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Maintaining Learner Interest

Maintaining Learner Interest
Motivation and reinforcement can play an important role in keeping learners engaged and interested in a training event. Almost everything you do during an event has a motivational impact, either positive or negative, on your learners. The way you present information, the activities you choose, the way you interact with learners, and the amount of choice and control you give them all influence their motivation.

During your presentation, set up concepts in an interesting and personally relevant way. A setup is the first step in presenting a concept. It creates the foundation on which you'll build the concept. There are several types of setups: You can:
  1. Use an analogy that relates an abstract concept to a concrete situation that learners will find familiar.
  2. State a problem that needs to be solved to introduce a concept.
  3. Provide examples, in addition to the one in the courseware, that relate to learners' jobs.
  4. Explain why the concept is useful. This might be necessary if the concept is complex and its value is not readily apparent.
  5. Show learners the final product or outcome. Sometimes if students understand the big picture first, the steps to get there are more easily understood and accepted.
  6. Construct a transition that links a concept learners are familiar with to another concept. This technique is especially effective if the concepts are closely related.
  7. Empower learners to discover a solution based on what they already know. They can do this through a guided discussion or hands-on activities.
Selecting an appropriate motivational strategy

To determine and apply appropriate motivational strategies, you'll need to recognize the learning styles of your students. For example, if there are visual learners in your group, use an analogy that paints a picture they can relate to and visualize. For kinesthetic learners, state a problem that needs to be solved or empower them to discover a solution through a bands-on activity.

Reinforcing learners

By reinforcing learners for their participation, you encourage them to continue contributing to an event. Reinforcement can also build learners' confidence and motivate them for continued learning.

Use a variety of reinforcement techniques to encourage and match learner achievement to their needs and goals. Thank learners for their participation and acknowledge correct responses. Promote the importance and value of the skills they have learned and their ability to use them to accomplish their goals.
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