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How to Lesson Plan Like a Pro

By June 2, 2017No Comments

Training is essential for ongoing success at your organization. You know it, and you’re eager to offer the best training opportunities possible to your employees. In some cases, that means hiring outside trainers and letting them take the wheel. In other cases, though, it’s better for someone within your organization to provide training. That might seem like a tall order, but it doesn’t have to be.

The key to strong training? Create a comprehensive lesson plan that guides your training sessions. Great lesson plans help keep presenters on track and ensure that adult learners stay engaged and get the information they need from each session. Thankfully, creating strong lesson plans doesn’t have to be difficult. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be creating lesson plans like a pro in no time.

Craft a Compelling Introductory Statement

Every lesson plan should begin with an introduction that covers the what, why and how of the training session. Think of the introductory statement for your lesson plan as its mission statement. This is where you outline not only the information that you plan to cover but also what you hope learners will take away from the session. You can use this introductory statement to promote the training session to employees and organization stakeholders alike.

Clearly Define Learning Objectives

Knowing what you want to cover in your training session is important, but you also need to consider the key takeaways for your employees. Clearly defining learning objectives will guide you as you design the rest of the training session. As you define learning objectives, think of both what you want attendees to learn and how you want them to be able to apply it. After all, training will fall short if it imparts knowledge but not the ability to use it.

Identify Key Topics & Concepts

Once you’ve defined the learning objectives for your training session, jot down the key topics and concepts that you’ll need to cover. What do learners need to know in order to master the subject matter? Are there related concepts that would help enhance understanding and engagement? Make sure that you thoroughly address each key concept or topic that you identify.

Create an Outline That Accounts for All Classroom Time

Outlining your lesson down to the minute is essential to success. Time is a valuable asset, and your employees don’t want to waste theirs in a disorganized training seminar. Create an outline that identifies each topic you’ll address and how much time you’ll devote to each section of the class. Be sure that you allow time for student questions and discussions too. Before training day, do a live run through of the session so that you can iron out any problems with timing or delivery.

Incorporate Interactive Learning & Engaging Techniques

Activities help to keep adult learners engaged and ensure that they can apply the knowledge they’ve gained. No matter the type of training you’re conducting, you should try to incorporate practical activities that allow employees to build their new skills. Remember that it’s essential to steer learners to success and to provide positive reinforcement during engagement activities. Consider building in one hands-on activity for each major topic you cover.

Create Evaluation Metrics

No matter how many training seminars you’ve presented, you should stay focused on constantly improving as an educator. That means creating a course evaluation that students will fill out at the end of the session. Anonymous surveys help to ensure that your employees feel comfortable sharing candid feedback. Use the answers from surveys to improve your future courses.

A well-conceived lesson plan gives trainers confidence and helps to ensure that your organization’s educational aims are being met by its training program. Learning how to craft a strong lesson plan is essential for any professional responsible for administering training opportunities. As with anything else, of course, there’s a learning curve when it comes to planning lessons. Don’t be afraid to work with a training professional or outside consultant to learn the art of lesson planning. Doing so is a great way to bolster training success and build for the future.