How NOT to teach someone to swim (mis-match your learning domains)

I had to laugh when I saw this cartoon.  It’s such a great example of how NOT to teach someone to swim.

As a trainer you can be as engaging as possible but if the learning domains you’re using to teach don’t match your intended learning outcomes you’ve got a big problem.

In other words, you can lecture all you want on the perfect front crawl stroke but if participants don’t ever hit the pool and actually practice,  learning is going down the drain (pun intended).

If you want participants to be able to DO something (kinesthetic domain) they have to DO that very thing in the training.

Not as I experienced in a computer course I took years ago.  There was a huge audience, maybe 300 or so …. and 1 computer … the instructor’s.

I gritted my teeth and swore under my breath to not ever put myself in the same situation again.  Even taking good notes wasn’t a substitute for getting my fingers on the keyboard.  It was my intention to get better at Excel (eg a doing, kinesthetic goal) but by not being able to practice on a computer during the training, my learning was significantly hampered.

The other two learning domains are audio and visual.  If you are training participants to be able to speak another language they must hear you speak it and practice speaking it themselves (the audio domain).  Likewise if you’re teaching people how to rock PowerPoint or Prezi they have to be able to see examples (the visual domain).

So next time you’re developing a new training workshop (or reviewing an existing workshop) check to make sure your domains match.



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