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What inspires joy in learning? What makes us excited and motivated to explore and apply something new?

There are many factors that are specific and tangible, whether cost, location, or number of participants. There are also factors that cannot be quantified or put into a specific slot or any kind of box. These are intangible factors, and they are the very essence of learning.

These are the things that inspire people to learn, that motivate people to practice back on the job. These are the sparks and energy that create the synergy among participants or the delight provided by an instructor who loves his subject. These are the intangible factors that make a training memorable and help a presenter impart confidence in her delivery.

We are also wonderfully diverse in a host of different ways. People learn best through various means. Some are auditory learners. Others learn best through visual or kinesthetic means. People come from different cultures, backgrounds, and languages. Diversity does not need to be intangible in our programs. When diverse needs and backgrounds are truly incorporated into a training program, they can become solid and tangible. They are also part of what creates a positive learning environment and one that is inclusive to all participants. They are included here as well as elsewhere to underscore their importance.

Below are two lists. The first are "Key Questions:" those that you will likely need to consider early in the process. Following are "Additional Questions:" questions you may also find useful to consider. These lists are not exhaustive. Please add your own ideas to them.

Key Questions:

  • How will participants be inspired to enjoy and apply the learning?
  • In what ways can diversity be kept in mind in all aspects?
  • How will different learning styles be incorporated?
  • In what ways will you keep adult learning theory in mind?

Additional questions:

  • How will participants be authentically engaged?
  • With whom could you consult to further explore diverse needs?
    • E.g., How will you ensure equal access to the program?
    • E.g., How will you ensure special needs assessments available for e-learning, classroom or other programs?
  • How will you ensure that creativity and laughter are possible?
  • How will you embed the materials, in print or online or otherwise, with content that allows the learner to truly enjoy the program?
  • If the program will have an instructor, how will you ensure this person teaches well?
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