This was the subject line of an email I received this morning from Barbara Carnes from maketrainingstick.com. In the email there was a suggestion that I have used before in different situations that can really help to make training stick.
At the conclusion of the class, have the participants write down one to three (or Barbara’s worksheet has even more) items that they are making a personal commitment to go back to their workplace and try to use immediately. That’s the key, they have to use it right away or it will slip away as the normal routine of their desk/cubicle/office/whatever takes hold again.
You can also have them give the trainer a copy of their commitment. In one long course I facilitated we did this by letting the participants each put their commitments in sealed personal and confidential envelopes which the trainer then returned to them about six weeks after the conclusion of the course. In this case the subject matter was such that they would need some time to try and use their new skills and techniques. It also provided a nice reinforcement and re-energizing point of contact well after the course.
Instead of just providing your students with a list of takeaways as a summary and review, let them come up with their own list and try to find ways to check to see if they follow through on them.