Instructors are often required to deliver a whole lot of content in a very short period of time. It doesn’t take much to get off track or to spend more time on a topic than is allotted in the lesson plan. A quick glance at your watch and you are way behind time.
Here are five instructional techniques for managing time in the classroom:
- Always start on time and ask your learners to be on time as well. This might seem obvious, however, many instructors have difficulty with this. If we don’t begin on time we are playing “catch up” right from the start and it becomes difficult to make up time.
- Spend the most amount of time on content that is essential and most difficult to learn. Devote less time to content that is less important, less difficult, and could be handled well with job aids.
- Let learners know what will be covered and what will not be covered to minimize digressions. This will prevent learners from asking questions about content that will not be covered.
- Give clear directions for exercises. This will minimize wasted time in repeating instructions and learners debating what to do.
- Reduce your own talking time as much as possible. Guide the learners through the presentation of content to the hands-on application as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Managing instructional time well is a key skill for a classroom instructor. Delivering lectures, leading discussions, administering application exercises, and debriefing activities all within the allotted time indicated in the lesson plan can be a tall order. A skilled instructor can also make time adjustments on the fly by speeding up, or slowing down the pace, based on the needs of the learners. By applying these five instructional techniques you are less likely to run into time issues in the classroom.