5d - Feedback

 Ongoing feedback
The apprentice needs to know whether or not he/she is good enough at what he/she's doing.

During the workday, the apprentice often gets feedback from colleagues and possibly also customers.

As a trainer,you need to pay extra attention to whether or not the apprentice is getting response about his/her work:
  • What is right - and why ?
  • What is wrong - and why?
  • What should possibly be done differently next time - and why?
  • What should be done it the same way - and why?
Ongoing response increases the apprentice's chances for learning!
 "Time out"
As a trainer, it can sometimes be a good idea to stop and do a "time out" .

A time out means that you lift yourself up to a "helicopter perspective" and look at things from 'above'.

The trainer invites the apprentice to a talk about what is going on right now.

A time out can be about:
  • Giving feedback to the apprentice: What is good and what is not good about the apprentice's work? Give reasons.....
  • Discussing whether this is a good way to do the task. Considering whether it might be done in another way...
  • Asking the apprentice to think about what he/she is working with at the moment: What's difficult? What's easy? Problems/solutions?
 Making learning visible
All apprentices need to feel that they are learning something. It motivates and helps to keep them in the training programme. But as a trainer, you don't always think about this in your daily work.

Goal-oriented youths are expecially eager to learn. They know what they want. If they don't feel they are learning enough, they will find a new training workplace, if they can.

The insecure youths lack self-confidence and drive. Therefore, it is important that they also feel their skills are improving. It gives them self-confidence and encouragement to do more.

One way of making learning visible to the apprentice is to talk to him/her:

  • Before the apprentice starts a task
  • While he/she is doing the task
  • After the apprentice has finished the task.
Get the apprentice to think about what he/she is doing and why. That is, putting action into words!

The apprentice has to learn to use professional reasoning, which may be new to him/her.

The apprentice should see that he/she has "moved forward", and now knows and can do things he/she couldn't in the beginning of the training programme!
 Consultations with the apprentice
It is important to have consultations with the apprentice regularly. This should happen at least once in a workplace training period. But it's a good idea to do it more often, for example once a month.

The purpose of the consultation is for the trainer and apprentice talk about how things are going, and what possibly needs to change:

You can talk about the following:
  • Is the apprentice happy in the company (why/why not)
  • Is the apprentice learning enough
  • Is the work too easy/too hard
  • Is the he/she getting too little/too much help
  • What is going well/not so well, what does he/she need to be better at
  • What has the apprentice learned
  • What does he/she still need to learn
  • Ideas/suggestions from the apprentice
Remember to have enough time (for example 30 min.) for the consultation, and to find an undisturbed place.

Last but not least: Remember that both parties need to be heard. This will benefit both of you.

5 - The learning process