Use or adapt this outline to offer your own Creating a Culture of Learning workshop.
Length of Training
Introduce yourself, tell a story about the best teacher you ever had
Activity: Have students share their names and share one characteristic they believe makes a good teacher.
Explain the expected outcomes for the training.
Set ground rules: Share ideas, respect ideas of others, ask questions, have fun.
Positive Learning Environment
Handout: Learning Environments
Explain the definition and elements of a learning environment. It is both physical and emotional. A positive learning environment is nonjudgmental, collaborative, and supportive.
The physical environment: physical setup of room (break out of traditional setup), consider projectors, bulletin boards, white boards, anything that has an impact on learning. Is it effective? How can these things impact learning?
The emotional environment: social and communal-do this by encouraging participation and collaboration. Students feel responsible for their own learning. Supportive-supporting the learning of others. Learning from one another. Reflective and thoughtful
Learning should not be a solo endeavor. One of the qualities of a good trainer is to create an environment that fosters learning, true integration of knowledge, of the training content. Setup rules for this: ask stupid questions, cheat, make mistakes. Let people know that it is ok that they are learning, and the only way to learn is to experiment. Understand that learning occurs through observation, interaction and experience.
Training is not enough. Training creates skill, but learning means taking responsibility for your knowledge.
Discuss techniques for making students feel comfortable in class. For example, let people know “you can’t break the computer”, Incorporate Q & A to foster engagement. Check in with students, move around the room, Blog about class, have students follow, Create an active learning environment.
Activity: Writing exercise: Describe what you think an ideal learning environment should include. Then, get together in small groups and share your ideas. If time allows, have each small group share what they thought was most important, as a group.
Adult Learning Styles
Handout: Adult Learners
Discuss the importance of accommodating different adult learning styles and delivering instruction to address those diverse learning styles.
Define VARK and other learning styles
- – Visual (pictures, mental images)
- – Auditory (verbal instructions, discussion)
- – Read/write (note takers, writers)
- – Kinesthetic (handling, doing)
- – Multimodal (preference for 2 or more styles)
By using a multiplicity of styles to instruct, learning will be enhanced for all.
Poll: What learning style do you think you have?
Activity: Break into four groups (one for each learning style) and have each group explain how they would teach a basic computer skills class using their particular learning style. Write ideas of flip board.
Handout: Adult Learners (second section)
Discuss the importance of recognizing and appreciating the diverse experience and culture of learners. Be sensitive to individual differences that may have an impact on learning. Such differences may be: Language, age, level of tech experience, culture, and physical ability.
Remember the ideas for creating a supportive culture of learning:
- Make everyone feel comfortable and welcomed
- Create an atmosphere that is informal, nonjudgmental, collaborative, and supportive.
- Understand that learning occurs through observation, interaction and experience.
Activity: What kinds of diversity do you think you may encounter while training? Write answers on whiteboard/flip chart
Ex: elderly, computer novice, disabled, hard of hearing, etc.
Discuss how to make adjustments and accommodations for those differences. (Divide listed diversities between people, either individually or in pairs)
Example: Fred is taking a computer class but has low vision. How can you adjust the instruction to meet his needs? Think about what you can do and what resources you need to assist.
Remember, the most important thing is that students are diverse. Expect that everyone will learn differently. Prepare to be flexible and observe and listen for your students learning needs.