Yesterday I wasted a day. Not because the content should have been useful but because the teacher did not realise that learning is more than disseminating content (knowledge). I see it as being similar to a milkmaid’s stool with three legs one of which is content and the others “process” and “rapport”.
The “process” leg involves using appropriate methods, providing a learning “journey” and managing the learning. In four and a half hours the content was to be presented on 99+ “busy” Power Point slides (I say plus because additional slides had been added the previous night and not included in the hand out and I say busy because it was usual for each slide to have multiple points (typically between 3 and a dozen)). Admittedly there was some interaction and some small group discussions but this was insufficient. Needless to say only a fraction of the content was covered – less than a third and that the unimportant stuff.
The “rapport” third leg is the emotional and engagement needs of the learners. Yesterday was about marketing for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). Despite being a university lecturer, the trainer built a little rapport by mentioning the businesses he ran in his spare time. What was missing was ensuring ensuring that the learning was relevant, important and taking into account the learners business knowledge and experience – the day was largely about what you should do and this was at an operational level rather than what you should do at a strategic level.
Overall the day was a useful reinforcement of how NOT to teach adult business people.
For more information about my milking stool model see http://www.simulations.co.uk/Milkmaid.htm
Please let me know what you feel about my milking stool model.