The importance of the learning environment cannot be under-estimated. If we really value training then we need to pay attention to the learning environment and demonstrate that we really value people and trust that training can make a difference. The learning environment covers a whole range of factors which we can divide into the physical space, the tools and materials used during the session and the emotional space created by the people in the room.
Here are our top tips for producing materials that truly focus on the audience in mind and that add value to the session you are delivering:
- Ensure that all of the materials link to the business outcomes and complement the content of your training session
- Use all of the senses where possible
- Avoid printing lots of supporting materials if you are hardly going to refer to it throughout the session. Better to send it via email, give in on USB sticks or upload it onto an intranet
- Make sure it is all visually appealing
- If you are going to use a slide show and have printed this out for the trainees, give these out at the end and not the beginning. No printed slideshow looks especially exciting or appealing
- If you are going to print, make sure you get good use out of the material during your session
- Ensure that the design and approach fits the company culture- we have a few clients who are very particular about branding and image
- Include relevant cases/PDFs/books, etc, to encourage further reading and reflection on the training
- Get feedback both during and after the programme to elicit what the participants really think about the materials
- Provide paper and encourage participants to write notes – this will aid their learning
- Remember to signpost things that are covered but are not included in the supporting materials.