Preparing and designing Learning and Development Activities In this assignment I will address factors which influence learning and development activities, focusing on adult learning, organisational factors and key legislation which must be adhered to. I will describe different learning methods and learning resources and highlight both the advantages and disadvantages of each. I will also plan and prepare a full training session including development activities for a Team Manager with the objective for them to effectively manage the attendance of their employees. Factors Relating to Adult Learning
Andragogy (adult learning) is a theory that holds a set of assumptions about how adults learn. Andragogy emphasises the value of the process of learning, It uses approaches to learning that are problem-based and collaborative, and also emphasises more equality between the teacher and learner. Knowles identified the six principles of adult learning outlined below:
1. Adults are internally motivated and self-directed – Your role is to facilitate a students’ movement toward more self-directed and responsible learning as well as to foster the student’s internal motivation to learn.
2. Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences – Adults like to be given opportunity to use their existing foundation of knowledge and experience gained from life experience, and apply it to their new learning experiences.
3. Adults are goal oriented – Adult students become ready to learn when “they experience a need to learn it in order to cope more satisfyingly with real-life tasks or problems” (Knowles)
4. Adults are relevancy oriented – Adult learners want to know the relevance of what they are learning to what they want to achieve.
5. Adults are practical – Through practical fieldwork experiences, interacting with real clients and their real life situations, students move from classroom and textbook mode to hands-on problem solving where they can recognise first hand how what they are learning applies to life and the work context.
6. Adult learners like to be respected.
Adult Learning Cycle
Kolb learning styles:
Diverging (feeling and watching – CE/RO) -Kolb called this style ‘Diverging’ because these people perform better in situations that require ideas-generation, for example, brainstorming. People with the Diverging style prefer to work in groups, to listen with an open mind and to receive personal feedback. Assimilating (watching and thinking – AC/RO) – The Assimilating learning preference is for a concise, logical approach. Ideas and concepts are more important than people. People with this style are more attracted to logically sound theories than approaches based on practical value. Converging (doing and thinking – AC/AE) – People with a Converging learning style can solve problems and will use their learning to find solutions to practical issues.
People with a Converging learning style are more attracted to technical tasks and problems than social or interpersonal issues. People with a Converging style like to experiment with new ideas, to simulate, and to work with practical applications. Accommodating (doing and feeling – CE/AE) – The Accommodating learning style is ‘hands-on’, and relies on intuition rather than logic. These people use other people’s analysis, and prefer to take a practical, experiential approach. People with an Accommodating learning style prefer to work in teams to complete tasks. They set targets and actively work in the field trying different ways to achieve an objective. Barriers to Adult Learning
Barriers that are associated with adult learning include;
poor writing skills
lack of sufficient time
lack of funds
lack of persistence or motivation
Other barriers include gender discrimination, age discrepancies, language problems, and lack of support from employers, friends, and family.
Organisational factors which impact design of learning and development activities
1. Organisational policy and culture
2. Financial Factors
3. Timing and timescales
4. Equality of opportunity
5. Learner factors
6. Organisational priorities
Key legislation relevant to learning and development activities
Equality and diversity
Health and safety
The Visual Style – People who learn best through visual aids have a visual learning style. Visual aids include facial expressions and gesticulations of teachers, pictures, texts with illustrations, DVDs, etc. Advantage: It makes recollection easier when, in an environment different from where you had learned the information, you see pictures similar to those through which you learned the information. Disadvantage: the difficulty you experience when only texts and speeches are available for learning, without any visual aids.
The Auditory Style – Some people prefer to learn by hearing what they want to learn. Theirs is the auditory learning style. To learn, such people would prefer listening to discussions, talking matters over, reading out of texts or making use of e-courses containing audio recordings. Advantage of this style is that you assimilate and retain information without having to see it in texts or pictures. Disadvantage: the difficulty of learning among silently reading learners EG in a Library.
The Read/Write Style – If you learn best by reading texts or writing down notes from what you read, see or hear, then you are a read/write learner. Read/write learners need writing materials to take down points they think important from what they read, hear or see. Advantage of making them more self-dependent because with their note taking, they can learn much by themselves. Disadvantage of not being able to learn easily where the only medium of instruction is visual or audio, or where they do not have access to writing materials.
The Kinesthetic Style – Kinesthetic learners prefer to learn by moving and doing. They prefer interactive learning, learning through practical challenges and hands-on experience and taking in information as they move from one place to another. Kinesthetic learners are therefore not comfortable sitting in a place for long. Advantage of exposing learners faster to practice and evidence: You learn as you practice and practice what you learn; you see the evidence of what you had digested with difficulty from texts or discussions. Disadvantages where there are no places to move to for such live experience and nobody to interactive with.
Instructor-led training remains one of the most popular training techniques for trainers. There are many resources used including: whiteboard, power point presentation etc… Advantages Instructor-led classroom training is an efficient method for presenting a large body of material to large or small groups of employees. It is a personal, face-to-face type of training as opposed to computer-based training and other methods we will discuss later. It ensures that everyone gets the same information at the same time. It is cost-effective, especially when not outsourced to guest speakers. Storytelling grabs people’s attention.
Sometimes it is not interactive.
Too much of the success of the training depends on the effectiveness of the lecturer. Scheduling classroom sessions for large numbers of trainees can be difficult—especially when trainees are at multiple locations. There are many ways that you can break up training sessions and keep trainees attentive and involved, including: Small group discussions. Break the participants down into small groups and give them case studies or work situations to discuss or solve. This is a good way for knowledgeable veteran employees to pass on their experience to newer employees. Case studies. Adults tend to bring a problem-oriented way of thinking to workplace training. Case studies are an excellent way to capitalize on this type of adult learning.
By analysing real job-related situations, employees can learn how to handle similar situations. They can also see how various elements of a job work together to create problems as well as solutions. Q & A sessions. Informal question-and-answer sessions are most effective with small groups and for updating skills rather than teaching new skills. For example, some changes in departmental procedure might easily be handled by a short explanation by the supervisor, followed by a question-and-answer period and a discussion period. Role-playing. By assuming roles and acting out situations that might occur in the workplace, employees learn how to handle various situations before they face them on the job. Role-playing is an excellent training technique for many interpersonal skills, such as customer service, interviewing, and supervising.
Interactive sessions keep trainees engaged in the training, which makes them more receptive to the new information. They make training more fun and enjoyable.
They provide ways for established employees to pass on knowledge and experience to newer employees. They can provide in-session feedback to trainers on how well trainees are learning. Disadvantages
Interactive sessions can take longer because activities, such as taking quizzes or breaking into small groups, are time-consuming. Some method can be less structured, and trainers will need to make sure that all necessary information is covered.