5 most useful free online sources for training activities

Good icebreakers, exercises, and energisers are essential for an engaging and effective training. It takes careful consideration to choose the right activities for your training, the ones that will fit perfectly with your learning objectives, group size, the profile of participants, and the time available.

UPDATE We have added 4 more links that you, our readers recommended, so be sure to check them out at the end of the article.

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Can online courses substitute classroom training in the corporate world?

You can sit in your cosy living room and learn JavaScript on Codeacademy or take Intro to Physics course on Udacity. You choose the topic, the time and the place – what’s there not to like? Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are great! They are great in the same way as books are great – fantastic collections of information that you can obtain whenever it’s suitable for you.

However, they have been criticized a lot because of the low completion rate, which is around 10% on average. It might seem very low, though in many cases an online course is taken just to check out the new possibilities of online learning, without the intention of actually finishing it. On the other hand, there are online courses that have more than 40-50% completion rate. Then again, Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun has admitted, “we have a lousy product“, and now Udacity has taken on corporate training.

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Why trainers don’t share?

While working on TrainedOn we’ve had the chance to interview many experienced soft skills trainers and educators from around the world. We were discussing individual working habits and the training industry in general to better understand trainers’ needs and desires.

We received honest but sometimes puzzling replies to our questions. When we touched the topic of sharing materials, almost all interviewees told us they are reluctant to share training materials with each other.

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Trainer styles – don’t judge a book by it’s cover

Have you ever judged a trainer’s performance by how do her slides or flipcharts look like? Are there nice pictures included, or triggering messages written on them? Such visuals are only providing a superficial perspective of a training, they are only the ‘tip of the iceberg’: the slides and flips are there only to complete the learning objectives, to help passing on the main message. The real learning happens by doing exercises or by providing a new, triggering perspective about the given training topic, whilst also providing the space for reflection.

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