Boost your training effectiveness – Learning theory in a nutshell

Posted on: September 1, 2014

You probably know that I spend a large amount of time designing, developing and delivering training sessions and facilitating workshops – for a range of strategy, business development and personal skills. Through my studies in psychology, coaching and counselling I have considered many frameworks to support effective learning and new skill development. I have written before about NLP – and how school students are now assessed for whether they are visually, auditory or kinaesthetically dominant and this affects what methods are used to teach them https://www.kimtasso.com/what-is-nlp-neuro-linguistic-programming/ . Training effectiveness can be enhanced by incorporating learning and skill acquisition models.

One of my favourite learning models comes from Peter Honey. He has an assessment (let me know if you would like a copy kim@kimtasso.com ) that shows how people prefer to learn:

  • Pragmatists prefer to plan what they might do
  • Activists like to get on and experience something
  • Reflectors like to review what has happened
  • Theorists tend to form conclusions about what has happened

So, in an ideal training situation, there will be a mix of exercises that appeal to these different preferences.

The other learning tool that I like to use – particularly in coaching situations – is that of reflection. Gibb’s model of reflection has the following stages:

  1. Description – What happened?
  2. Feelings – What were you thinking and feeling?
  3. Evaluation – What was good and bad about the experience?
  4. Analysis – What sense can you make of the situation?
  5. Conclusion – What else could have been done?
  6. Action plan – If it arose again, what would you do?

This follows the dynamics of the reflective space which moves between internal and external energy for: disaggregation, framing, implication analysis, insight, reframing, options and action.

Playing is another learning method and children will deploy a number of learning strategies including: repetition, rehearsal and play-acting. Psychologists know that children go through both assimilation (incorporating new knowledge into their internal mental models) and accommodation (expanding existing mental models to make room for new ideas). All of which appear in some form in my sessions.

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