There are several considerations that need to be taken into account when planning a teaching session:
- It’s important to consider what participants would like to learn and to establish their current level of knowledge and learning needs. It may be useful for them to look at some relevant content before the training session. This allows them to prepare and means that the time in the training session can be used more effectively. They should also be encouraged to put their learning into practice after the session.
- Training sessions can be done by all staff members together; in smaller groups; or in particular skill groups, such as all the dispensing assistants or all the new members of the team. Who attends the session depends on the subject area and the needs of the participants. It can be tempting to make every staff member attend all teaching sessions, but remember to consider the relevance of the material and reasons for them to attend.
- The aim of teaching sessions is often about gaining some improvement in the service offered, such as reducing the number of dispensing errors or complaints, or to improve the team’s understanding of the medicines dispensed.
- A basic rule is to keep the training session simple. Target objectives should be discussed at the start of the session so that the team understands what they are going to learn and what they will get out of the session. These objectives should be measurable so that they can be tested before and after the session.
- A session plan can help in structuring the delivery of the content for differing learning styles, working out how different resources will be sourced and used, and how much time will be spent on different activities within the session.
- The duration of the session is determined by the subject and content of the session, as well as when and where it can take place. Finding time for training can be challenging, but it’s important to consider carefully what works best for the team. For example, before or after work might not be suitable for those needing childcare, so a lunch break might work better.
- Getting written or verbal feedback on how the session went will help in determining what went well and what could be changed or improved next time.