What Does A Typical Classroom Training Session Look Like?

This page starts out with a few tips then goes into a step-by-step description showing you how a typical group training sessions will work in your organization. (We will use the terms classroom and group training interchangeably.)

If you prefer a short overview, visit the implementation section of The Leadership Journey for Supervisors and Managers or The Customer Service Road Map.

This information is meant to be a guide to help you get started. With the flexibility of our patent-pending learning model, training can be tailored to meet your exact needs. Our training consultants can help you put a solution together. Schedule a telephone call with one or call us now at 1-800-541-7872.

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This is Possibly the Single Most Valuable Part of the Classroom Training Session

When we get feedback from clients about their training sessions with The Leadership Journey for Supervisors and Managers and The Customer Service Road Map, they often get very excited, nearly jumping out of their seats, about the discussions that take place around the post questions and personal action plans.

Many find it to be the most valuable part of training. Students not only learn from the course materials, they learn from their colleagues’ experiences. A valuable dialogue takes place that never would have happened without the training materials.

 


 

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Facilitator’s Guides are Simple to Follow with Step-by-Step Instructions

Because our clients have so many students acting as group leaders, our Facilitator’s Guides are simple and easy to understand. They contain step-by-step instructions on leading group sessions. (Over 44% of our clients have students taking turns leading group sessions.)

Facilitators manage discussion, but they don’t need to be experts in the subject matter, or even take the course ahead of time. They aren’t standing in front of the group lecturing about new skills. Group sessions are interactive, with all students participating and sharing their knowledge and experiences. Group leaders simply follow the Facilitator’s Guide and manage the clock. Read more about this opportunity and its benefits.

 


 

Group Students to Break Down Silos and Build Stronger Teams

When putting students into training groups, it is often a good idea to mix students from different teams and divisions, and sometimes levels of leadership. Having a mixed group of students interacting and holding discussions enhances learning and helps develop mutual understanding and respect. Departments and people start working together to:

  • Break down company silos
  • Build team unity
  • Develop stronger relationships
  • Eliminate friction

 


 

Don’t Just Read About It – Experience It!

The best opportunity to learn is to experience. Print a Facilitator’ Guide and follow along while you review this page. You have two options to choose from:

  1. Build Accountability and Trust with Positive Confrontations from our leadership development curriculum for supervisors and managers.
  2. What To Say – And What Not To Say from our customer service training program.
To get a complete understanding of what your students will experience when they participate in a group training session, follow along in the Facilitator’s Guide while reading this page. Focus on the suggested interactions, role-plays, and discussions your students will participate in.

 


 

A typical classroom training session begins with a review of the previous course’s content.

 


 

Action Plan Review – Holding Students Accountable

Classroom training sessions start out with students sharing their experience of applying their personal action plan from the previous course. Students know they are going to share and be held accountable, so they come prepared.

You must give students time to apply new skills back on the job. This is why we recommend at least one week between courses. Students will have time to use their new skills before learning skills from the next course. Applying new skills back on the job drives organizational and team performance, and must be the goal of any training program.

Learning does not stop after a student leaves the classroom. Students must now use their new skills back on the job and be held accountable for doing so.

What does it look like?

  1. The group leader reviews the key learning objectives from the previous course.
  2. Students volunteer or are called upon to share their experience of applying their personal action plans in the workplace.
  3. After the student shares, other students offer feedback and suggestions.
  4. Students share what they would have done differently. Discussions take place enhancing and reinforcing the learning from the previous course.
  5. Discussion helps students learn from their colleagues as well as from the course materials.

Time is usually allocated for one or two students to share. Depending on your culture, students can volunteer to share, they can be called upon by the group leader, or every student can share. Contact a training consultant for help in determining which method will work best for your organization.

 


 

Next, the focus of the learning turns to the current course. 

 


 

Reviewing Key Learning Objectives

Courses start out with a review of the key learning objectives. It is important for students to review the skills they will be learning at the beginning of the course. This will improve retention and application of key skills.

What does it look like?

  1. The facilitator shares the course’s key learning objectives.
If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide, you should review the key learning objectives now.

 


 

Assessing Baseline Knowledge with Pre-Questions

Open-ended questions prepare students for learning by recalling prior knowledge and focusing attention.

What does it look like?

  1. Students are given a few minutes to answer four questions that introduce new skills and help students recall prior knowledge.
  2. After the students finish their answers, one student reads the first question out loud and shares their answer.
  3. The next question is then read out loud by the next student. The process is repeated until all questions have been covered.

If the group is hesitant to share answers, example answers are provided in the Facilitator’s Guide that will help get the discussion going.

If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide, read through the pre-questions now.

 


 

The Video Presentation and Note-Taking Guide

Next students interact with a short and concise 8-12 minute video. Watching the video and recording keywords engages participants and allows them to take an active role during the video presentation.

The note-taking guide improves retention of essential skills by having participants write down keywords while watching the video. Recording keywords while watching the video engages both the left and right sides of a student’s brain, thereby improving retention of the material. (Read more about the adult learning principles we use in our patent-pending learning model.)

What does it look like?

  1. During the short video, students write down keywords in their note-taking guide.
  2. Keywords are highlighted, underlined, and talked about in the video. Communicating key information in different ways makes it easy for students to learn, regardless of their preferred learning style.
  3. After the video presentation, a short review takes place.
  4. Continuing with the next student whose turn it is to share, they read a complete sentence from the note-taking guide. Then they read the keyword they recorded in the blank.
  5. This process is repeated until all the key ideas have been covered in the note-taking guide.

Why are students reading the complete sentence and repeating the keyword?

  • First, it ensures every student has a completed note-taking guide that they can reference when they return to the workplace.
  • Second, the repetition of key skills reinforces key ideas, placing them into the student’s long-term knowledge bank. (Learn more about interval reinforcement in our patent-pending learning model.)
  • Third, it creates an opportunity for discussion around the key ideas and how they fit into your organization.
Try a video now. (Complete the note-taking guide while watching the video to experience it as your students will.)

Supervisors & Managers

 

Note-Taking Guide

Service Providers

 

Note-Taking Guide

 


 

The remaining time is focused on role-plays, practice exercises, and discussion.

 


 

Post Question Discussion to Reinforce Workplace Application

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Open-ended post discussion questions help participants transfer new knowledge and skills to the workplace. The open-ended questions are written in such a way that students really have to think about how they will apply their new skills to the challenges and opportunities they are facing back on the job.

Holding discussions around each question provides the opportunity for students to learn from their classmates’ experiences as well as from the course material.

What does it look like?

  1. Often, more time is spent on the post questions than any other part of the course.
  2. Students are given time to answer four open-ended post questions. The questions are written in such a way that the students have to think of ways to overcome challenges or take advantage of opportunities using to the skills they are learning.
  3. Continuing in the round robin format, the next student shares a post question and their answer.
  4. Other students can share their answers and ideas about the same question.
  5. A discussion develops among the students, with all participants sharing ideas and experiences.
  6. Students refine their answers. (Students are encouraged to change their answers until they have solutions that will work best for them.)
  7. This process is repeated until each of the four post discussion questions has been discussed.

If the group is hesitant to share answers, example answers are provided in the Facilitator’s Guide. This helps get the discussion going.

If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide, review the post questions now.

 


 

Practicing New Skills with Group Exercises and Role-plays

The group exercise provides a safe environment for participants to practice new skills. It gives students an opportunity to work together on applying new ideas. By practicing their new skills, students are much more likely to remember and use them back on the job.

What does it look like?

  1. Students work in pairs or small groups.
  2. A set amount of time is given for students to complete an exercise.
  3. Students in each small group discuss a current problem or opportunity they are experiencing, which is related to the skills they are learning. As a team, they pick one to practice.
  4. Students often write out a script, scenario or word track to use while they practice.
  5. Next, students take turns practicing by role-playing with other members in their small group.
  6. Roles are reversed so every participant in the small group has an opportunity to practice every role.
  7. After the allotted time runs out, the group leader asks for students to share their experiences from the exercise.
If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide, read through the role-play now.

 


 

Taking a Quiz – Measuring Each Student’s Comprehension

With the short quiz, participants check their comprehension of the course material. The quiz is a gauge to make sure the students understand the skills presented in the course before they use them back on the job.

What does it look like?

  1. Individually, students take a couple minutes to complete a short multiple choice quiz.
  2. Students then take turns reading a question and sharing their answer.
  3. This process is repeated until all ten questions have been reviewed.

This process of reading the full question and correct answer further reinforces key ideas and acts as an additional reinforcement for students. (Read more about the science and methodology behind our patent-pending learning model.)

If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide, review the quiz now.

 


 

Applying Skills in the Workplace – The Personal Action Plan

Next, students complete a personal action plan. When they finish, they will have a written goal sheet complete with action steps they can use back on the job.

Their personal action plan is a tool that makes it easy for them to apply skills in the workplace. With their written action plan in place, participants are better prepared to apply their new skills to the specific challenges, objectives, and opportunities they are facing.

Focus Drives Action

Students choose one key skill to apply to the workplace instead of many. This makes it much easier for the student to take action. It is not overwhelming and the student sees it as an achievable goal – they get a taste of success and are excited to learn and apply new skills in subsequent courses. A cycle of continuous improvement develops.

What does it look like?

  1. The personal action plan is a two-step process. First, students are given one minute to answer the first question which always is, “What is the most important idea you learned from this course?”
  2. After writing down their answers, each student shares with the group the most important idea they learned and why. (This is unlike the other learning exercises where one student shares their answer. Here, everyone has a chance to share.)
  3. Remember that participants may be on different teams, have different responsibilities, and may be experiencing unique challenges, so no two answers may be alike.
  4. Second, each student individually answers the remaining questions in the personal action plan. These questions help students focus on the application of key skills in the workplace.
  5. Questions are asked in such a way that when a student is done, they will have created a written goal sheet with specific steps they can follow to apply new skills back on the job.
  6. Students then take turns sharing their goal for applying their new skills.
If you are following along in the Facilitator’s Guide, read the questions in the personal action plan.

 


 

Wait. There is more, and it is VERY IMPORTANT!

 


 

Applying Skills Back on the Job (Outside the Classroom)

Learning doesn’t stop after a student leaves the classroom. They must now use the skills back on the job. Students must understand that they have to apply their personal action plans and that they will be held accountable for doing so. This will help drive action and extraordinary performance from participants.

What does it look like?

  1. Students usually have a few weeks before the next course, so they have a “deadline” for using their personal action plan back on the job. This gives them plenty of time to put new skills into practice, ensuring they will retain them and create positive change in your organization.
  2. Students come prepared to the next class, because they know they will be accountable for sharing their experience of applying their personal action plans. (Remember, each training session starts out with students sharing their experience of applying their personal action plan from the previous course.) 

 


 

Holding Students Accountable — One-on-one Follow-up

Some of our clients choose a more individualized approach to follow-up with students. Instead of holding students accountable during group training session, students follow up one-on-one with their manager, mentor, or training partner.

What does it look like?

  1. Follow-up can be a short five-minute meeting, a telephone call, a lunch meeting or a formal sit-down. There are a variety of options that will meet your time constraints and culture. Learn more about follow-up options for The Leadership Journey for Supervisors and Managers and The Customer Service Road Map.
  2. Students come prepared to follow-up meetings as they know they will have to share their experience of applying their personal action plans.
  3. The person following up with the student does not have to participate in a course. Follow-up guides are available with The Leadership Journey that make it easy to follow-up and ask specific and targeted questions.
View a Follow-up Guide from The Leadership Journey. (link will open in a new window)

 

Continuous Improvement and Learning

With our patent-pending learning model, students develop a continuous improvement mindset that drives change and bottom-line performance. Short courses are offered at regular intervals, creating momentum — skills develop over time instead of tapering off. Students develop positive habits and a performance-improvement mindset spreads across the workplace. 

 


 

Do you have questions?

With the flexibility of our patent-pending learning model, training can be tailored to meet your exact needs. Training consultants can answer your questions and help put a plan in place.
Contact Us