Best Practice: How to deliver an effective CPD training course
How much teachers participating in CPD training courses and learning events learn ultimately depends on the quality of delivery. It is important to remember adults learn differently to children and youth.
- Organisers and facilitators of learning events should be aware of the professional level of participants, taking care not to under or overestimate their knowledge and experience.
- A training event should be well prepared in advance. The facilitator should check everything is ready the day before such as lesson notes, slides, handouts, etc. and that equipment, such as projectors, work.
- The arrangement of furniture in the conference room or classroom should promote an informal atmosphere and enable group work and exercises.
- A session may start with an appropriate icebreaker or another activity to break down participant psychological resistance or shyness.
- Application of learning methods and activities should be balanced and appropriate, they should fit the topic, and there should neither be too little, nor an overload of different learning activities.
- A learning event should carefully balance short presentations, question and answer sessions, participatory activities, moments of reflection, breaks, etc. A small break every hour is desirable as well as physical activities after lunch. Evenings are perfect for videos.
- The facilitator must respect adult learners and their views and experience. In many cases adult learners have considerable knowledge and experience to share with their co-participants. They may not previously have formulated their knowledge and experience and not considered it as valuable experiential learning before the course.
- Adult learners should be enabled to discover answers and solutions themselves with the aid of the facilitator and the group. This enhances ownership of the findings and is the rationale behind the term facilitator.
- It is beneficial to draw on participant work realities when possible to ensure a high degree of relevance and subsequent application in the workplace.
- Presentations should be lively and engaging and not last more than 20-30 minutes.
- PowerPoint slide shows should be applied with great care. They should never merely summarise the spoken statements of the presenter, but should supplement the statements through use of symbols, images, figures, graphs, etc. The slides should apply colours creatively and be entertaining in order to enhance the attention of the learners and the learning impact.
- There is a range of participatory and engaging learning activities available to the facilitator to enhance the learning experience. A facilitator should know these and make use of them professionally.
- Practical arrangements that support the learning event such as lunch, accommodation, etc. must function smoothly so as not to interfere with an otherwise positive experience.