Archive for the ‘Learning Styles’ Category

24. Don’t Talk So Much

Often, the more your talk the less learning is happening.  Others often have to say the words to learn something and they can’t do that when you’re talking

25. Add a Little Music

All the research shows that music improves verbal memory.  This means adding music to education but also studying and playing music. 

26. Build a Wiki

As you start any new job or new learning environment, you are bombarded with new words and acronyms.  Sometimes you’ll find a written glossary or list of terms but it’s usually out-of-date and hard to find.  Terms and acronyms are easy to load to a Wiki which is like an online encyclopedia.  The advantage of a Wiki is that it’s easy to update and everyone has access to add or modify information rather than waiting for periodic updating. 

27. Don’t Forget Memory Techniques

Most people remember things through repetition.  There are dozens of other techniques that speed up the memory process by linking and rearranging things to make them easier to remember.  For example, it’s easier to remember the words to a song than a poem. 

Putting words to music is just one memory technique.  In building courses, a lot of the time you can build in information delivery in a way that’s easier to remember.  Often a model or map can be used to organize information in a way that helps visual learners.

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Microsoft Office 2003 Professional  originally uploaded by Kris Kumar.

I’ve been surprised by all the people I’ve met who still use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. They know the minimum amount of features by they still use it a lot like a typewriter.

Ask someone, do you know how to use styles? This will tell you all you need to know about what they know and don’t know.

The problem in learning this program is that people either have to learn on their own so they don’t even know what they should be learning, or they learn about features but never learn how to apply to their work.

When I’m doing facilitation, we often work with these document on a projector instead of flip charts. I’ll tell you that we spend more time on how things were done than the content. It’s the first time most people have see these features.

So when teaching any type of software, I’d forgot about teaching functionality and focus more on how it change the way people work.

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I think this is an interesting topic in the world of accelerated learning.  Most people learn by trial and error.  They really have not formal education on how to learn.  The question is, “is learning a skill like everything else that can be taught?”

One of the more interesting ways to learn how to learn is to try to teach something.  When you do this, you have to struggle with why others aren’t learning what you’re teaching or it doesn’t stick very long. 

Part of it is understanding your own learning style so you can productively work on learning something.  For example, I know people who need to write things down to understand and remember something while others need to actually see a demonstration.  So if this isn’t part of the way the teacher teaches than can you translate it for yourself.

I also think there are a lot of trick and techniques for things like taking tests, writing papers and even studying.  They aren’t always one size fits all, but they’re a start.   I remember when I was in school that there were two types of kids that got good grades.  One group that really studied hard and spent a lot of time going over things.  The other group didn’t study much at all but seem to do well.  I think they knew something the other kids didn’t.  Because of the school I went to, you can rule out difference in IQs or even social background.  They were very similar and at the higher end. 

My guess is that one group did things the hard way and the other group had learned how to learn. 

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If you haven’t see this video, it’s really funny.  Language is a little blue.  It’s part of a series of videos.

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Here’s another interesting video on the digital learner.  Does it show a generational divide?

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Here’s a fun little video on digital learners.  Give it peek and leave a comment

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Here’s a little something that I’ve been thinking about on learning styles.  I find that when I do a sales call or present a concept it often helps to create an analogy or find some visual way of presenting the content.  When I do it right, there’s an Ah! Ha! I get what you mean.

In golf, I know that there are some players who have learned by  watching great players swing.  They see the motion and tempo and can replicate what they see.  Others can’t in fact, they think they are doing the same thing but aren’t.  There are also feel players.  These players improve once they can feel what it’s like to do it right.  In fact, they learn more from their successes than failures.

So I think as you lay out a training curriculum it’s good to see if you are addressing these different learning styles and not getting into the rut of always doing it the same.

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I was listening to the radio the other day and I heard something interesting about top chefs.   The person being interviewed stated that most of the top chefs are visual learners.  He said that they learned by looking at how other chefs placed there hands and they created a new dish as well as needing to see what things looked liked.  He said they learned from images and not words.  Don’t tell me what to do show me. 

 He said there were some exceptions but by in large most great chefs are visual learners.  So I wonder if this holds true for other professions.  Do writers think in words or think in pictures?  I haven’t studied so I don’t really now but it’s a thought to consider.

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Learning Styles

There is a lot of value in looking at delivering training to match up with different learning styles including differences in generations.   However, a lot of those theories are still concerned about knowledge acquisition. 

There is still a huge gap between knowing and doing that it’s easy to forget what it will take to put knowledge into action.  In almost everything, it still requires hours and hours of practice and repetition.  No matter how you teach sales in a classroom it often takes hundreds of sales calls to really apply new techniques in a meaningful way.

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This is the best quick sysnopsis of all the various learning theories, models and paradigms.  I’m sure there are more everyday but it’s always good to at least know what the common ones are.  Check Learning Theories.

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