Ideas to Help Ensure Trainees Retain Information
As a trainer, you work hard to make sure you cover every bit of information that your agents will need when they get out on the floor. However, with the volume of information, sometimes it’s hard for them to remember everything they’ve been taught. Here are some ideas to help them retain what you’ve taught them.
Each One Teach One
Author Richard Bach says, “We master what we teach.” So the best way for trainees to learn something is to have to teach it to someone else. Upon the conclusion of a training program, have students break into groups and create a new presentation to teach the high points of what they have just learned. They can do this with PowerPoint slides, posters, class activities, or any other method they choose. Give them this activity to do at the end of a day with the responsibility to come in and teach it at the beginning of the next day. Creating the presentation will cement the material in their minds, and hearing about the material in a different way will help other learners also better remember the content. Those that have to teach it will really remember it better, since the extra effort they make to review the information and then present it will help with retention well beyond any other study technique.
You can also do this as an activity where Group 1 gets Day 1 material to present in a one-hour session, Group 2 gets Day 2 material, and so on. Also, you can take 8 days of training material and have a 9th day to hold eight one-hour review sessions on all the material previously learned before they test on Day 10.
Get One, Give One
For a fun end-of-day review, ask participants to make a list of the biggest takeaways from the training they attended, then have each participant share their notes with the others in the class. If there is something on one list that it not on another, make sure they jot it down and vice versa. This technique helps reinforce key learnings.
Shout it Out
At the end of a training module, ask the group to shout out a number between five and ten. Use that number and have the group come up with that number of facts about the topic they’ve just learned. They shout out the facts and you record them, adding any clarification points needed. Famous trainer Bob Pike once said, “Adults don’t argue with their own data.” By having learners verbally repeat the information you’ve taught them, they will “own” it more and be more likely to remember it. As a variation from shouting out a number, you can use two big fuzzy dice and have them roll a number, have a number wheel to spin, or pick a number out of a hat.
Break the Silence in a Training Class
Have you ever asked a question during your training session only to be confronted with silence so deafening that you can hear a pin drop? Well, here are a couple of sure fire ways to change the atmosphere of your class from dead silence to total participation.
If there is no response to your question, simply say, “Turn to the person next to you and discuss this.” You will magically transform your room from absolute quiet to lively discussion in five seconds or less.
Another way to make sure you get feedback is to toss a ball to one of your students and ask them a question. Once they’ve answered, have them toss the ball to the next person who will be “up” for a question. If you’re reviewing more difficult content, break your group into teams so that players can work together on their answers and don’t feel that they are put on the spot.