Archive for June, 2012

Effective Conflict Resolution training

Posted in conflict resolution on June 13th, 2012 by Chris – Be the first to comment

Active Learning

Ever wondered why after sending staff on costly training they come back to work and after a few days they’ve got back in to the same habits the training was designed to break?

This can happen for a number of reasons but is usually because the training has failed to ‘actively’ involve them in learning. This is not to say that the tutor lacked expertise or subject knowledge, nor even that the delegate wasn’t enthused by what they heard, but all too often corporate training is presented in the form of a lecture, by a tutor presenting from the front of the room using power point – in sessions that may be up to 90 minutes duration without a break.

It’s not called ‘death by power point’ for nothing!

What you may not know is that the adult human concentration span is limited to between twelve and twenty minutes and for children this is even shorter. By forty minutes in, the learner has taken just about as much as they can before they begin to lose their ability to concentrate and everything else that follows washes over them. This is known as passive learning.

So how do expert tutors manage this effect?

Active learning is currently a hot topic with educationalists. Ways of designing training using active learning methods are of particular interest to researchers seeking ways to engage and effectively deliver education to school children. And for anyone buying corporate training there is no reason why this research shouldn’t deliver benefits for you as well.

‘Research shows that active learning is much better recalled, enjoyed and understood. Active methods require us to ‘make our own meaning’, that is, develop our own conceptualisations of what we are learning. During this process we physically make neural connections in our brain, the process we call learning. Passive methods such as listening do not require us to make these neural connections or conceptualisations’. Geoff Petty – Teaching Today

From this research educators found that by changing the pace of delivery – by giving learners a task to complete which uses the skill or knowledge taught, that skill or knowledge is ‘embedded’ more efficiently with the learner. The learner gets an opportunity to practice what they have been taught; the tutor observes learners using their new found skill or knowledge and checks to make sure that they have understood/mastered what was presented, correcting any misconceptions. Best of all concentration levels don’t flag as much as they would in a lecture. By using the skills/knowledge at the time of training – when learning is revisited in the workplace, recall is more efficient and hence you get a better result for your training budget. So next time you think about booking training, try asking what sort of active learning methods the provider uses to embed learning!

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