Task Mapping – Learning New Words

In our fluency, we sometimes forget how much prior knowledge is required to learn a new word

In the last week, I’ve found myself explaining the concept of task mapping often. It’s an extremely helpful technique that can be used to break down a task into its smallest parts, allowing for SMEs (anyone who are well-versed in a skill or field) to understand and convey complex information within the right framework.

As a literacy tutor, I was introduced to a whole new component of English language learners. Within this world resides the untold story of people who speak English but cannot read or write it. They’ve learned from their friends, family, and neighbors, and in doing so, have heard words filtered through a dozen different accents and grammatical structures. So when we, as ELL teachers, ask a student to learn to read and write a language they know aurally, we are asking for so much more than stringing letters together.

To illustrate what this means, I’ve put together the following worksheet. I encourage you to try it out, especially if English is your first language.

I also challenge you implement task mapping when you are designing new trainings or asking someone to complete a new task. I would also encourage you to watch the 2016 film Arrival, which discusses the complexities of language and what each interaction means for the future of humans and our ability to communicate with each other.

Task Mapping- Learning New Words

 

Telling Ain’t Training – Pt 6: Technology Integration

Overview

During this final post, I’ll cover the potential benefits of integrating technology in training. There are several considerations, most importantly the impact they can have on the efficacy of the training. Stolovitch and Keeps summarize these factors in saying,

When it comes to training efficiency, the measure is fast and cheap. When it comes to training and effectiveness, the measure is how well the learning goal is achieved.

Telling Ain’t Training, pg 181

Technology can help to meet these two metrics, as long as you understand that the use of technology to deliver content does not replace solid training design. The use of technology in training “can enable efficiency” if properly implemented. It can also take a turn towards gimmicky if the use isn’t well thought out or well executed.

Working at a tech education company and matrix managing dispersed teams, leveraging technology is a constant part of our everyday. When I started, I was onboarded to dozens of systems with no real explanation to why or, really, their uses. Some stuck because of their prevalence (Slack, for example) and/or their functionality (Google Docs). A few systems have found their want into my personal life, most notably in my Instructional Resources Trello board. I’ve continued to explore our current technologies in order to leverage and expand our utilization of existing resources, including leading remote workshops using shared Google Slides decks and Zoom video software. I’ve even tried my hand at using a free LMS, Latitude Learning, to start hosting content.

As you can see, the list of technologies you can incorporate into training can get really long, really fast, and we haven’t even included the old standbys like Adobe Acrobat, the Microsoft Suite, Google Hangouts, Survey Monkey, and services like Moodle. With all of these ‘productivity tools’ floating around, it’s helpful to have a framework around what they can do to assist and then start narrowing down your specific use case.

What can you get out of integrating technology?

Chapter 10 of Telling Ain’t Training focuses on the use of technology in trainings, why you might consider using them and some of the caveats you must face. There’s a great chart on pages 184-186 (which I’ve summarized below) that outlines the potential benefits of trainings. I also encourage you to read that chapter to find out why promises around increased productivity and reduced costs from outside vendors may be too good to be true.

Potential Benefits What it means
Accessibility  Anyone can access it from anywhere, can help reach remote teams and provide opportunity to train people requiring accessibility accommodations
Instantaneous response and feedback  Instructors and participants and contact each other and receive near instantaneous responses; allows for automatic responses or feedback based on preset criteria
Instantaneous testing and feedback  Testing can be hosted and created within certain platforms – this is especially true of multiple choice questions, or trainings in which the program is both synchronous and asynchronous
Consistency of message  Templates, training and one delivery platform can result in a more consistent message that can be monitored and maintained by a relatively small team
Rapidity of delivery  It can reduce the need to coordinate in-person trainings; eliminated the need to schedule spaces and allow for people to join when needed
Simultaneity of training delivery  It can provide a platform to provide one training to a large number of participants
Ease of update Since all resources would live within a system or platform, it can reduce versioning issues often seen with static documents; updates can be pushed at one time to ensure everyone gets it at the same time
Reusability  Trainings can be delivered over and over again without a reset period; content can be repurposed for other trainings
Flexibility of use  Utilize all of pieces of a platform, use it for all or part of the training, use it for different types of training, hosts modules, pathways etc for different types of content.
Interactivity  Include audio, video, slides, Prezis, responsive tests and websites
Adaptability Depending on the platform, content can be changed (scaled, updated, amended, appended) to fit into other trainings/programs; , provide dynamic content that responds to learners needs

The absolute most important thing you must remember is that these benefits are conditional. They aren’t guaranteed and are heavily reliant on your current resources, your company’s infrastructure, setup costs – including training of internal users and onboarding – and time constraints, among a volley of other factors. For these reasons, content rather than delivery method should be the deciding factor in whether a piece of a technology should be incorporated into a program.

Telling Ain’t Training – Pt 5: Training in a Collaborative Workplace

I’m going to tell you a not-so-secret. Training adults is a game of social circles and politics. At one of my employers, training required a lot of buy in from different groups and participants generally wanted to fell like they were actively contributing to the event, rather than be on the receiving end of a final product. The dynamic can be challenging – how can you have a training if the people being trained believe that they know all there is to know?

There are a couple of things at play here. In today’s business environment, it’s all about your title and your tenure. If you’re not in a management position, it can be hard to get people to follow your lead. I’ll save my leadership lessons for later but for the purpose of this post, we’ll focus on the idea of collaborating with participants to deliver a successful training.

Chapter 8 of Stolovich and Keeps’s Telling Ain’t Training presents 25 scenarios you can use to add practical application to your trainings. I was planning an upcoming workshop around managing student concerns on campus and was excited to try some of them out. I flipped through each of them, eager to try something new. As I skimmed the exercises, I realized that none of them would work for me.

Why?

Because our team, dispersed across 15 cities and 3 continents, knows what they’re doing and they don’t want someone trying to get them to learn something by rote. What this book presents is, in it’s truest form, training. Reading through the scenario, I realized that what I wanted was a workshop. I wanted an event that had true learner participation and had a tangible end result.

I ended up with the a format that was predominantly learner led with me giving confirming and/or corrective feedback and taking notes when someone brought up a suggestion that aligned with best practices. In addition to having participants share out and complete two practical application exercises, I also asked them to ‘help’ me come up with a guide that others can use to apply the standards set during this workshop to any situation.

Participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive and I felt confident that they would be able to immediately implement their learning in their day to day responsibilities. Further more, the deck is available for reference and a recorded version will be made so that remote campuses will be able to provide the workshop asynchronously.

Telling Ain’t Training – Pt 4: Confirming and Corrective Feedback

A Familiar Scenario

Imagine you spent an entire weekend writing a paper for your Instructional Design course. It’s a lot of work and you’re unfamiliar with the content. You dedicate a few hours to reviewing the syllabus, assignment description and resources and you feel pretty confident in your final result.

When you get the grades back, you’re shocked to see a C+ next to your name. Under the feedback section, you get the following comment from your instructor:

“You’re just not getting it. Reread the diagram on page and then resubmit.”

As the learner, take a moment to jot down your internal reactions and external actions. I’ve shared mine in this chart.

External Actions Internal Reactions
Reread the syllabus Confusion
Revisit the diagram Frustration
Contact the instructor for clarification
Demotivation
Email classmates to ask them for help Resentment

Well, that escalated quickly, didn’t it? I’m sure the instructor didn’t mean to imply that I, the learner, hadn’t done my due diligence in reading all relevant materials, but that’s what it feels like. I might reach out to other participants to discuss my confusion only to find that they felt the same way. A picture begins to emerge – one of a miscommunication that, when repeated, can quickly snowball to a negative learning experience.

This example is applicable to any educational setting and is indicative of a few areas of contention that I have experience as both a learner and an educator. We’ll break the statement down to find out why it fails to be useful.

This statement implies that there is a flaw with the learner that prohibits them from grasping the content. It’s a variation of the old “try harder”, as if effort alone is all it takes to learn. Additionally, as described in a previous post, it can feel like a personal attack.


What’s not to love? It tells the learner where to look, which some might categorize as a helpful hint. The problem here is that the instructor doesn’t acknowledge their responsibility to expand on or further clarify the instructions. If the learner stared at the diagram for thirty additional minutes, would that somehow influence her comprehension? Should the instructor provide more context or other support to ensure the learner understands the content and that he/she/they remains motivated throughout the course or session?
The answer is yes, that is exactly the hallmark of a good educator and, if you’re prepped appropriately for the topic you’re teaching, it doesn’t take much to make adjustments.

Corrective and Confirming Feedback

Using the same scenario as above, imagine if you received this feedback instead:

Not quite, but you’re on the right track. You’ve done a good job of explaining x but y is missing. I recommend reading resources 1 and 2 again and using z to frame your answer.”
It takes a few more words, sure, but it accomplishes a few things:
  • Sets a positive tone
  • Call out of what is right (because no one likes to be wrong all the time!)
  • Calls out areas of improvement (after the praise)
  • Suggests concrete ways to improve
  • Provides additional resources and/or context

Using a combination of corrective and confirming feedback empowers students to explore topics independently, while looking to instructors/facilitators/trainers to provide guidance and support. This doesn’t mean that you, the educator, needs to handhold, coddle or give all of the answers away. Instead, it shows that you respect your learners and their ability to learn in ways that are best for them, as well as showing your support for their educational journey.

Think of the last time you learned a new and complex topic. If someone had offered guiding tips and suggestions that help you relate the content to something you already know or frame it within the context of your current life, wouldn’t that have made the experience not only more enjoyable and but effective?

What do you think? Have you used corrective and/or confirming feedback? What have been the results? As a learner, what type of feedback are you used to receiving and how does it influence your learning experience?

Telling Ain’t Training – Pt 3: Training the Right Way

Overview

The first two posts in this series talk about what we generally encounter as trainers – what we might define as failures in ourselves or our learners. I also cover a few techniques you can quickly in implement for existing trainings or those instances when you need to supplement content. This chapter and post focus on building the correct foundation to avoid those altogether.
Take a moment to consider the quote above.
What does it mean? In essence, there are a set of guidelines that allow us to build effective trainings independent of the learning styles of participants. Let’s take a look at what they are.

Six Guidelines for Creating Successful Trainings

The Why We’ve talked about this quite a few times but it bears repeating. Learners need to know why they’re learning the content. If he/she/they places high value on the training and content, they are more likely to engage and retain information.
The What Do you know what you’re teaching? Can you articulate this what using specific learning objectives? They should be listed on the course description. Maybe on the syllabus or in the classroom. This sets of end goal for you and your learners.
The Structure “Humans seek order (pg 75)” is something I have come to realize working in operations and even more so as an educator. Order allows participants to quickly grasp patterns as well as connect previously held knowledge to newly-learned information.
The Response How do you plan to add interactions your sessions? Response refers to the way in which learner’s respond to learning the content you’re presenting. According to research, as well as Stolovitch and Keeps, this can take the form of “answering a question filling in a blank labeling something solving a problem making a decision or even discussing and arguing (pg 76)”.
The Feedback Feedback is information that learners receive about how on or off target they are. It comes from the facilitator or instructor, or from other environmental components (e.g. think about a chemical reaction during a science experiment or a red ‘x’ or green check mark during an online quiz). Research indicates that feedback should be immediately relevant to the task. Personal criticism, perceived or otherwise, decreases performance. Additionally, it should also be timely frequent and specific.
The Reward What does the learner get for successfully completing a task? Rewards work the same way as they did in childhood; they motivate learners to continue a desired behavior. The actual reward will vary but as long as a reward is perceived as valuable to the learner it will be a successful tool for a motivation

 

Telling Ain’t Training – Pt 2: Blame Isn’t the Solution

You’re Really Good at That! (Or How You Become a Trainer)

When I took my first position as a trainer over 10 years ago, I had no idea how complex it would be. In hindsight I can see how ill-prepared I was to create meaningful trainings. This isn’t to say they were terrible or ineffective, or that I wasn’t good at my job. It does mean that I had a lot to learn. Like many of you, my first job as a trainer resulted from being identified as an ‘expert’ in what I did. The criteria for this varies, but in most cases, your manager is impressed by the work you’re doing or you’ve been doing it so long that you know all the ins and outs of a system, process or business. In some industries you’re called a subject matter expert (SME). In others, your title might include Lead, Head or another similar attribute. These are words that signal that you’re well-versed in your craft. By being labeled any of these, you’ve been selected to pass your knowledge and methods on to the ‘next generation’ or maybe even your peers.

I’m Good at My Job, I Swear

You’re excited and you have tons of ideas, tips and tricks to share. You sit down and think about all of the things that make you good at your job. The final outcome is a training outline or version 1 of a training manual. Armed with your knowledge and any class resources you’ve put together, you deliver your first training session and…you bomb.
Your audience is confused, you’re frustrated and everyone is resentful of what they perceive as time wasted.
You take a moment to reflect, attempting to figure out what went wrong. I’ve been there, believe me. In these situations, our minds can start to use blame as a way to rationalize everything.
Maybe I’m not that good at my job or perhaps Simon just wasn’t trying hard enough. Our brains lead us to believe that somewhere along the lines, someone messed up.
This isn’t entirely untrue, but it assumes that the failure was a result of a person, rather than a system. If we remove you (the person) and the learners as the root cause of the failure, then you are left with content and delivery. Let’s start by looking at the three critical components of communication when designed a training.

Where’s the Breakdown?

The first two, defined by Stolovitch and Keeps as declarative and procedural knowledge, constitute the majority of your content. The third is the idea of Adult Learning principles and it deals with how you choose to relay those first two components to your audience.
  • Procedural: You process customer returns everyday for 2 years. It’s second nature to key in code 555 in order to bypass the three standard welcome screens. It takes nothing at all to complete the entire logging and refund event in 3 minutes. This is procedural knowledge. You can think of it as all of the manual tasks you can complete without thinking about it. For me, a good example is knitting a washcloth.

Take a moment and think about a task that you can do without putting too much thought into it. This excludes things like breathing and blinking!

  • Declarative: Now if I asked you to talk me through, how accurate do you think your first try will be? How long to do you think it will take you to describe it so that I can replicate the process flawlessly? The is called declarative knowledge.
Many experts (like you and me) rely on procedural knowledge to do our jobs. Translating procedural knowledge into declarative knowledge often breaks down, which can lead to that familiar feeling of failure for both parties.
To further complicate this, in trying to teach others to work the way that we work, we sometimes forget that adults have their own feelings and experiences related to learning new things. We can’t just say ‘do it exactly this’ and not expect push back, especially from those who have already done the job before.

 How Can I Improve My Trainings?

  • According to the authors of Telling Ain’t Training, an effective way to set the stage for your trainings is to address positive and negative experiences related to the topic at the start of the session. This will:
    • Diffuse a situation by acknowledging past experiences of the participants and
    • Allow you to gauge what participants know and how they approach problem solving.
  • Establish the why and how of the trainings. As discussed in other posts, relevance is extremely important to adult learners. They need to know why they are learning this content and how it can be immediately applied to make their jobs easier and/or more efficient. You also want to discuss how they’ll be learning to do these things.
  • Here’s where the Adult Learning Principles come in:
    • Integrate real world scenarios as a way to demonstrate practical application to your learners. This also allows them to participate and share their experiences in similar situations.
    • Include a resource list that participants can refer back to. This can include detailed (or simplified!) explanations of content covered during the course, or further reading related to the topic.
    • Consider Task Mapping – During an Instructional Design course I took in graduate school, I chose to create a training for managers based on their job description. The posting included things like ‘budgeting’ but because many people are promoted into the position, it’s not an inherent skill. By task mapping, I was able to uncover assumed prerequisite knowledge and build from that level before moving onto budgeting; for example, an understanding of financial terminology, a intermediate grasp of Excel and formulas and understanding of profit margins.

The next time you design a training, clearly define what you need to teach your learners and then use the suggestions above to decide how you’re going to do it. Throughout the process, be conscious of what you’re doing vs what you’re saying when outlining or developing content. Read it out loud to yourself and, if possible, ask someone else (a non-SME) to follow along. If they can’t, rework the areas where they get stuck until you have a resource that is thorough but easy to understand and follow along.

Stay tuned for my next post which explores the best ways to build a strong foundation for all your training needs!

Exploring Diversity to Engage in Meaningful Conversation

Diversity is more than a word; it’s a conversation. It requires definition, context, perspective. It has been applied to groups, to initiatives, to companies, to food, to ecosystems. Diversity can and does mean so many different things that in this day and social media age, it’s all but a prerequisite to unpack the term before you can ever begin talking about it.

I took a multi-culture and diversity course while completing my graduate degree. The first assignment consisted of completing a 2 sided diversity wheel that asked about you as a person and you as a construct. I know, I know, but stick with me. We were paired randomly with a partner and then asked to share as much as we felt comfortable sharing. At the end, we wrote brief introductions of our partner and shared it with the rest of the class.

I learned a few things about myself, things that I’ll likely discuss in another in-depth post. More importantly, I learned a great deal about the assumptions that are made when talking to other human beings. For example, by some accounts, our species is all we have in common. By others, looking alike is all it takes to be alike.

As a member of my company’s ERG program, I was finding it difficult to get real, deep, and frankly uncomfortable, conversation going. We were going in circles, talking about ‘us’ as women, as one homogeneous group that shares the same experiences. To some degree, that’s the truth. I’ve been cat-called, I’ve been judged for my gender, I’ve been challenged because of it. I also know, however, that my experience as a woman of color, as a person who is on a different education or career track, as someone who grew up in NYC, means that I don’t necessarily share the same perspective as the woman sitting next to me. This doesn’t make one of us better than the other but ignoring these differences can divide us.

Below is a workshop I delivered in a small group setting. I’ve expanded the initial exercise to open up conversations about what diversity and culture are, as well as to have participants identify their own knowledge gaps and look for ways to further explore them.

Telling Ain’t Training – Pt I: Understanding Your Learner

What’s Your Approach?

When designing trainings, how often have you considered the learner? And in what capacity? Do you think about your delivery method? What about the classroom environment? A dozen things might go through your mind as you mark off the unconscious checklist but let’s take a moment to think a little different about what training means and what it should accomplish.

Telling Ain’t Training starts with a few key points centered around understanding your learnings before they even step foot into your classroom, chief among them the tenant that we should be building trainings for the needs of the learners, investigating their roles, responsibilities and prior experience in order to build something meaningful and relevant for them.

What Do You Want to Accomplish?

According to the authors, what we do falls into three categories:

  • Training – Is the goal to teach participants how to complete a step-by-step task?
  • Instruction – Is the goal to teach participants how to react in a situation with one or more variables?
  • Education – A culmination of life experiences and learning principles that go beyond reproducing or inferring; the road to expertise.
The purpose of training, instruction and education is to transform the learner, not transmit data. We want the learner to be able to apply what has been communicated and not just repeat it back.

Find Your Center of Focus

There’s a mantra repeated at the beginning of the book, educators must be “learner centered, performance based.” This encompasses not just your delivery but the content you build, where you build it, and how you interact with participants. Lose sight of this and you risk losing your credibility and your learners’s interest and respect.

Learner Centered Means Adapting

How we learn is part of our genetic make up. Garden’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences tells us that w need to negate different senses and learning types in order to really make teachings stick. The question is how to you cater to an audience you’ve never met. Training can take advantage of what we know about the human body to build flexible courses that can be modified or already integrates best practices for engaging many types of learners.

Think About It!

Humans can store massive amounts of data. The issue lies in retrieving it. Assuming that it’s relevant to the learner, then organization is the key. Consider the acronym PEMDAS and the mnemonics My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. Can you remember what they mean? If the answer is yes, when was the last time you needed to use the information? Chances are you haven’t consciously thought about either in a long time but the information still lives on. That’s the power of organization coupled with effective teaching and the human brain.

This, of course, doesn’t mean the classes where we learned these pieces of information were successful but rather that someone stumbled upon a great memory technique that may or may not have translated into other parts of the curriculum. I can’t readily recall most of what I learned in Earth Science but I vividly remember Algebra. The teacher included hands on and group activities, employed a reward system and used visuals and audio cues to draw connections between prior knowledge and newer, more complex pieces of information.

Click here for the next post in this series where we’ll find out why trainings fail.

Self Directed Learning as a Training Solution

This is part of a 3-part series focusing on applying adult learning theory in the workplace. To see the other articles, view A Brief Intro to Adult Learning Theory and Using Inter-team Collaborations to Promote Critical Thinking Skills

Current Problem

Where I currently work, we are finding that our instructors need and crave more targeted professional development. As mentioned in the Methodology section, adults want to know that what they are learning is relevant and has immediate application. If there is something that an instructor needs to know to do his/her job, then it is our responsibility to provide it. As a relatively new company, our resource library is limited and does not necessarily address the different skill gaps of our instructors, nor the levels at which they need to address them. In other words, we aren’t practicing differentiated learning. We are taking a one size fits all approach that leaves some instructors feeling lost and others feeling stagnant.

Proposed Solution

At the very simplest – build a searchable repository of professional development resources and pair this with the observations and assessments that are already happening. Ensure that all instructors across all campuses have access to this database and leverage instructor and employee knowledge to further populate it.

It’s extremely important that the resources you provide are accessible, relevant and accurate. Forgetting these simple guidelines can result in frustration (why do I need to learn this?), confusion (what does this mean/this contradicts something else), and resentment (I have to pay/drive an hour out of my way for this information) from learners.

Why Self Directed Learning?

You’re covering a few bases with this approach, most of which are covered in other parts of this site. Above all else, you are providing adults with actionable and applicable items. They can pursue as little or as much as they want to in order to meet the benchmarks set forth by their managers. They can also choose to expand their knowledge outside of the provided resources and are encouraged to improve their in class practice with the support of their instructional leaders.

In a classroom setting, this can be a useful tool for students who often finish early and crave additional knowledge. Conversely, it’s also a great tool for a student who is having trouble grasping a concept that everyone else has mastered. The missing information may be critical to the student’s success, so it cannot be glanced over. Instead, you can provide articles, textbooks, videos or other resources to allow the student to learn the concept on his/her own.

What it Looks Like

For me, this looks like a centralized web-based system that is managed by the instructional leaders across all campuses. Because this will be used by all instructors and is part of the message and culture of the company, it’s important that the information submitted is vetted and that it aligns with what you want to see in the classroom.

For you, this depends on the systems and process already in place for learning. Do you have a learning management system (LMS) like Canvas, Blackboard, Oracle or Schoology? If you answered yes, there might already be add-ons or functionality that allow you to build resource libraries. You may also be able to create videos, quizzes and other assessments that are specific to the goals of your course.

If you answered no, you can still create a system that ticks those three boxes. If you are working in an offline environment, have a listed of links, books, videos, etc to provide to students. Or, if you have books or articles in the classroom, suggest the student has a look during the break. You can also build a simple website, like this one, to act as an extension of the classroom materials.

How can I make this work for me?

SDL is best used when:

  • There are small or simple tasks the audience needs to know before you can move forward. This is sometimes called pre-work and has been used in as a requirement for trainings and classes.
  • A learner is struggling during class but you are unable to a)spend anymore time on the subject, b) provide the depth of knowledge necessary for understanding or c) adjust the lesson to address his/her preferred learning style.
  • A learner is excelling and requires more stimulus to remain engaged in the lesson.

Want to give it a shot? Download this Adult Learning Application Cheatsheet to get started.

Using Learning Contracts to Facilitate Success

Learning contracts can be a great tool to clearly define course or training expectations for the instructor/trainer and the student/employee. Although an employer may hope that information provided in a training environment is clear and relevant, it’s necessary to take into account context. Your audience needs to know why they are learning this information and how they are expected to apply it.  Take a look at the learning contract (above or view the PDF here) and course description (below), that I created for my sample ‘Data Management Across Systems’.

Sample Course: Data Management Across Systems

Course Description

This course has been designed to assist Data Administrators in evaluating current data collection systems in their department or company. Regardless of the size or purpose of your organization, you collect data in one form or another. Some of us are used to the old paper and pen method while some of us are almost completely digital. Both systems have pros and cons, which we will discuss in this course. Knowing the reason your company collects various types of data, who the responsible parties are and what the output format will be, has a great bearing on the systems you use and the issues you will face. We will take a look at all of these factors over the next 5 weeks to help you lead or support the implementation of more accurate and robust data collection.

 

Creation of a Learning Contract

Each of you come from a different background and may have slightly different expectations for this course. The purpose of this learning contract is to ensure each student sets and completes his/her objectives. The contract is between the student and the instructor, created as a way to clearly communicate course expectations for both parties. It will be completed at the end of the first week so that you have an idea of the material that will be covered and the options for projects used to demonstrate learning.

This contract should be personal to you and focus on what you intend to get out of this course. To help you begin this process, please complete the KWL chart provided on the first day of class. Use this document, along with the course description to begin developing objectives. During the submission of the Learning Contract, the instructor will meet with you to provide feedback. Once it is finalized, both the instructor and the student will agree on at least one in-person check-in and sign the contract. A copy will go to the student, one to the instructor and one will be kept on file with the department, to be revisited during the follow up meetings to ensure the objectives are being met.

After reading through the information, think about how learning contracts can be introduced in your learning environment to facilitate success.  Does this change the way you approach teaching or training? Are there any aspects of this that you can implement now?