Monthly Archives: August 2019

The Anatomy of a Training Session

Author - Beth Caldwell, Head Blended Learning, English, India

A great training session doesn’t just start on the day of delivery. Planning is equally important and impacts greatly on effectiveness. Just as important is the consideration given to the ‘takeaway’, thinking about what you want to change or happen as a result of the training – what participants will be taking with them to apply in the real world. For example, if you were conducting a training session on the importance of communication skills in business, some of the key takeaways could be: 

  • Understanding the importance of good communication in business
  • Key business communication skills
  • Presentation skills and strategies 
  • Tips for good business writing

Training

Planning

  • Consider what the participants already know. Make sure the session is pitched for their level, needs and interests. You could share a pre-session questionnaire which will help you plan for this.
  • Decide what you want the participants to know beforehand. Share details of the session to build interest. Having clear objectives, pre-session tasks (if you are leveraging a flipped classroom model), a list of equipment needed and a brief biography of the trainer can all help prepare participants and whet their appetite.

Delivery

A good training session has clear stages that go from learning to application. One possible way to label these is Define-Inform-Connect-Resolve.

  • Define the issues, skills or development areas being covered.
  • Inform participants by introducing strategies, techniques, theories or models that can be applied to the above areas.
  • Connect participants to the strategies through practical activities such as role plays and discussions.
  • Resolve the learning through considering future and alternative applications of the strategies.

Takeaway

Training is a success when the participants can immediately go out and apply what they have learned.

  • Ensure you provide opportunities to participants to reflect on what they have learned as it applies to their own contexts. Make sure they always have something practical to ‘take away’ and apply.
  • Always ask for feedback after the training. It’s a great way to gauge how well participants processed the information and to find out what they enjoyed and what they didn’t. Use this when you are planning next time to create an even better training experience!

Sign up for our webinar on the ‘Anatomy of an effective training session’ by clicking here.

Share via email

Future-proof your ambition: 21st Century Skills for Workplace Success

Author – Beth Caldwell, Head Blended Learning, English, India

It’s a common situation: you want to shine brighter in interviews or at work. You wonder how best to get the job or promotion you want. You want that ‘X-factor’ that makes you stand out. The solution could be simple: focus on adding 21st century skills to your skill set.

Business communication skills

According to a LinkedIn survey, 57% of senior leaders say soft skills in business communication are more important than hard skills. Other than job-specific knowledge, the key skills needed in order to participate in a global economy and succeed in a rapidly changing work environment are known as 21st century skills. They include:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving   
  • Communication and collaboration   
  • Creativity   
  • Global and cultural awareness   
  • Digital skills
  • Leadership and personal development   

Here are some things you can do to develop these skills:

  • Be well-informed about your profession through Internet-based research for personal development and to flex your digital skills.
  • Analyse ideas and concepts you read about: Think about the pros and cons of applying them in your own situation and develop your problem-solving abilities and creativity.
  • Discuss ideas with colleagues or others in your industry, face-to-face or in the virtual world, to develop your collaboration and communication skills.
  • Network with people in other states or countries for fresh perspectives and to build your cultural awareness.
  • Build your communication skills by commenting on articles, taking part in online forums and making the most of video conferencing.

Taking an online course is a great way to advance your 21st century capabilities. They can help you develop self-motivation, time management, digital research and communication skills. MOOCs, for example, will expand your professional knowledge and provide global perspectives from other participants who join from around the world. The British Council offers range of MOOCs on the FutureLearn platform, including How to Succeed in a Global Workplace’.

If you want to develop your communication skills in English, look for courses that focus on maximising opportunities for you to speak or write. A good course will develop your independent learning skills and offer practical learning activities based on real-life situations. At the British Council these skills are built into our course design. For example, our online myEnglish courses include communicative group tasks in live online classes – all under the guidance of an internationally-qualified and experienced teacher.

Whether independently or via a course, you will benefit from identifying and developing your 21st century skill set. With these skills in hand you can future-proof your career aspirations, stand out to employers and gain the advantage in the 21st Century workplace.

Join our free live online webinar and learn all about using online learning skills to get ahead in the global workplace.

Share via email

Digital invasion and safety

Author: Pushpa Gopal

Inextricably linked

I love technology! 25 years ago, as instructional leader for an Information Technology (IT) organisation, I felt empowered to initiate an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) curriculum in schools. We started with basic computer languages and got the students excited with the capabilities of a machine. I was just as excited as them! Today, I’m amazed at how far we have come. Technology and our lives are inextricably linked. Most of our communications are via social media and electronically. In fact, technology has invaded our lives.

Airports and other locations known for long waiting periods are my favourite places to observe people. As I wait at the airport, I notice a young child captivated by the electronic device he’s using. His parents seem lost in their own. This is a common sight, isn’t it? What is in this gadget that can retain the attention of this young child and adult alike for hours on end? I continue observing as the child clicks on one video, a list appears on the right panel suggesting more. Innocently, the child clicks on the next and the next oblivious to the fact of the dangers lurking in that small screen. The parents are oblivious too and I can almost read their thoughts – My child is engaged. My child is busy. My child is safe. He is right in front of my eyes. Yet the repercussions and the impact on this young mind could be serious. What if he lands on a wrong page? What if he is drawn towards inappropriate content?

My attention turns towards a group of teenagers lost in their phones. They don’t seem to want to interact with each other. They prefer their screens. I can see them interact with their devices as if interacting with a person! Suddenly one boy positions his camera, readies himself and pounces on his friend. A scuffle ensues resulting in an embarrassing moment for one and a triumphal moment for the other who has managed to overpower and subdue his friend and uploads the image to social media. He laughs as comments start pouring in. I think about their future selves and wonder if they will ever have to explain this photograph to a prospective employer. Was it really worth it?

Surviving the digital invasion

This digital invasion has impacted our lives from all sides. Every day, whether we want to or not, most of us contribute to a growing portrait of who we are online – a portrait that is probably more public than most of us assume. It is essentially for this reason that we become aware of what kind of trail are we leaving and what are the possible effects of this on our lives.

Staying smart and alert is a skill. Critical thinking and decision making are also important in the digital world, as decisions are made at every point. It’s about making the right choices- clicking the right button, keying the right words and opting to read the right text and choosing to ignore/delete the unwanted text. It’s important to understand unethical behavior and its impact for all of us. After all, we’re all digital citizens and becoming aware of and teaching good digital citizenship skills to children helps them connect their everyday actions with their choices in a digital society.

Some general tips to be safe are:

  • start with creating complex and unique passwords rather than using the same one for multiple accounts
  • develop and boost network safety and invest on safety software
  • always use a firewall to block unauthorised access. Consciously stay away from careless clicking and entering unknown sites and web spaces.
  • share only validated information
  • be well informed and keep ourselves updated on the latest scams
  • set parental controls and develop monitoring mechanisms to keep an eye on children’s browsing. More importantly, have a conversation with your child about ‘screen-time’ and issues around randomly accessing information.

Additional resources:

Worried about your own or your children’s online safety? Here are some useful tips to stay safe online:

https://www.britishcouncil.in/worried-about-your-online-safety

https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/top-tips/stay-safe-online

https://usa.kaspersky.com/resource-center/preemptive-safety/top-10-internet-safety-rules-and-what-not-to-do-online

https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org/uk-now/video-uk/online-safety-tips

https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/how-help-teenagers-stay-safe-online

Pushpa blog

 

 

 

Share via email