Time-on-Task: A Teaching Strategy that Accelerates Learning

As we find ways to improve workforce efficiency across various organizations, the place of staff training, teaching and learning cannot be overemphasized. The onus then lies on every facilitator to develop strategies that can help pass important information, knowledge, and skills to learners more effectively. Over the years, the hand-on approach to teaching has been extolled for its efficiency. However, during teaching and learning, sometimes time seems not to be enough. The facilitator is torn between ensuring all learning outcomes are achieved and limited time for achievement. Time-on-task strategy is a hands-on approach to teaching that could help facilitators save time while teaching or training their clients.

Prater (1992) defines Time-on-task as the number of time learners spend on teaching-related tasks. Educators generally see Time-on-task as “engaged time.” A seminar that is to last one hour may only involve thirty minutes of quality teaching. What takes up the remaining thirty minutes? There are probably, some little distractions from the environment, the facilitator, or learners themselves. To maximize learning time, we need to increase Time-on-task and reduce time spent on non-learning related tasks to the barest minimum.

How to Implement Time-On-Task When Teaching Your Team?

To be able to implement the Time-on-task strategy effectively, there will be a need for team leaders and facilitators to prepare thoroughly in advance of teaching. They should be able to foresee likely challenges and plan towards managing them in good time. Below is a guide on how to use the Time-on-task strategy to boost learning in employees and teams.

1. Plan learning tasks properly

Teachers and facilitators are expected to prepare thoroughly before engaging their learners. Proper preparation involves planning what methods to use to deliver specific skills and knowledge in learners. It also involves allocating time for learning activities such that it is appropriate for the learners. Concluding a lesson of one hour in forty-five minutes may be an indication that the teacher did not prepare well enough.

Take some time to practice your delivery. As you do, you can get insights into likely challenges that may come up so you can plan on how to manage them should they surface.

2. Use Efficient Learning Methods

How would you teach your employees about Enterprise Architecture Governance? You don’t want to bore your employees with your presentation. Use learning strategies that will make them active throughout the lesson. If you are enlightening them on a new idea, asking engaging questions as you proceed and waiting for them to give answers is excellent. Better still, if you are demonstrating a process, prepare materials that they can work with, so you can sustain their interests. Include as many appropriate activities that will help achieve the learning outcomes earlier set out.

3. Proper Transitions

As you move from one learning task, what indicators give you the green light to move on to the next learning objective? Is it clear to the learners that you are moving to a new concept? Have they grasped requisite skills from the previous tasks? These are essential questions to ask before making transitions. If transitions are made properly, learners’ interest is sustained, and learning becomes more effective.

4. Display Good Class Management Skills

Sometimes, unexpected situations may arise during some activities. It is the mark of an effective trainer to manage the situation as quickly and professionally as possible. Managing distractions is a skill that comes with lots of practice. However, if you take note of likely disruptions before the class, you may already have a way to manage such a situation.

5. Focus on Task

You want to achieve all the learning objectives within the stipulated time. This means zero tolerance for distractions. Be sure that everyone involved in the exercise is concentrating and actively engaged. Structure the instructions on your activities such that they are clear and brief enough to generate fast and accurate actions.

6. Use Timenotes Time Tracker To Boost Your Productivity

One of the activities that waste learning time is taking attendance. Rather than take using manual means, using an employee attendance tracker can save you lots of time. Time saved can be channeled into ensuring your learning outcomes are entirely taken care of. Automating employee attendance also removes unnecessary distractions and keeps your team focused on learning tasks at hand.


Teaching and learning are not limited to classrooms only. As companies try to implement change management in their organizations, teaching and learning play a key role in making change possible. As managers train their teams to upgrade skills and competencies, all hands must be on deck to help achieve a better workforce. An employee attendance tracker should help managers ensure everyone is carried along in the process.

What method have you recently used for training employees that have proven to be effective in your organization? Kindly share your opinions in the comment box below. We’d love to have your say.

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