How to Engage Learners.

Nothing could be less engaging than a trainer standing in front of a group of adult learners reading PowerPoint slides. Also, contrary to the modern myth of multi-tasking, people cannot process information in more than one medium at a time (so a trainer speaking over text-laden slides forces the learner to choose between one or the other).

Tragically, this is what passes for corporate and even academic learning these days. There’s got to be a better way to design training.

Well, there is. It all comes down to design. If learners understand where they are and the context, they relax and consequently enjoy themselves while learning. A key principle of adult education is that they need to understand the purpose and objective of the training.

  • Purpose – what the training sets out to teach
  • Objective – what the learner will be able to do as a result of the teaching

Training designed to engage learners contains:

  • Clear learning objectives
  • Opportunities for learners to assess their learning for themselves
  • Evaluation criteria mapped to learning objectives
  • Learner participation and abundant humour

I felt challenged in Jason’s class and I credit him with helping me to develop the level of organization and precision I needed to succeed as a technical writer. He is an inspiring educator, and I look forward to encountering him in future courses.

—Helen Dudley,
Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant,