Prepare Your Learners

Communicate logistical information in advance.

  • Send detailed information on the location including directions and any special parking instructions. Map and facility layout should be made available.
  • Share contact information in case the person gets lost, runs into poor weather conditions or needs to reach you the day of.
  • Provide an agenda in advance with options for any meals if pertinent.

Set realistic, attainable learning objectives.

Thoughtfully plan sessions to start with basics and work towards complexity.

  • Concepts and skills should be presented in a strategic sequence, from simple to complex and from group-supported to solo.

Providing coffee and some refreshments (if your budget permits) is a way to keep everyone alert, and creates community by sharing food together.

Establish ground rules with the group.

  • This sets clear expectations with those that you are training.

Facilitate discussions and peer sharing based on the agenda.

Discussing the Ground Rules for the day

Create a safe atmosphere where learners feel comfortable to participate willingly.

  • Affirm questions and ideas from individuals who speak up.
  • Treat all questions and comments with respect.
Allowing for questions from participants

Allow for small group interaction.

Small group discussion

Provide alternate options for larger group activities to ease learners who may be introverted or slower to warm up to the group.

  • Adults may feel vulnerable when they’re learning something new.
  • Support the learners’ comfort levels by using low-risk activities, reassurance, and a plan for building incremental successes.
  • Engage those that don’t like to speak in large groups by dividing the larger group into several smaller groups.
  • You can also move up close to a shy, quiet participant and ask them to speak which may make them feel more willing, because they can look at you instead of the large group.