The Presentation Phase

Speaker’s Notes and Participant Comments From the August 8, 2003 Accelerated Learning SIG
Prepared By Don Lewellyn
Let’s once again review the four phases of Rapid Instruction Design (RID):     PREPARATION – arouse learner interest / prepare learner to learn PRESENTATION – introduce material / all learning styles PRACTICE – integrate / incorporate PERFORMANCE – change behaviors

The topic of last month’s meeting was the Preparation Phase. We discussed       Ways to arouse interest even before learners arrive at the session (including the components of a learner preparation kit) Barriers to learning The importance of a positive energy (and how to refrain from saying negative things that sabotage your session) Positive physical environment Positive emotional environment The importance of establishing goals and communicating clear learner benefits

This month, we will focus on the Presentation Phase, and we will focus on the remaining two phases in the following two months. Let’s begin by listing some of the things that immediately come to mind when we say the word “preparation.”      Instructor in front of a class Instructor talks and we listen HAVE TO SIT STILL — BORING ! PowerPoint slides, whiteboard, flip charts Handouts

Now let’s talk about how Accelerated Learning sees the Presentation Phase:      The initial encounter, not the entire message A way to initiate the learning process (AL sees learning as a process, not an event) A positive activity with learners actively engaged in their own learning) no “pour and snore” Something the facilitator and learner do together An event where something besides a formal, stand-up presentation is the central focus

Let’s consider three real-world presentation examples: Example 1 — A department store that needed to teach coaching skills to the managers who supervise the cashiers in each department on its sales floor   Course reduced from 2 days to 4 hours with AL Each manager made a paper airplane and flew it from a common starting line -1-

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Managers whose planes flew the furthest were identified as the “experts” Managers whose planes flew the shortest each picked an expert to coach them Try again – flew further Many experiential classes would have stopped there and said that this illustrated the way to identify experts and coaches in your organization, but they didn’t stop there Managers divided into small teams to create a coaching model for any situation based on an analysis of the lessons learned from the airplanes Entire group’s ideas were combined on a flip chart – pros, cons, risks, steps The facilitator played the part of a problem employee based on a real-life problem, and class referred to the model to respond—found some holes in the model Refined model Managers created job aids for themselves Each manager created a coaching plan for a real-world situation they currently faced – class discussed proposed solution Each manager walked away with something they could take back to the job and immediately use

Example 2 — A retail store wanted to teach its customer care employees to be more proactive in resolving customer problems      Van took entire class to a nearby town Pairs of learners were given 1.5 hours to observe, discuss, and document customer service in at least three stores Back in class, the learners analyzed and discussed the elements of the good and bad customer care they had observed – listed elements on a flip chart Class developed a checklist of good and bad customer care items to look for Each learner got a copy of the list and walked away with something they could take back to the job and immediately use

Example 3 — An electric utility company felt its electrical engineers didn’t have an intuitive feel for the company’s power grid and was making poor infrastructure decisions as a result.      All furniture was removed from the classroom leaving only pieces of cardboard, markers, and colored masking tape The engineers were asked to build a large model of the company’s power grid using the entire classroom floor Used cardboard and colored markers to show major cities, generation plants, and major customers Used colored masking tape to represent the main power transmission lines that connect the cardboard cities, generation plants, and major customers “Played electron” (walked along the colored masking tape like an electron traveling down the power line) to see how power gets to various cities and customers – used equations to estimate power levels Cut the tape to simulate major transmission line failures – examined new routes – sometimes equations said needed additional lines Added major factories in certain cities – examined changed power needs Each learner walked away with a mental image of how the whole system interoperates

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Now let’s hear some of your ideas. As you arrived, we asked you to write on a seed packet a brief description of a classroom activity that helps learners discover knowledge for themselves and build on things they already know. Let’s list some of the things you identified. THINGS THAT HELP LEARNERS DISCOVER KNOWLEDGE  Partners or triads are given a problem situation to resolve. Their assignment is to design a brief role play showing what not to do (how not to handle the situation) and then another role play showing what to do. Then the whole group debriefs. I was given a task to list all the items needed for a specific new web site. Instead of creating a list from my own experiences, I presented this as five questions our weekly meeting of about 50 people. Each row was given one question to answer and they had four and one half minutes to come up with at least three answers. They immediately jumped into the task. I believe the reason was two fold. One, the task was presented to the team as a time saver for them as the client would be able to utilize this site for information alleviating the need for a phone call from the client. Two, it was the first activity ~ in a very long while ~ what was hands on, interactive, they were part of the solution. Our usual weekly meeting is a presentation of all changes, additions, deletions to processes or procedures. In other words, boring to have to sit and listen. In the following week several, about 20%, asked if we could "do that again". One person tells a 2-4 minute story while others actively listen. The person who told the story states who he thought was listening and why. Others tell as much about the story as they can. Each person will recall a point no one else did. Role play

We have five tables today, and I would like each table to discuss one of the five presentation aids I’m handing out.       Select a real-world training topic with which someone at the table is familiar Explore how the presentation aid could be used for the selected training topic Discuss the pros and cons of the presentation aid Identify improvements that could be made to the presentation aid Select a member of your team to present a summary of your discussion to all the other teams. After this meeting, I would appreciate it if each team presenter would email me a summary of your team’s findings for inclusion in the session notes

Presentation Aid 1 — Treat a presentation as a press conference. Before the presentation, give each learner a card containing a question that they must ask the presenter. If the sequence of questions is important, number the cards. The presenter must indicate when he/she is ready for the next question. Team Summary Here is a brief synopsis of what our group said regarding the use of the press conference as a presentation aid. PROs: It is a great idea for information that is new to the group. We also liked the idea of numbering the questions given to the group so that there is some control of the logical flow of information dissemination. There might be a way to make the press conference 2-way; we weren't sure how but it seemed to be a possibility so as not to let the presentation experience be so leaderfocused. (I do plan to TRY a version of it with a customer service class I'm doing soon -- I'm using a football theme, the class is the team and I am the new coach. We will be getting to know each other, what the basic philosophy is, and what the expectations are, game plan, etc. I'll let you know in midOctober if it works!) -3-

CONs: We could not see this aid as useful for information that you want to mine from the group. It would not be easy to make the experience so learner-focused. Does not lend itself to small group work or stimulating interaction among many. It does not, on the surface, allow much opportunity for multilevel learning. Does not seem to require creativity on the part of the learner. Requires much work up front by presenter on developing really strong questions. Presentation Aid 2 — Ask learners in teams or as a whole class to build a model of the process or system they are learning about. Depending on the subject and the resources available, the learners can build the model on the floor, on a tabletop, on a wall, or on a magnetic white board. Team Summary One of our team had been part of a two-day new hire orientation for a Fortune 200 high tech company. She told of following the person who explained process development to the new hires and being very bored by the presentation, which was done with faded black and white slides and in a monotone. Then one day there was a new presenter, who came with a huge cardboard box labeled "process development". Using this box and all of the smaller boxes he had stacked inside and color coded, he explained new product development from conception to product roll-out. He had color-coded the various sets of boxes that represented a step in the process. For example: "software" was green and consisted of three boxes: design - test - and configuration management. Not only was she intrigued, but for the first time she understood the process of developing a new product! Presentation Aid 3 — Before a presentation, give each learner a Bingo card containing 16 squares on a large sheet of paper. Randomly put in each square a term you will be explaining or a question you will be answering. Begin your presentation. As a term is explained or a question answered, the learners fill in the definition or answer in the appropriate square of their card. When a learner gets a Bingo, he or she shouts out “Bingo!,” stands up, and reviews the information on the card. The class discusses whether or not the definitions and answers are correct. If correct, a small prize is awarded, and the presentation continues.. Team Summary Not available Presentation Aid 4 — Before a presentation, give each learner an index card. Ask them to print their name on it, fold it in half, and drop it into a container. Ask the learners to take detailed notes during the presentation, and encourage them to use color and images wherever appropriate. After the presentation, pass the container around, and ask each learner to draw a card Then ask each learner to find the person whose name they drew and review their notes in detail with that person. Team Summary Not available Presentation Aid 5 — Give learners schematics or pictograms with many pieces of information missing. Ask them to provide as much of the missing information as possible prior to the presentation. After the presentation, ask them to provide any additional information they can and to correct errors they made prior to the presentation. Then have the learners compare their results with a partner and discuss any unresolved items with the whole class. Team Summary -4-

Not available That’s all the time we have today. Next time we will talk about the Practice Phase, and that is where the learning actually takes place.


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