In K-12 education, emerging research shows the value of clearly stating learning targets with students. Sharing these targets or objectives does 3 things:
In other words, sharing targets increases the chance that your students will accomplish them! Common sense and experience tells me that this research applies equally well, if not better, to adult learners. Adults are more results driven and have adopted learning strategies that work for their individual style. If they are clear about the end goal, they will adjust their game to achieve it.
What’s the best way to share learning objectives with your participants? I introduce them verbally and visually as part of my opening, just after my hook. I then refer to them in the middle of the session and again near the end of the session. These reminders provide participants an opportunity to check their progress and adjust their learning behaviors.
How do you share your learning objectives with your students?
For tips on writing effective objectives, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Learning.
I receive many calls from potential clients who are looking for someone to facilitate professional learning activities. Their most frequent questions include “Are you available on that date?” and “Can you address that topic?” While I appreciate their confidence in me, I wish they would ask me additional questions about how I craft my activities and engage learners.
So I created a Presenter’s Agreement that I encourage clients to use whenever hiring a facilitator. Any worthwhile presenter should be comfortable with these minimal expectations. If not, find someone who is!
What other expectations would you add to this list?
For more ideas about quality professional learning, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Training., also available in iBooks!
Telling stories is a powerful way to engage your listeners' senses and emotions. Yet, for years, I hesitated to tell many of my own stories. I questioned whether it was the best use of my audience's time. I wasn't sure that any of my experiences were momentous enough (I haven't scaled Everest or survived dire poverty, etc.) But I began to notice that other people's stories always drew me in, even if they weren't startling. Perhaps it is the everyday stories that are easiest for listeners to relate to. So here's one of my everyday stories.
A recent study reports that only 18% of learning time in classrooms is spent at the highest thinking levels - analyzing, evaluating and creating. While we need our participants to also remember, understand and apply, don't we want a workforce that is equipped for the rigor of higher thinking?
Take some time this week to review your curriculum content for rigor. Are you designing activities that ask for rote memorization and regurgitation? Or are you designing and conducting in such a way that students are being asked to be deep thinkers?
A simple strategy for adding more rigor to your lessons is to weave the following questions into your sessions. These question stems can be used with almost any content and will keep your audience engaged in analytical thinking.
· What is the function of _____
· What’s the relationship between
· How is this similar to
· What are some of the problems of
· What is the difference between
· Are there any inconsistencies
· Is there a better solution to
· How effective are
· What are some of the consequences of
· How does this influence
· What are the pros and cons of
· If you had unlimited resources, how would you
· What might be a new way to
· What might be an unusual way to combine
· How would you test or check
· What would the solution
· What type of people would be on your team to solve
You can download a question stem cheat sheet here and keep it on your presentation table for handy reference.
For more engagement ideas, check out Caffeinated Learning: How to Design and Conduct Rich, Robust Professional Learning.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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