Tip #39: Experiential Training Methods: Focus Question

There are many different experiential training methods that ensure a rich learning experience. Today, we will discuss the Focus Question.

What: A focus question asks a question that the learners have sufficient information and/or experience to answer.

When: It is usually asked at the beginning of a lesson.

Why: It is intended to facilitate the transfer of past learning to assist with the new learning.

How: The trainer asks the focus question of the entire group. Large or small group discussions are then conducted, and their responses documented on flip charts. If small groups are used, they report their conclusions to the larger group. The flip charts can then be taped on the wall as a reference point throughout the training session.

Length: Eight minutes is sufficient for group brainstorming in response to a focus question. Another eight minutes is necessary to have the small groups report out their responses to the larger group.

Benefits
: A focus question can:

• help the learners focus on the lesson’s content.
hook into the learners’ past knowledge and trigger a memory which can facilitate the current learning.
give the trainer important diagnostic information about the learners’ knowledge or skills.
• help the trainer avoid teaching content that the learners already possess.
reduce re-entry time after a break if the learners are asked to consider the question during the break.

Now, it’s your turn! If you can correctly answer what level(s) of learning and learning style(s) are satisfied by a focus question, we will send you a brand new one-minute technique guaranteed to keep your learners engaged! Please mail your responses to dlaurel@ameritech.net.

Level of Learning:

Learning Styles:

Next week, we will report the winning responses and then explore another experiential training method: a game.

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