OVERVIEW

For instructors or subject-matter experts who teach mostly technical or detail-oriented content

technical teaching skills image

The challenges of teaching technical or detail-oriented content can be formidable. For example, keeping students engaged, determining “need to learn” versus “nice to learn” content, effectively communicating complex information, dealing with different levels of knowledge and skill in the same audience, and others. This workshop will teach you the tools and techniques necessary to cause the learning and retention of technical information.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize common challenges faced by both instructors and students in a technical training environment
  • Describe the research-based principles that can make technical teaching more effective
  • Write performance-based learning objectives and use them to identify “need to learn” content
  • Use a variety of instructional strategies to cause the learning and retention of technical information; these techniques will include questions, analogies, repetition, examples, mnemonics, and others
  • Design and use PowerPoint slides in accordance with accepted principles of adult learning
  • Demonstrate a technical product, process or procedure in the most effective manner possible
  • Accommodate different levels of knowledge, skill and experience in the same classroom
  • Recognize and accommodate different learning styles and modality preferences among participants
  • Start a technical course in a positive, motivational way
  • Deal effectively with the occasional problem behavior or disruptive situation in the classroom
  • Physically configure a technical classroom to ensure maximum participation

COURSE TOPICS

  • Introduction and Overview: A discussion of the challenges faced by both students and instructors in a technical training environment; common misconceptions about the lecture method of teaching.
  • Content Validation: How to align technical content with your learning objectives to ensure you are teaching “need to learn” information; how to avoid information overload.
  • Instructional Strategies: How to cause the learning and retention of even the most technical information; the strategic use of questions, analogies, examples, student practice, repetition, mnemonics, and more.
  • The Effective use of PowerPoint: How to design and use slides in accordance with accepted principles of adult learning; how to avoid “Death by PowerPoint.”
  • Preparation for Practice: Participants will be given class time to prepare a 15-minute technical teaching segment on the content of their own choosing that they will deliver to a small group of fellow students on Day 2.
  • Practice Teaching: Participants will deliver practice teaching segments to small groups of fellow participants using the instructional strategies learned on Day One. Each practice will be followed by a 10 minute critique.
  • Icebreaking and Handling Problem Students: How to start a technical training program in a positive, motivational way and handle the occasional problem student or disruptive situation.
  • Demonstrations: How to properly demonstrate a technical product, process or procedure and orchestrate an effective practice activity.
  • Learning Styles: How to accommodate different learning styles and modality preferences among students; Participants will be given a learning style assessment to determine their own respective styles.
  • Facilitated Lab / Design Consulting: Participants will spend the morning incorporating the tools and techniques learned during this workshop into their own materials. They will work in consultation with the instructor and their peers.
  • Feedback Session: Each participant will be given 10 minutes to share the enhancements made to their teaching materials with the entire class, and solicit comments, observations and suggestions.

VARIATIONS

This workshop can be:

  • 2 or 3 days long, and customized to your organization’s specific needs and priorities
  • Targeted to a specific target audience; for example, we have run this program for engineers, Six Sigma Master Black Belts, programmers, medical personnel, scientists, managers, and others. We can modify our materials (to the extent possible) to reflect the vocabulary and concepts found in your business.
  • Taught internationally. We have run this course in China, India, Poland, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Brazil, and Mexico.
  • Taught “in-company”, or you can attend an open enrollment (public) course with persons from other organizations. Contact us to find the date and location of the next running.