider or work into your team’s day to day once they’ve completed a training session – as the research shows, the sooner they put new knowledge into action the better:
1. Collaborative teaching and learning
Active learning strategies should be used in concert with traditional passive learning techniques. Once the trainer has introduced the foundational concepts, have team members participate in reciprocal questioning, where they ask questions of, and respond to, each other. In any group there’ll be a mix of knowledge and experience so you’ll find that some people will grasp concepts quicker than others and be able to help their peers improve their understanding by explaining these concepts in different ways.
2. Real-world examples
Including actual examples, past or present, can help your team apply their new knowledge to tangible project challenges and outcomes. If you’re able to, give the team a current challenge where the solution can be applied in the real world so they may see the effects and consequences play out. This may be a low-stakes challenge, or you might be able to run a simulation.
3. Gamify the material
Making the training material into game content can help boost motivation and retention, whether you run a trivia contest or create a reward system for learning. Competitiveness between groups can also be a catalyst for team bonding within groups. You could even ask half the group to create a quiz for the other half to complete, and score them appropriately.
4. Lightning presentation
So your team has come to the end of the passive learning part of their training. What have they retained? Each person has to do a two-minute presentation on a given segment of the material. Give them 10-15 minutes to prepare, then they need to get in front of the team and do their presentation. This will activate the learning for both presenters and their audience.
Role-playing is a common technique for people training for customer service roles, but it can also be valuable for those in delivery functions. Consider appointing a project or product manager with a small team in one role and then a range of other stakeholder roles, for example, at the executive level, the compliance department or even the general public. What questions or concerns do these stakeholders have, and how should the manager/team answer them and deal with the different priorities? Active discussions throughout the role playing session should be encouraged.
The nature of training is changing and a proven way to increase knowledge retention and engagement while fostering team bonding is to employ active learning strategies. Improve your capability uplift program with more effective training and development so your team learns and grows together.
Looking to uplift the capabilities of your team? PM-Partners can develop an in-house training and/or capability uplift program to address your organisation’s specific needs. Contact our experts or call 1300 70 13 14 for more information.