A Recipe for Success: Add Variety to Your Training Program

Training works best when adults can adjust how they learn. My favorite e-learning college course was General Accounting. Sounds thrilling, right? Yet the instructional designers made memorizing the accounting rules possible for everyone:

  • We could hear it through videos and audio recordings.
  • We could see it through the text, diagrams, charts and instructor notes.
  • We could try it in our graded homework spreadsheets, practice quizzes, matching exercises and flash cards.
  • We could discuss our personal experiences and mentor each other in weekly discussions.

When we develop training programs we need to consider:

  • Should subject matter experts verbally explain the topic or perform demonstrations in video?
  • Should we provide summaries or captions for those who may have difficulty with the audio, for example, those for whom English is their second language or who are hearing impaired?
  • Do we have enough graphics, pictures and diagrams to convey complex concepts?
  • Are we providing a virtual server, games or labs for hands-on practice?
  • Will the participants have an outlet to communicate about their experience?
  • Can we connect our participants to outside communities to support them?

By the time we become adults we have such varied, interesting perspectives. So why not fold that individuality into your training program? Next time you need to help others learn, think of adding a little variety to your fruit bowl so everyone can choose what works for them!

Variety allows individuals to choose how they learn.

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