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#9 Challenge your learner - they will thrive!


Client Enquiry:

I am not sure whether the people we are working with will be ready to design their own programmes as they are relatively inexperienced? How do you suggest we approach this session?

RSVP Design Response

RSVP Design are firm believers in the power of cooperative learning (learning from other learners);
generative learning (building on what learners already know);

learner-centred learning (using reflection, questioning and meta-cognition) and

problem-based learning (getting learners to explore new problems).


We would approach this part of the design by perhaps presenting some general theories or suggestions, then asking the group to design an engaging training element that might provide a particular learning outcome. We would not expect the group to be unable to begin the process but instead be motivated by the challenge of trying to do it, and do it well. Completed in small groups this active approach offers the learners a chance to build on what they already know, reflect and apply the additional materials presented earlier, compare their approaches to that of the learners in the other groups, and reflect on the solutions provided to determine whether there are still gaps in their knowledge or skills. The facilitators present can provide guidance and support as required.


This is an actual response from one of the delegates that took part in this type of challenging, problem-based trainer training programme:

Train the trainer - I actually enjoyed it. I have been quite sceptical about training as my experiences over the past few years on generic training courses have not been great as they have always been pitched at a really low level and have been pretty much death by PowerPoint. I am really glad that we are taking this kind of approach going forward and it is a big step in the right direction. I think that as a business if we can reduce our use of PowerPoint to nil then this would make a lot of happy people! Realistically this won happen, but its great that training is taking this approach. So overall, a big thumbs up from me for the training

Tip #9

Adults require not only to know why they are learning something, but also need a degree of challenge if they are to engage with the learning.

Don be afraid to challenge learners and present problems they have to solve, rather than just suggest solutions. Letting them uncover learning can be more powerful than just presenting (and dictating) it. For example if you have some best practice guides to follow, don just list them on a slide for people to read - get the group to try and predict them; break them into teams and get them to practice using them in a scenario; ask them to pick one theyve never used before and reflect on where they can use it, then to commit to use it and report back etc.


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