It was Valentine’s day last weekend and perhaps I’m still feeling a bit sappy because this week I’ve decided to write about the ways we love our learners. As JDE trainers, we get opportunities to provide training strategies to our customers that blend classroom training, web training and practice opportunities to maximize the time the learner can invest in getting up-to-speed. We think it’s important to utilize a multi-faceted delivery and support system to better accommodate and support today’s learners. Some of the most basic ways we do this are by delivering hands-on, engaging learning experiences via recorded learning, the Web and with live on-site training, all the while providing communication and documentation, and continued support and education opportunities even after a go-live. Underlying these larger initiatives is our desire to connect people to their learning in a way that can transform their world.
As software trainers, we realize that new technologies can create excitement but also anxieties. Good learning relationships need a nurturing environment, so we like to help make learners feel comfortable and cared for. In a training environment, this means making sure directions are clear, goals are set, any technology being used in training is well supported, and information is provided in a way that is structured around relevance to the learner and their end result.
The application of these broader teaching methodologies and practices must also take into account that every learner is different, so we like to present a variety of learning practices to adapt to different styles. This helps to keep not only individual learners engaged, but it can also encourage the development of a learning community as it helps to ensure active participation of all learners rather than a select few who happen to have the same learning style. Awareness around different forms of intelligence can lead to better connection, and ultimately to better learning.
Here are a few types of learners and the ways they need particular forms of attention and opportunity in their learning:
The Intrapersonal Learner
- Likes to engage on an emotional level
- Can be very self-reflective and aware of their inner state
- Likes to ask questions that relate to feelings, motivations or fear
- Can reflect on the impact of others to their experience for good or bad
- Needs opportunity to connect with others in learning and not feel isolated
The Verbal/Linguistic Learner
- Identifies the most with learning or experience through words and language
- Likes storytelling or listening to stories
- Can learn through case studies or interpretations of a text
- Participates well in learning forums that include chats or message boards
- May have a harder time learning with graphics or numbers
The Logical/mathematical Learner
- Uses reason, logic or numbers to practice or apply learning
- Learns through analyzing problems or developing theories
- Can learn through interviewing an expert
- Likes learning that is presented in the form of a matrix or complex problem
- May resist personal connection in learning or collaborative projects