Learn what it really means for someone to “get it.”
I observe dozens of instructors in various classrooms every week. When I finish an observation and sit down with the instructor to discuss it, I always ask the instructor, “How do you know if they got it?” I have discovered they usually don’t know the answer.
Some of them say it’s when nobody has any questions…nope.
Others say it’s when they notice everyone was paying attention…not good enough.
What I’m really trying to get at is how you can be sure they truly have “gotten” what it is you are teaching them. In this blog post, we will be discussing how you can tell if your audience “got it”… If you are a trainer or an instructor of any kind, you don’t want to miss this.
So what does “getting it” really mean? I’ll bet you have some idea, but maybe not the complete picture. In any event, let’s find out by starting with WHAT IT IS NOT.
Many think it’s the same as “attention” — If the instructor can keep the attention of the audience or classroom, they “got it”…not true. Others think it’s the same as “follow along” — If the students, trainees or audience members can follow along with what the instructor is saying or doing, they “got it” …also not true.
Still others think it’s the same as “classroom management” — If there are no discipline problems (no talking, no goofing around, no desks flying)… it’s a good day and likely, the students “got it”…again, not true.
If those are the things it’s not, then what is it?
Let’s gradually move into this realm by taking a look at some views that represent partial pictures of what it is.
We can start with the idea that “got it” is the same as “remembering”– if students can remember what they’ve been taught or what the instructor said, then they got it…partly true…but there’s more.
How about the belief “getting it” is the same as “understanding.” If they can understand what they’ve been taught, they’ve got it…PARTLY TRUE…and now we’re getting somewhere.
Lastly, there are those that equate “getting it” with being “able to do it” – If they can do what the instructor did, they got it…again, partly true…but something else has to accompany this “doing” to be able to truly say they “got it.”
Have you figured it out yet? Let’s try an experiment…If you need to, read through the article again to this point. Take a moment to think about, and in your own words decide, what YOU THINK the definition of “getting it” is in a learning environment. Make a mental or written note of your definition.
How to Determine if Your Students “Got it”?
Let’s see how you did. There are 3 main ways ‘getting it’ manifests itself in a classroom. I’ll define each of them for you so we can paint the complete picture of what it means when someone “gets it.”
Let’s start with a benchmark. A benchmark is a tool that enables learners to SHOW THEY UNDERSTAND what they’ve been taught. The key to a benchmark is learners are able to APPLY the understanding to a different situation that requires ‘the understanding.’
The second tool is called an Independent assessment. This is a tool that allows learners to SHOW THEY CAN DO A CRITICAL TASK they have been taught. The key here is they are able to APPLY the learning to another situation that requires a ‘different doing.’
The final tool is something most instructors are very familiar with…it’s called a review. It’s designed to allow learners to SHOW THEY REMEMBER something they were taught. The key here is they are able to APPLY the content they have remembered to a new situation that ensures they can use their new-found knowledge.
Do you have a new definition of the phrase, “got it?”
Let’s continue with the experiment…Read through the three tools above again, and revise the definitions with your own words to determine what YOU THINK the definition of “getting it” is in a learning environment.
Do you see what’s happening here?
As I ask you to think about your definitions of “got it” based on your interpretation of the content, your brain is being required to SYNTHESIZE information that has been presented to you.
Just like in a classroom where I could go around and ask each student to tell me what they came up with for a definition of “got it,” I can use your response to be able to tell how well you are understanding or remembering what you’ve been taught.
But in this case, I still don’t know whether you “got it” because I don’t know whether you can apply it. Right about now, you may be starting to “get it,” and you can see how it can change your life as an instructor or presenter.
There are some people who read this article that want to resist the “thinking” I’ve asked them to do.
Those individuals typically have a lack of understanding of what ‘got it’ really is. Some find the concept difficult, others find it annoying, still others find it unnecessary, but EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, if they really want to “get it,” needs to “apply it” or they haven’t really “got it” at all.
If you want to know more about the tools to determine whether your students ‘got it’,” then you’re not alone. Once instructors discover the power of this concept, they want to know how to do it. You can see it modeled for yourself by checking out my Intuitive Curriculum Development program.
Or, join our community in the Train the Trainer Lab here. There, you’ll see exactly how to set up any audience to be able to determine if they’ve got it, including additional techniques on how to get and keep their attention, manage pace, and answer questions, show credibility, build rapport and much, much more.