Training from the Back of the Room

Training from the Back of the Room

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What is Training from the Back of the Room?

Training from the Back of the Room is an approach to designing and delivering learning experiences. Based on Sharon Bowman’s  books “Training from the Back of the Room” and “Using Brain Science to Make Learning Stick”, this method leverages the science behind how the human brain learns.

When designing learning experiences, lessons are structured to address 4 Cs:

  • Connections: What does the learner already know about the topic?
  • Concepts: What does the learner need to know about it?
  • Concrete Practice: Can the learner do it or teach it to someone else?
  • Conclusions: How does the learner plan to use it?
Learners are then engaged in activities that leverage 6 key principles of learning theory:

Images Trump Words

Long term memory of images is unlimited.

Talking Trumps Listening

Learning is social.

Movement Trumps Sitting

Exercise boosts brain power.

Writing Trumps Reading

Writing is a whole-brain task.

Shorter Trumps Longer

The brain learns best when content is divided in small chunks.

Different Trumps Same

The brain notices change.

Understanding the principles of how people learn, and designing training to get the most out of those principles is how we work at Netmind. Our NextB® Learning Framework is based on applying these principles not only in the classroom, but also in creating a new learning culture. Download our infographic to better understand the principles of Training from the Back of the Room.

Why is it important?

In recent years, the Agile Community has made Training from the Back of the Room an essential reference for all training and coaching professionals who want to teach courses that really achieve their goal; to help students learn.

The traditional training paradigm is for trainers to talk and learners to listen. But in order for learning to be effective, strategies must include active participation and individual accountability. Training From the Back of the Room provides topic-independent guidance on designing and delivering training that turns listeners into learners.

BONUS! With a name like Training from the Back of the Room comes the implication of in-person training delivery. However, (with Sharon Bowman’s blessing) we designed a course that takes Training from the Back of the Room and applies them to a virtual environment. With our Training from Behind the Screen course, students will learn to design and facilitate courses which intended to be taught in a live, virtual setting. In this OpenClass® training session, students will gain the essential techniques and activities to connect with students interactively. In addition, the course includes practice with a complete ecosystem of online tools that complement the training.

Training from the Back of the Room Courses

Training from the Back of the Room Certifications

As a Training from the Back of the Room training partner since 2017, we deliver the official Training from the Back of the Room Practitioner course. Students who complete this course will receive a Certificate of Completion and may use the “TBR Practitioner” designation. The Practitioner course is a pre-requisite to attend the Trainer Certification Course. By attending Trainer Certification course and passing a practical “exam”, students will receive the Certified Trainer designation and can teach the Practitioner class to other students.  More details are available on the Training from the Back of the Room website.

TBR Certified Trainers

Ana Aranda

Ana Aranda

Lead Expert in Project Management

Kathy Claycomb

Kathy Claycomb

Senior Instructor

Miquel Rodríguez

Miquel Rodríguez

Consulting and Agility Director

Netmind Insights on Training from the Back of the Room