22 Feb Training and Assessment – The Culture of the classroom
With Training and Assessment many factors need to be considered when discussing how to create a positive learning culture in an adult classroom environment. There are many variables that come into play which you, the trainer, will have to identify confidently and quickly. Whilst trainers have to be well versed in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, it is often the more practical skills set that enable them to create a strong rapport with learners.
The reality of the classroom environment
Imagine for a moment you are the trainer of an adult group of learners that you will be meeting for the first time. The learners come from a variety of backgrounds both culturally and vocationally and in many instances do not know each other. Their skills and knowledge of the course topic will be at different ends of the spectrum, their learning styles varied. Add to this the fact that many may be feeling under prepared, hiding low confidence levels, and potentially with low language, literacy and numeracy levels (or even English as a second language).
This is the arena that many trainers operate in and the expectations from the learners are high, as is their initial fear factor. As a trainer, you only have a matter of minutes to ease their fears and display a professionalism that instils confidence, exhibit a calmness and convey a friendly tone that lets learners know they are in a comfortable learning environment.
As trainers we need to ensure that our learners have a memorable experience during their course whilst increasing their skills and knowledge base. Trainers need to be very organised, displaying excellent time management skills and on occasions adopt a hands-on approach.
How HBA creates a positive Training and Assessment learning culture
At HBA Learning Centres we encourage our learners to support each other throughout their learning experiences. In the face-to-face component of our courses, learners have a strong support network around them, with one of our highly experienced trainers forming a team environment with a no-blame and no-judgement culture.
After the underpinning knowledge has been presented and discussed, our trainers take this opportunity to circulate and work one-on-one with learners. This gives the learner the benefit of communicating directly; dealing with any concerns they may be experiencing but not wanting to share with the group.
The main purpose is to create opportunities for everyone to develop their learning, to enable them to realise their potential and to achieve a high level of understanding around the content so they can transfer their skills and knowledge to the workplace. To achieve this, you must be patient and understanding – having a sense of humour is also beneficial, easing the sometimes intense learning environment.
The support from trainers comes from an ethos of truly caring for learner outcomes, giving them skills for life and inspiring them to continue to learn. This can only be achieved when mutual respect is present. In order to be a truly effective trainer you must understand multiple learners’ motivation and learning styles in order to gain their trust and respect. This will enable the learner to achieve a higher level of understanding and retention of course content.
Most successful trainers use leadership, active listening and highly tuned verbal and non-verbal communication skills to deal with the varying demands of intensive courses whilst creating a welcoming, encouraging and non-intimidating learning culture within the classroom.
So much of what we do as trainers has a lasting impact on our learners; it is with great care and compassion that we embark on a journey with them. At HBA our past and present learners appreciate our efforts to assist them both vocationally and emotionally, empowering them to take charge of their learning and their careers.
It is our pleasure to support them on their journey.
Carmen Yates – QLD Regional Manager & Trainer/Assessor