Instructional Skills

Course CodeBGN101
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


This develops skills in teaching. At 100 hours of study, this course includes, but exceeds the scope of a typical Train the Trainer Course. It is appropriate for people teaching at a vocational level, or involved in supervising and instructing staff in a workplace situation (or other situations as well).

A trainer or teacher may be given many different responsibilities. Not all trainers have the same job specifications.


Characteristics of a Good Trainer:

  •  the ability to convince students he/she wants to help them learn
  •  enthusiasm for learning/desire to teach
  •  ability to organise information to be taught
  •  patience to wait for the learner to learn
  •  needs to have a working knowledge of the subject being taught
  •  empathy - to know how the student feels
  •  tolerance - ability to develop good personal relationships
  •  rationality - for problem solving and decision making
  •  commitment - to give best when teaching
  •  independence - initiative.



A teacher/tutor basically helps the student/trainee through the learning stages. The trainer will however develop approaches suitable for their personalities and personal theories.

The main approaches to helping are:

1/ Psychodynamic - emphasises unconscious causes of behaviour and early childhood experiences; is focuses more on content rather than on process.

2/ Phenomenological - emphasises process more than content and stresses the helping relationship as a vehicle for change. This provides a situation whereby trainees explore their own feelings, thoughts and behaviour in order to change behaviour or insight. This approach focuses on present, not past.

3/ Behavioural - emphasises environmental consequences of behaviour. It concentrates on the identification and removal of existing bad (dysfunctional) behaviours and the planning, adaptation and reinforcement of new desired behaviours.

4/ Cognitive-behavioural - concerned with teaching new ways of thinking entailing exploring differences between values and behaviours. This approach focuses on the present.

5/ Transactional analysis - focuses on relationships (communication) and lifestyle of clients, and aims at an integration of feelings, thoughts and actions.


Lesson Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Training
    • Communication channels
    • Skills for an effective communicator
    • Responsibilities of a trainer to achieve effective communication
    • Main approaches to helping learning; psychodynamic, phenomenological, behavioural, cognitive-behavioural and transactional analysis
    • Understanding communication barriers
    • Trainer responsibilities beyond communication
    • Leadership concepts
    • Public speaking skills
    • Causes of confusion
    • Writing a speach to communicate a learning point
  2. Understanding Learning
    • What is learning
    • How learning is influenced by the teacher, student and materials
    • Learning terminology
    • Teaching strategies
    • Common teaching modes
    • Class size
    • Teaching models
    • Questioning
    • Recognising the learners needs
    • Adult learners
    • children/adolescent learners
  3. Determining Training Requirements in The Workplace
    • Assessing Needs
    • How to gather information
    • How to use the information you gather
  4. Commencing Training
    • Arranging resources
    • Administration
    • Planning
    • Training program support
  5. Developing a Lesson Plan
    • Lesson aims
    • Structure of a lesson plan
    • Contingency planning
    • Writing a lesson plan
  6. Assessment and Evaluation of Training Programs
    • Assessment
    • Tests and examinations
    • Assignments
    • Evaluation of training programs
    • Evaluation checklist
  7. Training Aids
    • Overview
    • Using audio visual equiment
    • Visual materials; illustrations, whiteboard, charts etc
    • Audio materials
    • Handouts
  8. One-To-One Training
    • Leadership communication
    • Tutorial sessions
    • Conversation development
    • Motivation for learning
    • Self esteem
    • Reinforcement
    • Trainer relationship building
    • Body language
  9. Motivation Skills and Techniques
    • What is motivation
    • Motivational theories
    • Improving motivation
    • Competency
  10. Promoting Training
    • Overview
    • Persuasion
    • Influencuing opponents
    • Influencing neutrals
    • Handling criticism
    • Logical persuasion
  11. Assessor Training
    • Recognition of Prior learning
    • Evidence
    • Assessor training
    • Research skills
    • Interviewing skills
    • Asking effective questions


  • Analyse the communication effectiveness within a training environment.
  • Explain characteristics which influence the effectiveness of education, including aspects of both learning and teaching.
  • Define training requirements for a specified workplace.
  • Prepare for commencement of a training session.
  • Develop a lesson plan for training a small group (less than twelve).
  • Develop skills in the assessment and evaluation of training programs.
  • Demonstrate the use of audio-visual equipment for lesson presentation.
  • Demonstrate the instruction of a learner in a one-to-one situations.
  • Determine the use of simple motivational skills in a training environment.
  • Promote training and monitor the result of promotion.
  • Prepare trainees to meet the requirements of the competency standards for assessors.


In order to understand the effectiveness of any education program you must have sound knowledge of learning and teaching.  If you understand and apply the following principles, your ability to teach will improve, so will your own ability to learn. 

Try to think carefully about the following terms which are used often in teaching and learning.

  • Recency: the things that were learnt last are the things that are best remembered.
  • Appropriateness: things that are appropriate to the trainees needs are better remembered.
  • Motivation: if the trainee wants to learn something, they will learn it better.
  • Primacy: the things learnt first are the things that are learnt best.
  • 2-way communication: things are learned better if there is interaction between the trainer and trainee.
  • Feedback: trainees who get feedback from the trainer remember better. Trainers who get feedback from the trainees teach better.
  • Active Learning: learning is better when the trainee is actively involved.
  • Multiple Sense Learning: learning is better if more senses are involved.
  • Exercise: using what has been learnt repeatedly will reinforce or strengthen learning.



Duties and responsibilities which might be required of a trainer are:

  • Attitude    A positive attitude towards defined tasks and towards the trainees.
  • Teaching     Instruct, interpret information and in general, broaden the trainees horizons.
  • Assessment     Assess trainees progress in an unbiased and standardised way.
  • Enthusiasm     Ability to enthuse the trainees in whatever they are doing.
  • Planning     This is a major importance. The trainer is responsible to see that programs are properly planned and prepared for. The trainer should not necessarily do the planning, but should always ensure that it is done. Broad planning should develop content and syllabus. Specific planning and preparation is required for each training session. Make time to brief any guest (or visiting) trainers.

Recommend new training needs as they are identified. Suggest ways of meeting such needs.

Curriculum Development   

    • Contributing to, or writing curriculum documents.
    • Serving on curriculum development committees.

Trainee Counselling

    • The trainer should be sensitive to individual problems and feelings; and should be supportive of the individual in need.


    • The success or failure of programs needs to be evaluated appropriate changes made in planning. Analyse changing needs and trends, then alter the program accordingly.


    • Opportunity for success should be open to all trainees. The good trainer tries to get and keep everyone involved. Trainees should be organised for the best possible level of accomplishment (e.g. beginners and advanced participants really do not mix usually).


    • Develop training resources (eg. visual aids, handouts etc).  Manage and provide access to available facilities and equipment. This is sometimes restricted by money available, but the trainer should always do the best with whatever resources at his/her disposal.  Arrange training venues.


  • Be able to operate, use and maintain equipment (eg. projectors, whiteboards, computers, photocopiers, printers etc)

Financial Management

  • Prepare and manage training budgets.  Set fees, prepare and submit tenders.

Training Staff

  • Arrange guest lecturers, excursions (with talks) etc.  Interview and select training staff.  Advise or instruct staff on their own professional development.


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