No two people learn exactly the same way or at the same pace. A program’s content may be easily understood by some learners, while others may find it harder to comprehend. Similarly, some learners may prefer certain types of training methods and activities over others. For example, some students may prefer small group activities, while others may prefer lecture and large group discussion.
Another characteristic of high business value training, is that it recognizes learner differences and preferences and incorporates strategies and techniques to improve the effectiveness of the training for each learner. Said another way, high business value training is learner focused.
The purpose of this month’s blog post is to introduce basic strategies and techniques that can be used to attend to learner differences and preferences. Some of the approaches are built into the design of the program, while others are used when the program is delivered. Provided below are fifteen techniques that can be used.
- The design and implementation of the program encourages learners to be responsible for their own learning and professional development
- The design and implementation of the program encourages learners to make connections between the program content and on the job performance
- The learning program is available to learners at a time that is convenient to them
- Adjustments are made to the depth, breadth, and pace of the program to meet the needs of individual learners
- Learners receive individualized feedback regarding their progress towards learning goals and objectives
- Learners are provided opportunities to reflect upon what they have learned and are encouraged to monitor their comprehension
- Learners are provided opportunities to create summaries and record notes and ideas in a manner that is beneficial to them
- Learners are provided opportunities to receive additional help or remediation that might be needed to master new knowledge and skills
- Learners are provided with information regarding how they can learn more about the topic on their own
- A variety of motivational strategies are used to accommodate learner differences
- Learning methods and strategies are varied to accommodate for various learning styles (visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic)
- Learning strategies, activities, and delivery methods are varied to accommodate for different learner preferences
- Learners are asked to elaborate on the material presented with examples from their existing knowledge and experience
- Adjustments are made throughout the program to ensure the needs of learners with sensory impairments (e.g., visual, auditory) are met
- Adjustments are made throughout the program to ensure the needs of learners with physical disabilities are met
In review, no two people learn at the same pace or in the same way. Different elements of a learning program might register with some learners and not with others. Similarly, some learners may prefer certain types of learning methods and activities over others.
This blog post shared some basic strategies and techniques that can be used to attend to learner differences and preferences. Some of the approaches must be designed into the instructional program, while others are used when the program is facilitated. Using the strategies and techniques will increase the overall effectiveness of the program, and ultimately help ensure the training is of high business value.