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The L&D Forum

Hi all,

I am working on the classroom element of a wider blended course and as always with any new piece of work, it's good to take a step back and think "What if..?" before getting stuck in.

The course will be centred on customer experience and I am interested to know what new or emerging good practice / new tools and techniques people are designing into their classroom sessions these days?

New solutions, innovations and developments in the world of learning technologies are well documented and continually blogged about and are easy to tap into but it feels as if the anything relating to classroom is very much under the radar - so wondering if there's a missed opportunity here!

I get it that classrom has certain limitations built into it but am sure that there must have been some great new ideas put into place over recent years to add to the more traditional tool kit.  For me, the latter includes group discussions, case studies and scenarios, presenting back on a set brief, role plays and skills practice, knowledge checks, audio and video clips as stimuli etc. 

Any ideas on what people are doing over and above that list would be of real interest or even just any different takes on how best to leverage any of those items on the list.

Thanks all!


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  • Hi Duncan, 

    There is a real space for learning through play - having a game based approach in the classroom, where people are in a situation and have challenges to solve as a team, to score the most amount of points (the more subtle the detail, the more points they score). This works really well to engage people, but to also get a strong learning message across - learning through play is also very memorable.

    Real Play also works well - you could create a story that the whole days follows that they 'act out' their responses (not sure this would work with your audience though - as I know them).

    Another thing to consider is a scenario that builds throught the day - as things are learnt, the scenarion builds - then towards the end of the day there could be a real 'twist' that throws everything up in the air and they are timed to solve the issue for the customer?

    I'm happy to chat about any of these in more detail.



    • Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for these ideas.  Some really good suggestions here.  We can talk through more next time we catch up!

      Thanks, Duncan

  • Hi Duncan, this has really had me thinking..as you are right new developments are in the main based around non-classroom based delivery.  All off the elements you set out are great tools for interactive classroom delivery so the tried and tested 'oldies' should certainly not be written off - however could there be space for some integration of tech too perhaps?  So additional collaboration via technology, rather than traditional teach back sessions - get the groups to record on their phones and then share with the rest of the group, adding short microlearning sessions at points in the day, relevant to the content, and serving to give a 'break' and refresh the group - perhaps sessions of 3-5 minutes which 'disrupt' the rest of the delivery?  Also gamification comes to mind - awards, prizes etc. have long been used in classroom delivery, so perhaps reviving this element, with badges and tokens etc. which can be earned individually and collaboratively, perhaps in digital format too?  As with some of our online programmes, working throughout the learning immersed within a case study organisation, can be really effective, and become a great framework to make the learning cohesive.

    • Thanks Kathryn, some interesting ideas here.  Definitely keen to look at building more collaboration in through use of technology. The point about gamification is a great suggestion to and I can see this would particularly work well with learners in sales based roles.  I really like the idea of 'disrupting' the delivery with microlearning sessions.  I need to explore microlearning generally but can you highlight any case studies or examples of how it works in this particular context please?

      • Hi Duncan - here's a link to micro learning which brings together various external links and resources too:


        As I question in the post itself - asking if micro learning is just a name for something we already do/utilise - is worth reflecting on.  To me it doesn't really matter either way, the important aspect is that short sharp bite size sessions bring something different and dynamic, especially when positioned at perhaps unexpected times (to the learner) - and whether used in isolation in a given period or to break up something longer and more traditional, are still very much the same?  As an example - within a given subject, there could be associated 'drills' or step by step processes/procedures the learners need to know and be able to perform faultlessly - I know in my aviation training experience that was a common feature.   By looking at these in intermittent 'bursts' (rather than simply by rote as was the 'norm') throughout the programme, (dynamic fun, shout out/get up on your feet type activities) learning occurs almost without realising - and in this instance the sense of urgency and need for action associated with the learning was built in too.  It also was a collaborative approach which again supported the crew or team element required.  This may not be micro learning in the truest sense, but really does work, and I believe could be applied in many contexts?

        Micro learning – same old or revolutionary?
        This week’s GoodPractice podcast discusses the concept of ‘micro learning’. Micro learning emerged as a hot topic for 2016 in Donald Taylor’s L&D Glo…
        • Thanks for this additional information and the link to the podcast Kathryn, really useful and definitely something I can explore.  Thanks for your help!


          Micro learning – same old or revolutionary?
          This week’s GoodPractice podcast discusses the concept of ‘micro learning’. Micro learning emerged as a hot topic for 2016 in Donald Taylor’s L&D Glo…
  •  Hi Duncan

    I have seen more use of You Tube and clips from Ted Talks in the 'classroom' over the last 12-18 months. Also more intentional practice, involving the facilitator giving each member of the group a 'real play' scenario.


    • Thanks Karen, I've not come across 'intentional practice' before (to my knowledge!) Can you recommend any good resources to learn more about this?  Also 'real play' sounds interesting.  How does this differ from the (dreaded!) role play?

      • Hi Duncan

        Real play is about creating the context of the situation at the same time as allowing the learner to be themselves. So where in role play they would act or take on the persona of someone else, real play is more about the learner using real situations from within the workplace and practicing them in a safe environment. So for example this works well for courses such as coaching skills, where the individual can actually bring a case study/real example to the workshop to work through and play out in a safe environment using the skills and techniques they have learned during the session. Also learners don't  necessarily need to practice with one another, you could bring actors in or other experts from inside/outside the organisation.

        Intentional  practice is practice with a purpose!  Intentional practice requires focuses attention from the learner and is conducted with a specific goal of mastering a skill or improving performance. Intentional practice starts in the classroom with an activity such as real play but then continues in the workplace. It takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic so it is key with soft skills that the intentional practice is done each day for that period of time to truly embed it.

        Hope this helps


        • Thanks Karen, that's really helpful follow up. Thanks for your time in bringing each of those to life!

          Thanks, Duncan

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