Session title: HoT2 – Techniques for engaging learners

Creating learning experiences that last a lifetime


Half-day session.

Information for event organisers

Following on from the HoT Learning session, which focuses on the bigger picture of what constitutes an outstanding lesson, HoT2 helps delegates begin the process of challenging and developing their teaching approach. Delegates are introduced to four tasks:

  • creating an exciting ‘zone’ experience
  • planning a ‘play-day’ lesson
  • exploring and evaluating over 30 specific strategies for working with groups, and
  • the pre-lesson review.

The ‘zone’ experience. Delegates are challenged to develop a learning experience their learners will never forget. After a brief introduction to two distinctive development strategies, delegates create either an exciting ‘zone’ experience or plan a ‘play-day’ lesson. The zone-experience work looks at Czikszentmihalyi’s formula for ‘optimal flow’, which could be thought of as a formula for happiness or fulfilment. Using eight key aspects of the formula, staff plan to give their learners an unforgettable, immersive learning experience – with potentially profound consequences for how lessons are planned in the future.

The ‘play-day’ lesson. The function of a ‘play-day’ lesson is to provide teachers with a non-syllabus-based lesson that can be delivered in emergency situations, such as when covering for absent colleagues, even across subject areas. Though centred on fun, a play-day lesson will teach an underlying aspect of learning rather than a specific vocational topic; think creativity rather than painting; think exploration and debate rather than quadratic equations; think competition and team work rather than engine management systems… Business imperative aside, these also become powerful additions to any scheme of work and help refocus future planning on underpinning elements of expert learning rather than simply the delivery of yet more syllabus content.

Bite-size teaching strategies. In the second half of the session, delegates explore a wide range of very specific teaching strategies for working with groups. Delegates are challenged to sort the strategies into three categories: those they use well, those they’ve tried, but would like to improve, and those they have never tried before. For many delegates, this final category can be very stimulating – firing their curiosity and crisply articulating their development needs.

  • ‘I have now some ideas to expand my teaching strategies in lots of areas.’
  • ‘I’ve found a new recipe book I want to try.’
  • ‘Just what I need to improve my repertoire after teaching adults for many years.’

Gloucester College

Each of the tasks concludes with an ‘ideas plan’ to ensure that any new learning is embedded through specific actions after the session.

Pre-lesson review. Finally, delegates are introduced to the idea of a pre-lesson review to challenge them to evaluate the potential effectiveness of a lesson before they deliver it. Assessment headings include: using curiosity, discovery learning, motivating learners, making learning fun, high expectations, and developing independent learners. Again, this can have a profound impact on the way teachers plan, reducing the need for policing through regular observations.

Publicity information for potential delegates

In a busy college, finding time to research and develop new teaching strategies can be difficult. So in this session, you will explore a wide range of specific strategies to challenge your status quo, produce a lesson on expert learning skills that can be used with any group of learners at a moment’s notice, and use the formula for happiness to produce a lesson learners will never forget.

This session will enable delegates to:

  • be able to use The Formula for Happiness to design an immersive learning experience, or
  • be able to design a cover lesson to be used by themselves when covering for absent teachers
  • be able to assess the potential effectiveness of a lesson plan by producing an evaluation of the use of curiosity and the development of independent learning skills, and the clarity of the learning outcomes
  • have explored a range of teaching techniques and identified at least two with which they would like to experiment.

What the delegates say

  • For an overview of feedback on this session, please click here.

These comments can be invaluable when generating curiosity about forthcoming training.


Half-day session. Typical uses in a staff development day include:

HoT2 (group 1) HoT2 (group 2)
HoT Learning HoT2
HoT2 Wiki Wonderland
HoT2 ‘Yes, we’re all individuals’ Brian, 1979
HoT2 Transformational lesson observation
Independent learning  HoT2


To discuss your requirements in detail, please phone or drop us a line.