I have been really trying to wrap my brain around how to make a greater impact on students? How can I help people learn differently? There have been several studies on how people learn and the various learning styles and preferences. Everything is out there from the VARK (visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic) learning preferences to learning styles such as linguistic, mathematical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, musical, body, etc.
If a corporation had to provide training to all of their employees in a timely manner, are they going to have time to be able to assess their employees’ preferred learning style? Yes, in the ideal world but no, this rarely occurs. Getting into the mind of the learner prior to the learning experience is imperative. Depending on the circumstances, the training team rarely has the time to fully evaluate every learner but may only be able to poll/survey a few or just perform a needs analysis with the training requestor.
Does that result in an unsuccessful learning experience? No, it doesn’t. Training is still completed and learning (sometimes) still occurs. It might not have been an unsuccessful experience but the ultimate goal is to create a lasting impact, inspire change, and provoke action that leads to a more knowledgeable company, increased production, and amplified revenue. So if a corporation is not able to do a full analysis of their learners and create a customized experience to maximize the time and produce the ultimate goal, what can make a difference in the learning encounter? Motivation.
People, mostly, do things based on intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Rather, it is personally rewarding to acquire knowledge and fills the learner with joy or the desire to complete training is based on promotion or recognition from their manager. Just imagine making a connection to that which motivates the learner and how impactful the learning experience will be.
Too often trainers or managers just focus on providing content and making sure training is checked off a list of things to do. Let’s try something new and approach learning differently. Connect to the learners’ internal or external motivators to make sure there are no more moments of dreading training and thinking it is a waste of time but conceive an impactful experience that they can see beneficial to them and their organizations. Make learning personable, fun, intriguing, thought-provoking, and rewarding!
How can this be accomplished? Training is provided to employees to empower and equip them in order to be successful at their job. Most HR departments are connected to the training group that manages the system that house the database of all the users/ employees in an organization. When a newly hired employee is going through the on-boarding process, they are required to complete a series of courses (online and/or in a classroom). Along with providing information about the organization and their new role, organizations can start building their relationship with their employee(s) and let them know that they have a real interest in their professional growth and want to guide them to the best path to success. A short learning style and preference questionnaire can be administered as well as a survey based on their past learning experience, what they need to perform their job, and recommendations for the organization can be provided to the employee and then linked to their profile in the system for future reference. Tackling these imperative questions at the beginning of the process does not only eliminate time later when a need arise but provide the organization with the information needed to produce the best form of training that will get them closer to achieving their ultimate goals. With information being the key to so many solutions, an organization can use this data to not only project how their employee will learn but how to create the right career path for within the organization or assist with knowing which work groups fits best for them. Basically, starting with an analysis within the onboarding process can end successfully on multiple levels.
Now, this is just one approach to the mystery question: How can we help people learn differently? There are so many other ideas we can brainstorm to reach our desired result. Consider multiple possibilities before tackling your next training challenge.
Keep in Mind: Know your learner and tap into what motivates them to do their job and connect it to training. Align the objective of the training with the purpose of your organization and integrate that with the needs of the learners and motivate them before, throughout, and after the experience to cultivate the desire for a learning environment.
Let’s make learning different!