The prime mission of every trainer should be to build learners’ confidence in their own competence, to increase the probability that they will apply what they learned once back on the job.
There are three closely related approaches that a trainer can take to accomplish this. Together, all three approaches will ensure that the learners have the preparation they need. In the previous two tips, we considered the first two approaches. Now we discuss the third approach.
Third, provide practice opportunities for learners that require them to assume increasing responsibility for their learning.
Brain studies have found that learners need three examples or iterations to learn new skills or concepts. Therefore, ideally they should have at least three practice sessions.
In the first practice session, the trainer can walk the entire group of learners through a new process or procedure. In the second practice session, the learners can work in small groups so that they can support each other. They still have access to the trainer if they have any questions. In the third practice session, the learners should work independently or, if that is not practical, then in pairs or triads.
The learners’ reliance on the trainer will be gradually decreased as the learners’ confidence in their own competence increases. By the time of this third practice session, the learners should be sufficiently prepared to perform without the assistance of the trainer.
Planning for learners to demonstrate their learning during the learning program, using learning activities that provide immediate feedback regarding learner mastery, and providing for practice that gradually increases learner responsibility and independence will help to build the learners’ confidence in their own competence.
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May your learning be sweet.
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