Training evaluation has always been a hot topic in L&D, but it can often mean different things to different people
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Focusing on mentoring at the expense of authority is at the heart of what Kim Shepherd's company Decision Toolbox does. L&D professionals can learn a lot from this approach.
Having looked at a lot of the 'e-learning' initiatives, I realized that we are making a big assumption that learning happens. The more appropriate name should be, 'e-teaching'. Perhaps this would push the industry and the academics to go much deeper to make the 'teaching' more effective to ensure learning happens.
It doesn't matter how good e-learning is (or becomes), person to person learning should never be abandoned altogether.
My view is that it is helpful to look at "learning styles" in conjunction with the concept of the learning cycle. I think that people tend to differ in which part of the learning cycle they are most comfortable with. The issue is that to learn many types of things, you need to experience all four parts of the learning cycle. There are two implications from this. First, it's about how you appeal to people at the start. Do you tell a story, provide a framework, discuss the application of the concept (etc)? People are attracted differently. Second, how do you appeal to people along the way, to ensure that you get them to address all parts of the learning cycle and embed the concept? Some people may like the experiential story, but a mental framework may still be an essential part of the learning. Having said this, I think there is a lot of truth in what David Boud says.
There are plenty of supportive studies for learning styles. here's one:
Kinshuk Æ Tzu-Chien Liu Æ Sabine Graf Coping with mismatched courses: students’ behaviour
and performance in courses mismatched to their learning styles
Education Tech Research Dev (2009) 57:739–752
"This finding shows that learners with strong learning style preferences can especially benefit from adaptivity, either aiming at providing them with courses that match with their learning styles or providing them with suggestions on how to learn from mismatched courses."
It's an exciting time to be an L&D professional. We’re in the throes of a revolution in learning that’s long overdue!
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