TEACHING VARIATIONS: MAKING THE MOST OF THE TIME YOU HAVE

In today’s time-starved and abbreviated world, not every training class is going to afford you the opportunity to deliver the entire suite of content. There will be times when you’ll be asked to take a full day’s worth of training and break it down into shorter sections or take a four-hour class and teach it over an hour. This can be a challenge for even the most seasoned instructors. 

When faced with time restrictions, there are a few tricks you can use to make sure you’re still conveying the most important parts of the course in the time you have. Here are my suggestions for tackling this difficult assignment: 

  1. Condense similar information to one slide/talking point. In longer classes, it often makes sense to explain key concepts multiple times, to have multiple slides on them, or to do multiple activities to drive the point home. Condensing all of these into a single talking point or slide can save a ton of time, and you can still drive the importance of the point home. 

  2. Emphasize key points or information that is necessary to pass any assessment or credential exam. While this may feel like “teaching to the test”, sometimes you are left with no choice but to at least highlight important information for the assessment as you move quickly through the class 

  3. What’s the story you’re trying to tell? For many classes, we aren’t just teaching to an assessment, but we are trying to tell a coherent story about a topic. You can edit out parts of the story that a student doesn’t need in a live session and point them towards the curriculum where they can find those extra bits of information. 

  4. Utilize an asynchronous platform/experience to deliver content you simply don’t have time to deliver. Whether you prerecord yourself teaching certain sections of the class, or you give students extra materials to work with once they are done with the live section of the class, this is a great way to make sure you’re still getting all the content in within your time constraints. 

 

Over the next few years, we are going to see more requests for shortened, skills-based delivery of courses in the ILT realm. These tips above can help you tailor your classes to make sure you can deliver any content with any time restrictions.