At this year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference, I’m thrilled to be doing a panel on nonprofit technology training and it has a bit of a star wars theme, “Learn You Will.” I’ll co-teaching the session with colleagues Andrea Berry, John Kenyon, and Cindy Leonard. The session will cover what to do before, during, and after leading an effective technology training and provide lots of practical tips that will help you design fun, interactive, and highly effective technology training workshops. John Kenyon and I wrote guest posts on the NTEN blog that will give you a flavor of what the session is about.
I love all aspects instructional design and facilitation, but being a good trainer also means being a good content curator and resource librarian. I read a lot of educational technology, training, and teaching blogs, follow those people on Twitter, curate on Scoop.It, etc to keep up. I usually draw from these sources to create “instructional resources” for any workshop or class I teach. Here’s an example from a recent webinar on training.
But I also regularly read books as part of my ongoing self-directed learning. When I’m training other trainers, I often get asked “What books should I read?” So, I like to share a few of my favorites that I have inspired me in my instructional/training practice.
The Accelerated Learning Handbook
By Dave Meier
This useful handbook summarizes and explains the brain science of how people learn and provides easy to use frameworks to help you design and deliver training where people learn. There are a wealth of theories, ideas, and methods covered, for example the “SAVI” model for designing exercises that help learners embrace learning in different styles. It can help people learn faster and in a more fun and natural way. The examples are work place learning, but useful to anyone who is doing training.
This book looks at standard secondary education practices and adapts them based on scientific research about how the brain learns. You will find answers to questions like, “Why are some learning tasks easier in the morning or afternoon?” and “How is chaos and confusion valuable to learning?” Plus many more provocative questions. The scientific information is presented in a format that non-scientists can understand and apply. The applications go beyond secondary teaching and can be applied within organizations to transform them into learning organizations.
This is one of my favorite books about instructional design, especially if you are designing professional development activities for nonprofit staff or other trainers. This six-step instructional model is called “ENGAGE.” It replaces the old school model of sitting and listening with E-energize learners, help them N-navigate, let them G-Generate personal meaning and A-Apply their skills,G-Gauge and celebrate their learning and E-Extend what they learn to action. This is a very practical staff development model — and can be applied to brown bags sessions to longer, more in-depth professional learning experiences.
From Analysis to Evaluation: Tools, Tips, and Techniques from Trainers
by Jane Bozarth, Editor
This like having a playbook from the best of the best instructional designers and trainers. The book is a cookbook that provides worksheets, templates, and spreadsheets that help you put the ADDIE instructional design process into practice. The books comes with a CD-ROM of all these great tools in electronic format that you can easily modify to your needs.
Interactive Lectures by Sivasailam Thiagarajan
I found this book invaluable as an adjunct professor at the Monterey Institute for International Studies when teaching graduate courses. If you teach in higher education, you most likely will find yourself having to deliver a lecture. “Thiagi’s” tips will help you avoid being boring and make it more interactive. This book has been on my shelf for almost ten years and I’ve had to opportunity to test and play with almost all the techniques in the book — and it makes teaching so much more fun for both you and your students.
This book provides some great tips and recipes for incorporating social media into your training practice. It has many examples of using blogs, wikis, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SlideShare and other tools for both face-to-face workshops and e-learning. There is also a good overview of social learning and the role that networks and these new tools play.
I’m a huge of Sharon L. Bowman and have read all her books and systematically applied her techniques and ideas. I think an effective instructor is less a sage of the stage and more a guide on the side. This book gives lots of methods to become a more effective trainer by ditching the lecture format.
What books about learning and instructional design are on your book shelf?