Sunday, 24 July 2005

Ten Tips for New Trainers/Teachers

"Ten Tips for New Trainers/Teachers" is a post which we should print out, pin up and make sure that we can read it from our seat. These eleven things to know and ten tips (in fact, there are twelve things to know and eleven tips) summarize the latest thinking and practice in teaching and learning and they are all good advice.

I went into teaching about 30 years ago immediately after I graduated from my Science Bachelor degree. At that time, teaching was viewed as a transmission of knowledge, at least to me at that time. Kathy Sierra correctly pointed out that "because you've been a student, you can teach well" is devaluing the art of teaching and is a completely ridiculous idea. Unfortunately, the e-learning industry is still very much driven by this concept of learning today. Content is still king.

Just-in-time has nothing to do with learning. Just-in-time delivery of content is about job-support, providing information for someone to accomplish a task or a problem. Repeat after me: Just-in-time has nothing to do with learning.

I never learnt anything just-in-time. When I have a problem at hand, I need to solve the problem and I find a solution for it. How many times you found yourself in the same situation? How many times you go back and consult the same information which you used to solve the same problem not too long ago? Many, right?

When a piece of information is delivered to me to meet a task at hand, my focus is on solving the problem or completing the task. There is NO TIME to learn. Once the task is completed, I felt relieved and I forgot whatever that solved the problem AND move on to the next time.

After solving a task at hand, I can learn only if I have time to reflect, organise my "learning", and convert the experience into my repertoire for the next use.

So, next time when there is a group of people who have allocated a slot of time for learning. I will follow these tips AND will also leave some time for them to convert the learning experience into learning.

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