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All articles   >   Using Multiple Instructional Strategies in Training

Using Multiple Instructional Strategies in Training

Do you like being subjected to boring and repetitive teaching methods? Neither do we. As learning development professionals, we can do better! Discover the power of instructional approaches designed to captivate the attention of your learners and transform learning into a dynamic, interactive journey.

Why Use Multiple Strategies? 

While many learning development experts know the importance of the instructional design process and writing good learning objectives, many often forget the pivotal role of integrating engaging instructional strategies into lesson delivery to achieve those objectives. 

Gone are the days of traditional lectures as the primary means of instruction. Today’s facilitators need to recognize the importance of incorporating dynamic and interactive approaches into their teaching repertoire.

Providing multiple experiential learning opportunities offers educators the opportunity to capture attention, stimulate curiosity, apply key learning points, and enhance overall comprehension. In addition, each learner will respond differently to each method, so offering multiple avenues of learning caters to diverse needs.

What Are the Options? 

There are dozens of instructional approaches that can be incorporated into training. Depending on your objectives and means of delivery, select the ones that are most appropriate for your learners. For example, if your objectives lean more towards remembering and understanding, the strategies you choose will be different than if your objectives include applying, analyzing, or creating. Also consider which strategies work better in groups, and which are more effective at an individual level.

While lectures have a reputation for being boring, they can be effective in conveying important background information, key concepts, or specific steps. And with a little planning you can transform your lectures from tedious to inspiring!

Here’s a list of additional key learning strategies that you can include to make your training more engaging. 

Instructional Strategies
  • Questions
    • Stimulate learner thinking and participation by asking strategic questions. Include multiple types of questions, from simple knowledge-based questions to open-ended questions, “why” questions, and even hypothetical and rhetorical questions.
  • Demonstrations
    • Walk participants through the steps in a process, show them how to accomplish a task, or illustrate how to arrive at an intended result.
  • Storytelling
    • Engage your learners by telling stories relevant to the learning point. These can be based on real-life experiences, or they can be stories crafted to illustrate specific concepts.
  • Projects or Case Studies
    • Encourage participants to work through scenarios, draw conclusions, and analyze situations.
Instructional Strategies
  • Problem Solving
    • Help learners apply the material they have learned to find solutions to a problem.
  • Discussion
    • Have participants discuss the application of key concepts or how to overcome challenges inherent in a specific situation. This gives them an opportunity to explain their own ideas as well as hear different perspectives from other participants.
Instructional Strategies
  • Games
    • Give your participants the opportunity to learn and apply memorable concepts while having fun, which is an important part of learning. You can adapt existing games, create your own, or include online options, which offer a wide range of choices for games. Just make sure to plan a debrief session after the game to discuss key learning points.
  • Role-playing and Simulations
    • Provide your participants an opportunity to practice what they are learning in real-world situations. Don’t forget that allowing participants to take a wrong path or to role play bad interactions as well as good ones can result in powerful learning experiences.

Effective Implementation

While all these strategies can enhance learning outcomes, they are only effective if implemented appropriately and with intentionality. For example, random questioning, games without a purpose, or ineffective role-playing scenarios can waste time and result in confusion rather than application. In addition, without guided debriefing sessions and application of key ideas, many of your intended learning points will be lost or forgotten.

As you start incorporating multiple strategies into your training, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Does this strategy support active participation?
  • Is this option enhancing learning?
  • Am I encouraging reflection?
  • Have I provided opportunities for personal application?

To be most effective, plan out and preview each strategy prior to incorporating it into your training, and be sure to match each strategy to a key learning outcome. In live training events, you will also need to be flexible. Not every activity will work well with every group, so be prepared to pivot if something isn’t working as planned.

When you say goodbye to boring teaching methods, the impact on learning will be evident. Whether your training is in person, virtual, or video-based, synchronous or asynchronous, intentionally incorporating multiple learning strategies will not only inject vitality into your training but also empower participants to actively participate in their own learning process and become lifelong learners. 

If you’re looking for Uniquely Engaging™ content for your learners, check out our library here.  

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