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A New Learning Curve for Human Services Trainers

Upcoming Training for Trainers Institute emphasizes new techniques to optimize virtual teaching and learning

Knowing how to engage people in the learning process—particularly in a virtual environment—is more important than ever before. And while some training techniques work for both in-person and remote-learning settings, many others do not transition well in a virtual learning environment. In an effort to improve the teaching and learning experience, UC Davis Human Services redeveloped its popular Training for Trainers Institute—which beings on April 1—with a new emphasis on helping trainers and presenters prepare and deliver effective and engaging virtual training.

“Learning a new training delivery platform and modifying activities to be effective in a virtual environment are just some of the challenges trainers have faced during the pandemic,” explained Training for Trainers Institute instructor Gina Ehlert, who also works as a county human services training supervisor and staff development manager.

Tips for designing and delivering a successful virtual training

Revisiting specific training rules and utilizing techniques that improve learning in a virtual environment are key to being successful in online teaching and learning. Here are a few tips to consider: 

  1. Learners need more brain breaks in a virtual environment—restructuring the lesson plan or agenda to include more breaks is helpful for learners to retain information. 
  2. Lecture alone is the least effective way for learners to learn. Consider breakout rooms for small discussions where learners can share their experiences. Learner brains try to tie new information to existing information, so small group discussions allow learners to talk through and attach new information to existing knowledge. 
  3. Learners need to get key information a number of times in different ways for the information to stick. Use the tools provided (the more varied, the better!) in your online platform to engage learners in different ways.

About the upcoming Training for Trainers Institute

The Training for Trainers Institute is designed to provide participants with the foundational skills and the confidence needed to design, develop and deliver dynamic trainings. The program incorporates adult learning principles and instructional design theories into curriculum development and delivery. Participants will also learn how to add relevant and effective interactions, exercises and/or activities to new or existing curricula to engage participants and identify ways to transfer learning to implementation.

The training institute will take place April 1-May 12, with two weeks between each full-day session in order for trainers to begin practicing and implementing the knowledge and skills learned throughout the program. This program will be delivered in a remote learning environment using Zoom.

For more information and to enroll

Please visit our website to learn more about this program and to enroll.

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