This study aims to explore the phenomenon of training engagement from the trainers perspective. Specifically, two questions guided this inquiry. First, how do trainers define engagement in the training context? and What strategies do trainers use to engage trainees?
The collective case study approach was adopted for this qualitative study. Seven cases were selected for in-depth analyses. Data were collected through individual, face-to-face interviews and analyzed using the constant comparative analysis method.
Major findings suggest that engaging training practices take various forms. They include being trainee-centered, maximizing learning through entertaining and interesting instruction, accommodating different learning styles, eliciting trainee participation by creating an encouraging learning environment and connecting with trainees by building rapport early in a training session.
The small sample limits the generalizability of the findings. However, this study expands training literature by focusing on an under-explored research area, the role of engaging trainees in maximizing learning outcomes.
For trainers, this study offered some specific strategies they can use to engage learners in the training context to achieve desired learning outcomes. In addition, the seven cases selected for this study may be used as a benchmark against which both experienced and novice trainers compared their own practices.
This is one of very few qualitative studies with a focus on emotional aspects involved in training. The rich data from this study shed light on areas for future improvement, particularly regarding how to effectively engage trainees to maximize learning outcomes.