Why Many Learning Experiences Aren’t Meaningful to Learners (and What to Do About It)

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Online Forums 2011 - December 8, 2011
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Patti Shank

President
Learning Peaks

Many learning experiences we design aren’t as meaningful for learners as they need to be. Learners often don’t find these experiences relevant to their needs. Learners feel controlled and force-fed. These certainly aren’t optimal conditions for learning. Rather, they’re optimal for tuning out, defiance, or only doing what is necessary for completion but not for commitment. The truth is — according to physiological, psychological, and other research —much training is designed in a way that sucks the life out of us. Why would we chose to do this to our learners?

In this session, participants will learn that people learn best when they do things they choose to do and they feel are in their best interest. You’ll learn that people best remember their own insights, not predigested information we attempt to shove in their heads. For example, consider the following workshop titles: “Protect Yourself in Case of Fire” and “How to Comply with Your Company’s Fire-Safety Policies.” Although they describe the same workshop, the second title is more controlling and less compelling. Do learners care about the company’s policy? Maybe. Do they care about getting out of a fire alive? Definitely! Because the participants are actively engaged in instructional design and development, this session will be a perfect playground for applying and debriefing numerous instructional strategies.

In this session, you will learn:

 

  • How control and force-fed information turns off motivation and remembering
  • Why learners need personally meaningful challenges
  • Numerous strategies to make learning experiences more personally meaningful to learners

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