You’ve no doubt run a problem by someone, only to discover in the course of the explaining the problem that you’ve figured out the answer.

That same process of explanation turns out to have a lot of value in coaching.

In a recent study, a control group of science students was asked to read a chapter twice. The other was asked to read the text and tell a tutor what each sentence meant – that is, explain it in their own words. The experimental group scored significantly higher on a post-test.

Application for trainers: When coaching, ask trainees to explain their understanding of the training – breaking the material down little by little, if necessary. That process has been shown to improve learning and memory.

Source: Wood, William, et al., “The Role of Lecturer as Tutor: Doing What Effective Tutors Do in a Large Class,” Spring 2012: Life Sciences Education, Vol. 11, p. 3-9.

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