Use this tool to structure and deliver training effectively.
Have you ever trained someone on a new process or skill? Perhaps you thought it would be an easy, straightforward task. But once you actually started the session, it may have been harder than you expected.
Everyone has different learning styles. So, how do you present information so that the trainee, or group of trainees, is learning effectively? And when is it appropriate to offer feedback, or ask for a demonstration of skills, to ensure that trainees understand your message?
Gagne's Nine Levels of Learning provide a step-by-step approach that can help managers, trainers, and facilitators structure their training so that their students or teams get the most from their learning opportunities.
In this article, we'll examine Gagne's Nine Levels of Learning, and we'll review how to apply this tool when training your team.
Gagne's Nine Levels of Learning are also known as Gagne's Nine Conditions of Learning, Gagne's Taxonomy of Learning, and Gagne's Nine Events of Instruction.
Robert Gagne (1916–2002) was an educational psychologist who pioneered the science of instruction in the 1940s. His book "The Conditions of Learning," first published in 1965, identified the mental conditions that are necessary for effective learning.
Gagne created a nine-step process that detailed each element required for effective learning. The model is useful for all types of learning, but this article focuses on applying it to training your team in a work environment. You can see these nine steps in Figure 1, below.
Figure 1 – Gagne's Nine Levels of Learning
Gagne's Nine Levels of Learning model gives trainers and educators a checklist to use before they engage in teaching or training activities. Each step highlights a form of communication that aids the learning process. When each step is completed in turn, learners are much more likely to be engaged and to retain the information or skills that they're being taught.
If you use this approach before any type of training session or presentation, you'll remember how to structure your session so that your people get the best possible learning experience.
We'll now look at each of the nine levels, and provide example of how you can apply each step in your own situation.
Step 2 of the Communication Cycle can help you to identify the best way to present your information.
It may also be useful to provide further feedback after you have assessed their performance.
Gagne's Nine Levels of Learning provide a useful approach that helps managers and structure the learning process. Each different stage complements the others, and by working through all nine levels, you can help to ensure that your team fully understands and retains information.
Although Gagne's model is different from other popular training models, you can still combine it with other methods. A good example is 4MAT, a training method that helps you to structure your approach so that people with different learning styles will learn just as effectively as everyone else. (Our article on 4MAT also explains common learning styles – Kolb's, and Honey and Mumford's are particularly respected.)
The ARCS model is also a good learning method to use with Gagne's model. ARCS focuses on motivation and making sure that learners understand the benefits of the new skill or information. Since this is step 2 in Gagne's model, the ARCS model can help you to understand better how to increase your team's motivation and engagement with the training.
Gagne's Nine Levels of Learning provide a step-by-step checklist that helps you ensure that you present a comprehensive and successful learning experience. Each step is designed to help your trainees understand and retain information effectively.
Gagne's model can be combined effectively with other training methods, such as 4MAT and the ARCS model. These additional methods can help you better understand your team's needs.
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