Corporate training is devilishly important. Having your workers up-to-speed with the latest practices, policies, procedures and products is essential for optimal business performance and effective teaching strategies. The problem is that training your staff can be a real headache. Training days are not effective and, if your workforce is sparsely located, impractical. Meanwhile, eLearning courses can be even worse with course completions rates typically struggling to push past 20 per cent. Fortunately, recent advances is technology and training techniques are making things MUCH better. If you want the best instructional strategies to get the best from your workforce, the below is what you need to implement. But first…
What are instructional strategies?
Instructional strategies are the techniques used by educators plus learning and development professionals to instruct and teach students and train workers. They typically reflect the opposite of traditional teaching and training which focuses on transmissive, rote memorization techniques which are ineffective. Modern instructional strategies seek to be engaging and effective at embedding and retaining knowledge. Examples include microlearning and spaced repetition.
10 Best instructional strategies
Microlearning is the practice of breaking complex information down into easily-digestible, bite-sized chunks. With human short-term memory only able to hold a maximum of three-to-five pieces of new information before it is overwritten or pushed out, there’s a far greater likelihood of knowledge passing to long term memory if only a few, highly-targeted, topics are focused on.
Spaced repetition, or distributed practice, is the process of repeating lessons at increasing intervals until knowledge is embedded. It’s important to use the correct spaced repetition schedule to maximise effectiveness lest knowledge is revised before it has had a change to decay or after it has already decayed. Microlearning is an enabler because short lessons are more practical to repeat. However, implementations such as Brain Boost are even more effective as they remember which answers a learner got right and focus primarily on those they got wrong. It’s one of the most effective instructional strategies.
When learning doesn’t feel like learning, it’s at its most effective. It needs to be more than simply answering multiple choice questions in an eLearning course but creating such interactivity is a simple instructional strategy thanks to templates: you just add your own questions and answers.
Adding another level to interactivity is gamification. Using this in your instructional strategies is a very effective way to engage with learners. Learning can become fun and competitive learners feel compelled to perform better: whether that’s scoring more points or completing questions in faster times.
A step up from gamification is leaderboards. Instructional strategies that employ these can see great success with both high-performing learners incentivised to perform better and straggling learners slightly-pressured to do likewise. When this is spread across groups, rather than individuals, peer pressure can also help make learning more effective.
Nobody knows your organisation’s practices better than your own employees. Any lessons they create are going to be highly engaging and relatable from the perspective of colleagues and so it’s one of the great instructional strategies. Templates mean that anyone can easily create a lesson (or at least do so with minimal assistance).
With mobile phones nearing ubiquity and with younger generations rarely out of their device’s presence, it makes sense to distribute training via smartphones. Courses can be distributed (globally) via the cloud which means they can always be kept up to date.
If your knowledge is delivered just minutes before it’s required, it has a good likelihood of being retained at the crucial moment. Small microlessons can easily be consumed within minutes and if they’re distributed straight to a learner’s pocket (via the cloud) right before they’re needed, then you have one of the most agile instructional strategies around.
9. Prizing instructional strategies
Offering real-world prizes to learners is a great incentive to engage with courseware. Whether it’s rewarding the best performer(s) or the fastest performer(s), engagement and effectiveness will increase. Note that it’s often more effective to offer many small rewards (shopping or coffee vouchers for instance) rather than the opportunity to win one larger prize.
Many organisations have sites in multiple countries with employees who speak multiple languages. Translating courses can be an expensive and time-consuming affair. However, thanks to Google Translate, it’s now simple to create a course translation with an 80+ per cent accuracy rate, for most global languages, with a single-click of a button.
Want more help with instructional strategies?
If you’re an L&D professional or instructional designer and you’d like to know more about how to implement these instructional strategies into your training programs, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also try EdApp’s Mobile LMS and authoring tool for free by signing up here or in the box below.