Santa Makes Training Stick

Once upon a time at the North Pole, Santa had a problem. Boys and girls were not very happy with their presents from Santa. In the past his elves had done a good job making the toys for girls and boys with their hammers and other tools. But recently the children were asking for electronic games and gadgets, not the simple toys the elves made. Santa had to either re-train his elves or lay them off. It was unrealistic to turn the elves into electronics engineers, but he decided to train them to become negotiators and expediters to work with the electronics manufacturers.

Santa enlisted Rudolph to train the elves. Rudolph attended train-the-trainer sessions and educated himself on the skills the elves needed to learn. While he wasn’t a SME, he did learn enough to put together lesson plans and teach the elves what they needed to know for their new roles. The trainings went well. The elves demonstrated they had learned the material and then they went back to their workshop. Three weeks later Santa and Rudolph visited the workshop….and their jaws dropped. The elves were still making dolls and trucks at their workbenches – just as they had done before the training. The headsets and phone lines Santa had set up for their new roles were untouched. The training didn’t stick!

Santa and Rudolph thought and thought. “What can we do that will help the elves remember and use what they have learned?” They pulled their copy of the book Making Learning Stick off the shelf and started using some of the Techniques to Integrate Education (TIEs, for short) to reinforce the training. In just a short time the elves starting using more of what they learned, the boys and girls got the electronic toys they wanted, and Santa and Rudolph were heroes once again.

And they lived happily ever after – that is, until the next major change.

My best wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season and a happy and prosperous New Year!  Until next time…..

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