As I walk up to the Turning Technologies Canada booth at the Institute for Performance and Learning 2015 conference, I notice some commotion. People are hovering around, chatting, learning, and enjoying some laughs. The main focus, however, is dead center, where I see round objects ascending and descending like clockwork.
Matthew Rouleau, an Account Executive at Turning Technologies, is juggling as a small crowd watches. It appears he is trying to teach them to juggle through both visual and auditory aids, as he explains how he is performing the act. This goes on for a little while so the on-lookers can get a good grasp as to how the act of juggling is performed.
The young gentleman then passes the three balls to a delegate who had been paying attention to his teachings. He watches her as she struggles to release and catch even two balls consecutively let alone getting the third into the mix. After some time, the young gentleman stops her, turns to the crowd, and asks why she is struggling so much after seeing and hearing how it’s done.
“Uncoordinated, lack of practice, beginner!” exclaimed the crowd. Matt agrees, however, goes on to explain that even after auditory teaching, as well as visual teaching (which is already more than you would have experienced in a typical lecture scenario in most classroom training sessions), it is still difficult to translate this to successfully performing the act. “The missing link in translating see and hear into do, is being involved in the process of learning,” says Matthew.
He then pulls out three more balls and starts his spiel over again, working through it step by step with the lady, together. In no time at all she is catching the first and second ball as well as getting the third airborne. Her face lights up like a Christmas tree. He lets her practice for a bit, interjecting as she gets away from the steps that had been laid out.
The crowd around is impressed at the delegate’s drastic difference in performance between the two teaching/learning strategies. Matthew then addresses the crowd, “As we all just witnessed, learning is much easier when we are involved in the process. This holds true for anything and everything, especially dry material that can be a little more difficult to stay engaged while learning.” Using Turning Point software, in conjunction with Response Devices, makes involving your learners is as easy as 1, 2, and 3.
- You poll your audience/learners with a comprehension question.
- Audience/learners respond via their Response Card, results are displayed in real time.
- The results drum up conversation, as well as let the instructor know what percentage of the audience understands what they are being trained on. (The real time results sparking conversation furthers the participant’s involvement with peer instruction, which is a very strong tool for learning. The results also let the instructor know whether the audience understands and they can carry on, or if they don’t and they should circle back and re-train.)