How to Craft Engaging Technical Training

  • Posted on April 7, 2015   Shazia Wajid

    Planning to author a technical course? Authoring technical training is often a top activity for experts who have years of hands-on experience in a given field. The knowledge transfer can be highly beneficial for learner-practitioners seeking to deepen and improve their job performance. Unfortunately, technical training can sometimes be very dense, complex, and dry. Here are a few techniques to present technical subject matter such that the learner remains engaged and receptive throughout the course and is able to apply the newly acquired information in best possible manner.

    Simplify and Focus

    Vocabulary. Keep in mind the expected experience and knowledge of your students. Do they know all the technical jargon you use effortlessly on a daily basis? Are you assuming background knowledge that they may not yet have acquired? Keep things simple and take the content stepwise, to allow more novice students to grasp the subject matter more quickly and keep them from being overwhelmed and giving up. Define technical terms, acronyms, and jargon with which they may not be familiar.

    Concepts. Be wary of “expert blindness”—when you know so much about a subject that it can be easy to forget what it was like when you didn’t. When writing content, consider things from a learner’s point of view. Start explaining concepts by referring to the things with which the student is already familiar and expand from there to the new material. Analyze the amount of information the student needs to learn right then, and consider leaving additional details for later. Keep content crisp to quickly establish the concepts, then build on this with detail and reference as the course progresses.

    Enliven

    Comparisons. Try out metaphors and analogies that help students grasp core concepts more quickly. Use comparison techniques to arouse interest and analytical thinking.

    Examples. Weave real-life scenarios in your technical training courses to change up the pace, and show students how the technical concepts fit into their world.

    Show—more than you tell. Videos and animations can be excellent ways to help learners visualize and understand a concept that cannot be explained merely with text-based content. For example, assembling a piece of equipment, performing a certain task, operating a piece machinery, or applying prevention methods can often be more easily instructed with the help of videos—allowing learners to get some experience without potentially dangerous or costly real-life interaction. Animations, on the other hand, are ideal for explaining abstract concepts, process-flows, and demos. For example, methods of chemical analysis, equipment control, task elements, or steps of a process can often be taught best with the help of animations. 360training Learning Content Management System (LCMS) comes with different templates that support all of these visual formats. Upload animations and videos as assets in the Learning Content Management System (LCMS) and incorporate them easily in your online courses.

    Involve

    Activity and game templates can be instrumental learning aids in a technical training course.

    Activity templates can come in handy in situations where there may be sequences or processes to explain, important terms and definitions that the learners should know, overlapping information between which students should be able to differentiate, visual interpretation tasks, and so forth. For example, a Learning Content Management System (LCMS) built-in activity template such as “Drag-and-drop Categories” can be used to help learners pick out items in their relevant categories (e.g., metals/non-metals, hazardous/safe etc.) and receive immediate feedback against each of their selections. Similarly, the activity template “Sequence” can be instrumental in helping learners recall different steps—performing an action, operating a machine, explaining a process, etc.

    Game templates are ideal to stir up your learners’ attention and increase their knowledge of subject matter by answering questions play by play. Game templates offer ample opportunity for practice and review.

    The built-in activities and games in our Learning Content Management System (LCMS) are easy to use and can help learners better understand complex information with high engagement.

    Every learner has their own way of learning. Try out different techniques and see which works best in order to create an exciting and engaging learning experience for your students.

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