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Trainer Skills Workshop (NRCS-NEDC-000139)

Formerly known as Effective Instruction - Level 1


This course provides the basic knowledge and practice to become an effective instructor. The training is based on the book, Telling Ain Training by Dr. Harold Stolovitch. The purpose of the Trainer Skills Workshop (TSW) is to help trainers understand that their principal role is to transform, not to transmit. Learning requires a change in cognitive (mental) structures. Dumping information onto learners who do not assimilate all they are told is not instruction. Telling is not enough. The trainer must build activities that help learners learn. The TSW provides trainers with the basics for transforming what they know into a form that is digestible to their learners. The philosophy of the TSW can be summed up in a few simple sentences:

  • Learners learn if they see something in it for them personal benefits.
  • Learners learn by doing, not by listening. The more learners do that is meaningful to them, the more they acquire and retain.
  • A trainer is not judged by how well he or she performs, but by how well learns perform.

In addition to a variety of exercises and group activities, learners will prepare and present a 10-minute lesson, will be videotaped and will receive feedback on their demonstrated skills from a professional instructor.


The overall learning objectives are that at the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the critical features of effective training.
  • Describe how both theory and practice affect training.
  • Describe key adult learning principles and apply them to training sessions.
  • Apply a five-step model for structuring training sessions.
  • Describe and try out a variety of techniques for transforming telling to training.
  • Create and deliver training sessions that include sound adult learning and design principles as well as effective training techniques.


Platform skills will not be taught in this course. While not mandatory, completion of the NEDC training Effective Presentations is recommended prior to attending this course. Learners will be required to develop and deliver a 10-minute lesson, along with visual aids. To facilitate the activity, learners are required to bring a laptop loaded with MS PowerPoint to class along with content material sufficient to develop a 10-minute lesson. This lesson can be on any subject that the learner seslects and does not have to be NRCS related.


Class will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday and end at 12:00 noon on Thursday.

Target Audience

Any employee in the NRCS that is required to instruct at any level in the Agency.

NEDC Contact

Sue Brooks


Go to AgLearn to request enrollment in Trainer Skills Workshop (NRCS-NEDC-000139).