Wednesday, 5 December 2007

The Learning Circuits Blog: December Big Question - What did you learn about learning?

The Learning Circuits Blog: December Big Question - What did you learn about learning?

Learning Circuits have revived their Big Question of the Month. And this month it is "What did you learn about learning in 2007?". I am afraid my biggest lessons were negative and were lessons about the degree to which bad things happen rather than totally new ideas:

Even more than I realised, management are almost always content with the box ticked which shows that a "course" with an appropriate title was placed in front of the learner and the learner didn't complain. This then clears them of responsibility for training.

Professional educators are even more obsessed than I thought with the design and content of formal learning events - whether they be e-learning, classroom or whatever. Perhaps because that is the bit they can most easily influence. They ignore the context in which this event falls. However, a mediocre course in a great context where the learner is motivated, given time and space, and will be able to relate the learning to their life will succeed. A terrific learning event in a lousy context will fail every time.

Certification tests are even more meaninglesss than I realised. E.g. I was given an opportunity to take the ECDL tests free of charge. I comfortably passed the database test on the basis of skimming the chapter in a book. I have only opened Access once in my entire life. However, the Certiport tests for Microsoft products appear a bit better.

On a more positive note I am more and more impressed by the resourcefulness of individuals in learning what they need to learn despite the obstacles we place in their path.

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