At the end of every input session we teach, we include a 5 minute reflection session in which we encourage learners think about what they have been doing in the session, say what they’ve learnt and think about how they are going to apply that learning at work. Learners get to share their reflections with each other in the group.
There are a number of reasons for this:
- It rounds off the lesson nicely, which in the workplace is extremely important as it forms a bridge between the training room and work.
- Reflection is a critical part of learning.
- It gives learners a chance to think about the lesson in relation to their individual learning plans.
- It acknowledges that what is taught (i.e. what the trainer plans) is not the same as what is learnt.
- It reinforces the learner’s agency in the training and their role in transferring learning to the workplace and emphasizes the learner’s autonomy.
- It forms a dialogue between the learner and the trainer.
- It focuses the learner on ‘what’s in it for them in the lesson’ and creates space for them to consider how they will put things into practice in the workplace – which is of course the critical thing.
Reading learners’ comments is often enlightening. It can be an insight into their motivation, and this can be really useful when talking to their supervisors and managers. It’s interesting to read learners’ comments over a series of lessons and monitor their level of engagement. They are great feedback to the tutor and course developer as to how things are going. Comments are also very funny at times. People do ask questions. And learners often don’t say what we would “expect” them to say, necessarily. Overall, it’s an extremely useful way of finishing up the lesson.
An example of a template we use for this can be downloaded here: Lesson Log. Feel free to use it as is or adapt it for other types of training.