At the end of a training session the ultimate question is ‘What is the outcome?’
In fact, prior to the post training assessment and evaluations tests many other factors before and within the training sessions can help define the targeted outcome and can clearly guide the trainer to ensure the best impactful outcome possible.
It is all about moving from the training-centered practices to learners-centered dynamics.
The Trainer has to put on top of his priorities the audience’s capacity to absorb, understand, contain and use the information shared during the session.
Pre-knowing the audience Nature, Language or level of engagement, the trainers first role is to enhance the learning procedure by adapting the training to satisfy all the learning styles that will be present.
The only way to ensure all learners styles or profiles will benefit from the training is by diversifying the Learning Methods.
From building the training content to generating the training plan, the process has to lead to a complete and balanced training methodology that can suit all potential learners in the audience.
Used as key communication methodology in learning and education, 4MAT is one of the most successful processes to maximize training retention, engagement and interaction. This method is set to help trainers address all types of learners.
Representing 35% of an audience, it’s those learners who are really interested in meanings, reasons, like to be involved, are open to interaction, discussions and can make connections easily.
Imaginative learners believe in their own experiences in life and like to listen and share ideas. Their Key question is WHY. Why are we in this class? Why do I have to understand this? etc.
For this type of audience, the instructor has to play the facilitator role, engage them with led questions and involve them to share their opinions through methods such as brainstorming, group discussions, and collaborative learning.
2- Analytical Learners
Representing around 22% of the audience, this category of learners are facts and statistics oriented. They like to know details, numbers, experts quotes and they always need to know more info, they prefer to learn via a lecture style in classic and traditional classrooms and they like also to deepen their knowledge by doing independent research. Their key question is WHAT. What knowledge can I gather from this topic ? What will I learn from this module?
This audience is looking for a good presenter with a high level of credibility, a presenter who is comfortable and accurate with numbers, facts or details, well equipped with data and case analysis. The best methods to use here is to add significant figures and charts to the slides, quote experts and share related analysis and reports.
3- Common sense learners
Representing 22% of the audience, they just want to know it/think about it then move on immediately to trying it. They like to know the process, steps and are practical people who like a hands on approach. Their key question Is HOW. How can we apply this? How can I implement this now?
The trainer is more like a coach to this audience, he/she should be ready to put learning to practice, engage patrticipants in experiential learning activities, hands on exercises and monitor and guide them during the activities.
4- Dynamic Learners
Representing 25% of learners, this category of audience is very discovery oriented, they like to do things and then come back and evaluate themselves. They are a hyper dynamic segment of the audience looking forward to trying things, to discover, learn themselves and transmit to others. They take risks, explore possibilities and their key question is WHAT IF? What if we do it that way?
With this type of audience. the trainer is more in the evaluator role, giving them space for self-exploring and ensuring they are engaged in role play games simulations experiences, giving the flexibility needed and putting them at ease.
These four types of learning styles are the key tool to be considered by trainers during the preparation of training and also during the delivery of the training.
From the trainer perspective the 4MAT method is not made to categorize attendees and their styles or measure their skills or capacities, it’s more for what should really happen during the session in order to ensure learning transfer can take place. The more training methods and activities that are implemented, the more the learning is suitable to all categories and a higher outcome can be reached.
When building and delivering training, the trainer should consider all the learning styles of the 4MAT framework and should always ask the same questions that might be addressed by any of the four types of learners.
– Why should my attendees know this?
– What is it exactly that they need to know?
– How will they use this learning in everyday business?
– What questions/feedback or outcome can I expect if all the training is delivered to plan?
By understanding the 4MAT framework and building the training around these 4 potential learners styles that compose the audience, the trainer can diversify training methods to create a balanced session that will stimulate a dynamic sense of engagement and learning connection and a learning transfer which will result in engaging every single participant, ensuring a higher impact and not leaving the learning outcome to chance.