Monday, January 19, 2015

How To Create A Horrible Learning Session

"If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson, hold yourself up as a warning and not as an example."
          - George Bernard Shaw

I find that sometimes seeing a bad example tells me more than showing me how someone did it perfectly.  I like to see the pitfalls and traps, and if the perfect example doesn’t show those then I am likely to encounter them!  To that end, here’s how to create a horrible learning session….

Fill Up Your Time

If you have an hour, make sure you fill all 60 minutes.  Nothing sucks the satisfaction out of a class than not having a sense of accomplishment.  Questions come up, delays happen, and most of the time your students just won’t pick up the material as fast as you thought they would.  Don’t leave extra time – no one will need it.

Lots of Lecture

You have a lot to say, and students are there to hear you deliver your knowledge.  Besides, they can always go back later and do the hands on stuff, right?

Give Them The Answers Inline To Make It Easy

The main objective is for the session to go smoothly, and you do that by eliminating every roadblock you can.  Providing the answers inline will make sure each and every student accomplishes the exercise goal with 100% completion rate.  They may not remember much of it because they were focused on following the instruction, but they will finish.  And it is likely they will need that extra time because the session is so packed with content!

Pack Your Session!

Yours is probably one of many sessions, but it is the most important!  Pack it with content and don’t waste your valuable time reinforcing it.

Answer Key:

  • Only fill 75% of your allotted time.  Relaxed students who complete your exercises will feel a great sense of accomplishment with your session.  And trust me, they will fill the extra time.
  • Humans learn by doing.  Limit your talking to the first few minutes, and then give your students a challenge.  Your time is best spent answering questions during the challenge.
  • Most people will only take away a couple of main points from any session.  You would much rather them remember 3 critical points than to present 10 they won’t remember any of.  And your session will likely get the best review because they DID remember those key facts.