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Training in Brief #5 - Common Training Delivery Problems of Novice Trainers

Shelley Inkster - Tuesday, January 05, 2016

 Results from a survey* of people considered experts in delivering training identified three major focuses:

(1) Determine what trainers considered to be the most frequent training delivery problems they faced as novices
(2) Determine how experts respond to these problems with solutions they have found to be effective
(3) Present the findings in a useful manner for practitioners


The conclusions from each of the two distinct surveys within the study formed the research base for the major outcomes – the 12 most common training delivery problems novice trainers experience and expert solutions to these problems.


12 Most Common Training Delivery Problems of Novice Trainers:

1. Fear

    a. Be well prepared - thoroughly research your topic beforehand
    b. Use ice-breakers
    c. Acknowledge the fear

2. Credibility

    a. Don’t apologize
    b. Have an attitude of an expert and demonstrate this in presentation behaviours
    c. Share personal background

3. Personal Experiences


    a. Report personal experiences
    b. Report experiences of others
    c. Use analogies, movies, or famous people

4. Difficult learners

    a. Confront problem learner
    b. Circumvent dominating behaviour
    c. Small groups for timid behaviour

5. Participation

    a. Ask open-ended questions
    b. Plan small group activities
    c. Invite participation

6. Timing


    a. Plan well
    b. Practice, practice, practice

7. Adjust instruction

    a. Know group needs
    b. Request feedback
    c. Redesign during breaks

8. Questions


    Answering questions
    a. Anticipate questions
    b. Paraphrase learners’ questions
    c. “I don’t know” is okay. However, follow up and identify the answer or a source of information that will

        provide an opportunity for the learner to explore / investigate.


    Asking questions
    a. Ask concise questions

9. Feedback


    a. Solicit informal feedback
    b. Do summative evaluations


10.Media, materials, facilities


    a. Know equipment
    b. Have back-ups
    c. Enlist assistance

    d. Test equipment beforehand



  1.     a. Be prepared



    a. Visit and check facility beforehand


    b. Arrive early

    c. Brief or 'induct' participants on the facilities available


11.Openings and closings


     a. Develop an “openings file”
     b. Memorise
     c. Relax trainees



     a. Summarise concisely

     b. Thank participants


12.Dependence on notes


     a. Notes are necessary
     b. Use cards
     c. Use visuals
     d. Practice

     e. Notes are reference material - don't read from them verbatim

*For Expert Selection and Data Sorting criteria refer to pages 300 - 302 of "The Adult Learner".



A selection of instructive text from:


“The Adult Learner” 6th Edition, 2005
Malcolm Knowles, Elwood F Holton III, Richard A Swanson
Publisher: Elsevier Inc – Butterworth- Heineman


Training in Brief #4 - Elements of the Andragogic Process

Shelley Inkster - Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The andragogic process consists of eight elements:



• Preparing the learners
• Considering the physical and psychological climate setting
• Learner involvement in the various stages of learning - 
     • Diagnosing their own needs 
     • Formulating their own objectives
     • Designing and developing plans,
     • Evaluating their own outcomes



These concepts will influence a mentor’s presentation style and relationships with the learner. So how consistent are your results with what you imagined your presentation style to be? How would you like your style to grow and change in the future?

A selection of instructive text from:


“The Adult Learner” 6th Edition, 2005
Malcolm Knowles, Elwood F Holton III, Richard A Swanson
Publisher: Elsevier Inc – Butterworth- Heinemann

Training in Brief #3 - Implications of the Models for Mentors

Shelley Inkster - Thursday, December 24, 2015


A subscription to either the andragogic model or the pedagogical model of learning carries with it certain implications for the mentor. The basic concern of people with a pedagogical orientation is content. Teachers and trainers with a strong pedagogical orientation will be strongly concerned about what needs to be covered in the learning situation; how that content can be organized into manageable units; the most logical sequence for presenting these units; and the most efficient means of transmitting this content.


In contrast to the pedagogic approach, the basic concern of people with an andragogic orientation is process.

A selection of instructive text from:


“The Adult Learner” 6th Edition, 2005
Malcolm Knowles, Elwood F Holton III, Richard A Swanson
Publisher: Elsevier Inc – Butterworth- Heinemann

Training in Brief #2 - The Traditional and Contemporary Learning Models

Shelley Inkster - Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Traditional Learning: The Pedagogical Model


The pedagogical model is the one with which all of us have had the most experience. Teaching in our elementary schools, high schools, colleges, the military service, churches, and a variety of other institutions is largely pedagogically oriented. When we are asked to serve as instructors or prepare instruction for others, the pedagogical model comes quickly to mind and often takes control of our activities. That is easy to understand since pedagogy has dominated education and training practices since the seventh century.


Five assumptions about learners are inherent in the pedagogical model:


1. The learner is a dependent personality. The teacher/trainer is expected to take full responsibility for making the decisions about what is to be learned, how and when it should be learned, and whether it has been learned. The role of the learner is to carry out the teacher’s directions passively.


2. The learner enters into an educational activity with little experience that can be used in the learning process. The experience of the teacher/trainer is what is important. For that reason a variety of one-way communication strategies are employed, including lectures, textbooks and manuals, and a variety of audio-visual techniques that can transmit information to the learner efficiently.


3. People are ready to learn when they are told what they have to learn in order to advance to the next grade level or achieve the next salary grade or job level.


4. People are motivated to learn primarily by external pressures from parents, teachers/trainers, employers, the consequences of failure, grades, certificates, and so on.

Contemporary Learning: The Andragogical Model


During the 1960s, European adult educators coined the term andragogy to provide a label for a growing body of knowledge and technology in regard to adult learning. The following five assumptions underlie the andragogic model of learning:


1. The learner is self-directing. Adult learners want to take responsibility for their own lives, including the planning, implementing, and evaluating of their learning activities.


2. The learner enters an educational situation with a great deal of experience. This experience can be a valuable resource to the learner as well as to others. It needs to be valued and used in the learning process.


3. Adults are ready to learn when they perceive a need to know or do something in order to perform more effectively in some aspect of their lives. Their readiness to learn may be stimulated by helping them to assess the gaps between where they are now and where they want and need to be.


4. Adults are motivated to learn after they experience a need in their life situation. For that reason, learning needs to be problem-focused or task-centred. Adults want to apply what they have learned as quickly as possible. Learning activities need to be clearly relevant to the needs of the adult.


5. Adults are motivated to learn because of internal factors, such as self-esteem, recognition better quality of life, greater self-confidence, the opportunity to self-actualize, and so forth. External factors, such as pressure from authority figures, salary increases, and the like, are less important.

A selection of instructive text from:


“The Adult Learner” 6th Edition, 2005
Malcolm Knowles, Elwood F Holton III, Richard A Swanson
Publisher: Elsevier Inc – Butterworth- Heinemann

Training in Brief #1 - Andragogy Explained

Shelley Inkster - Monday, December 21, 2015

Andragogy is the antonym of pedagogy. In pedagogy, the concern is with transmitting the content, while in andragogy, the concern is with facilitating the acquisition of the content. Andragogy is a theory developed by Knowles (1913-97) which differentiates the needs of adult learners from those of juveniles and uses the term andragogy to describe the specific methods which should be employed in the education of adults.

•   The adult learner moves towards independence and is self-directing. The mentor encourages and

     nurtures this development.
•   The learner's experience is a rich resource for learning. Hence mentoring includes discussion,

     problem-solving etc.
•   People learn what they need to know, so that learning programmes are organised around life application.
•   Learning experiences should be based around experiences, since people are performance centred

    in their learning.


Andragogy requires that adult learners be involved in the identification of their learning needs and the planning of how those needs are satisfied. Learning should be an active rather than a passive process. Adult learning is most effective when concerned with solving problems that have relevance to the learner's everyday experience.


About Andragogy


Calibration Methods and Competencies

Kevin Stretton - Sunday, March 01, 2015

The control and management of measuring and monitoring equipment is an important and serious aspect of food & beverage manufacturing with potential impact on the environment, food safety & quality.
So before delegating calibration authority to an employee how do you check they have the correct competencies for the job?
To ensure consistency among employees being trained in the same procedures, the use of defined competencies becomes a necessity.
Common to all of the national training packages there are two (2) major sections within the performance criteria:
     1. Broad task elements.
     2. Specific competencies.
The following summary outlines the elements & competencies found in the National Training Service (Industry Skills Council) ( for the unit called, ‘Create or modify calibration procedures’ – MSL905002A (
Scroll down to the base of the webpage where you’ll find a download link.
There are 4 other units that deal with calibration equipment.
In the next article we’ll provide a summary of the key points.