Imaging about After 8 hours of training, Participants left the room, as a trainer how many percents of knowledge you think trainees took? How can they apply a piece of knowledge to their real work and transform it into an experience?
To master a skill. Learners need to keep doing repeatedly or practice again and again until they perform it well. Like Shu Ha Ri, to reach to Ha or Ri level, you need to go through Shu level - It means "repeat" and "Practice makes perfect".
Practice knowledge right away when you are learning
Knowledge can't be applied is dead knowledge. Therefore, Learn and practice right away always is most effective. Because people can apply what they learned right away before they forget. I always have some small activities during a training belong with each session. I will ask all participants hand on, join it, and from this, they can understand more what they have learned in the early session.
Something you need to take into account if you want to create activities during your training session:
Mistakes are welcome
We learn from the mistake. Do you remember the first time you learn to ride a bicycle, did you fail? After that, you do better right? A mistake is part of your learning, and in a practice activity, it's the right time to have a mistake. Because it's doesn't have any risk.
Everybody needs to join
Don't just pick some trainees for practicing a skill and leave the remaining trainees just watch. All learners have a chance to practice, instead of looking some people do it only, this will bring a chance for everybody can have interaction, learn from each other and have a review when they practice.
E.g.: It's can be a game, presentation, Teach-Back... but everybody needs to join.
Have a game or practice activities which support and encourage the collaboration. This will increase social skills and learn from each other.
"Better learn your friend than your teacher"
Beside that, this also creates competition. But this case, competition is not bad if it is managed well in a positive atmosphere, from people who want to be better and learn more.
Individual accountability and Learning Goal.
Each individual has different knowledge level and expectation, as a trainer you need to help trainees know their own level of competency. Therefore, have time to discuss with your trainees, to understand and be familiar with the training outcome. Also write down their expectation of learning goal and individual accountability will help a lot.
Have learning goal, will help trainees focus on accountability during training to archive that goal. So your Practice Activity during a training needs to belong with that goal as well. Any practice or game doesn't relate to that learning goal is wasting time and don't bring any add-on value.