Sunday, May 23, 2004

Tip #21: Create a motivational environment: Feedback

The third motivational training technique is Feedback. There are two ways that learners can determine if they are successful: specific constructive feedback from the instructor or their peers, as well as a personal sense of accomplishment when they are clearly able to apply newly learned skills during in-class simulations or comprehension-checking activities.

3. Feedback:

The amount, specificity and immediacy of the feedback that learners receive directly affects their performance of a newly learned skill or technique. When learners find out they are doing well, what needs to be improved, what to do to improve it, and then feel that there is a reasonable probability that they can improve it- they are motivated to try to accomplish that improvement.

Example: There are many interactive training methods that provide timely feedback to learners about how well they understand and can use new learning. For example, the instructor can give a brief lecture and then ask questions to see if the information has been understood. Individual learners can be asked to complete a questionnaire to test their learning, or to work in small groups on case studies or simulations to give them an opportunity to use their learning and then receive constructive feedback.

What can you do to ensure that your participants receive the necessary feedback? Tip #22: Create a motivational environment: Confidence

The fourth motivational training technique is Confidence. Once learners have had a successful learning experience and, based on feedback, received validation that they have been successful, they will have increased confidence in their ability to learn.

4. Confidence:

If learners are to succeed, they must believe that when they expend effort- something they completely control- they will experience success. If, however, learners believe that success or failure is the result of ability, task difficulty, or luck- factors over which they have limited control- then there is no point in putting forth a lot of effort.

Example: An instructor can instill confidence in learners by breaking a new task down and teaching each step separately, making sure that each learner has learned the first step before moving on to the next step. They also need to be given sufficient practice so that they can see that their ability and competence with the new skill or task increases.

What can you do to help your participants increase their confidence?

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