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Archive for the ‘Training Tips’ Category

Exploration Before Studying

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

A recent study done at Stanford University looked at the impact of providing students with the opportunity for open-ended exploration before delving into the reading material on a particular subject. The study found that students who had used an interactive tool to explore the subject prior to reading about it tested higher than those students who read text on the subject first.

Read the complete story at:

Answer These Three Questions

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

From Speaking About Presenting by Olivia Mitchell

1. What’s the topic of your presentation?
Give a one-sentence overview of what you’re talking about.

2. Why should your audience be interested?
What’s in it for them? Give them a reason to listen.

3. Why are you talking about it?
What are your qualifications or experience which gives you the credibility to be talking about this subject?

Answering these questions for yourself will help you be more prepared for your presentation.

Ideas for Training the “Gaming Generation”

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

How can we adapt training for the “gaming generation”?  Becky Pike discusses a few ideas for incorporating games into training, whether in-person or online, high tech or low tech.  Ideas include a matching game, simulations, quizzes with “points” awarded, or having students blog questions and answers.  If the games are tied directly to the content being presented, even those not part of the “gaming generation” may find game activities fun and rewarding.

Fun Opening Activity: “A-Z” Word Game

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Ideally, an opening class activity should allow class participants to get acquainted with one another and to remove pre-class distractions. It’s always challenging to design an opener that is related to the content of the class.

The “A-Z” word game is one possibility for a group activity: divide the class into groups of 3-4. Using large post-it notes on the wall, ask each group to come up with a word for each letter of alphabet that relates to the class content. Give each group 3-5 minutes and instruct them to work as fast as possible.

Can you think of words related to PubMed for each letter of the alphabet (not including PubMed, MEDLINE, or specific search terms)? “Z” can be difficult, but a recent group in one of our classes came up with an answer (see the photo).


I’ve Got a Question…20 of them

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Teaching and Learning has created a page dedicated to using games in the classroom. Below is one example that can be used in-person or online as an ice breaker or a review.

Work with Working Memory

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

From Connie Malamed’s Blog:

“People can typically hold around 4 or 5 pieces of information in working memory at one time. As you design interactions, limit the number of elements, instructions or moving parts that the learner will need to simultaneously keep in mind. In addition, limit the number of choices. It’s easier for people to make decisions when there are fewer choices compared to many choices.”


Friday, December 14th, 2012

The University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System is trying a new approach to offering library instruction classes called FlashClass. FlashClass is based on the growing daily deal phenomenon of Groupon, Deal of the Day, CrowdSaving, Living Social, etc.

Read about it at:


Monday, December 10th, 2012

Connie Malamed, an eLearning coach, posted an article on her blog called: 20 Things to Remember about Forgetting. Follow the link:

Note items 15-19 and their implications for training.

Boredom Busters

Friday, December 7th, 2012

The title of the article I’ve linked to here is 5 Great eLearning Boredom Busters, however, I think the suggestions work for in-person presentations as well. I’ve listed the 5 suggestions below. Follow the link to read more and about each item and solutions.

  • Avoid content-centered design
  • When talking about content…make it “sticky”
  • Show, don’t tell!
  • Spell out the famous WIFM (What’s in it for me)
  • Avoid “busy work” interactivity
  • Attention versus Engagement

    Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

    Olivia Mitchell is a presentation trainer based in New Zealand who writes a blog called Speaking about Presenting [].

    In a post titled 4 Ways to Move People from Attention to Engagement Olivia writes that you have people’s attention to begin with; the next step is to try to engage them so that they want to hear and learn more.

    Olivia says this about the difference between attention and engagement:

    If your audience is attentive, you can pour information into them.
    If your audience is engaged, they are sucking that information from you.

    Visit this link to read the full blog post: