logo

Innovation Future Specialist

Links: Home | Contents

Ted's Guide to Training, Teaching and Learning

Teddy bear reading a book Hello, my name is Ted. I am a cuddly character, with a simple attitude to life, and well read. I tell it like it is, in simple plain language. So you will not need your encyclopedia of jargon: "Jar be gone".

Instead of lolling around in the bedroom all day I decided to write a few short guides to business and other stuff.


This is one of my guides ...

People think training is a complicated thing, but at its core training is a simple process.

Things start to go wrong when silly people needlessly make it complicated, and then people do not understand what is happening. So this guide is here to keep it simple and understandable.

Training

Training consists of a trainer (or teacher, lecturer, or mentor) and a student. The aim of the trainer is to give the student knowledge and understanding. This involves the following:

» Exposing the student to new information and/or new experiences.

» Testing that they remember (perhaps repeatedly).

» Testing that they understand what they have learnt, and can apply it to new scenarios.

» The above steps may be repeated a number of times to strengthen their knowledge and understanding. (Repetition is also important for developing skills.)

Upon satisfactory completion of one or more tests the student might be awarded a qualification and/or certificate.

There that is it. Simple!

Details

Okay, because that was such a simple process, more details are included below.

Ted's disclaimer: the following might only be suitable for the academically minded and could violate Ted's first law (keep it simple), but give it a go if you want to...

Acquiring Knowledge

A fundamental aspect to training is the acquisition of knowledge.

Terms

Data - numerical quantities, often obtained from measurements

Information - data, or other items, presented in a format that conveys meaning (to humans, typically); this is presented as speech, written text, and/or visuals (e.g. diagrams, charts, graphs and maps)

Knowledge - a network of related data and information (typically stored in the mind, or a computer)

Understanding - a model to represent the behaviour of a system or process, and predict its response to given scenarios.

Typically a mental model is implied, but it could be a model in a computer. Understanding is built upon knowledge.

Semi-Active Method

Typically this is achieved by being exposed to information about a topic you are attempting to learn. This works best if you happen to be paying attention when the information is made available. Playing on Facebook while in a class or lecture is not recommended.

On first exposure to the information you will, hopefully, remember that information; but you might not remember everything. Being able to recall some of that information demonstrates that it has entered your memory, and this now represents part of the knowledge in your mind. Your brain has probably encoded this with links to other related facts or memories that it already had. Well done.

Active Method

Rather than being exposed to information provided by someone else you can acquire knowledge by doing your own observations (or experiments) and gathering your own data. You might also create some information, and remember it. This could be any type of activity, depending on what you are trying to learn. The activity might be one of the following:

» Learning how to catch a ball, while playing

» Seeing how colours mix to produce other colours, while painting

» Trying different ways of doing an Internet search

» Watching a bird and learning something new about it [although depending on your approach this might fall into the semi-active category]

» Conducting your own science experiment

Test Memory and Learn More

When you initially acquired some knowledge you might not have acquired everything that was intended; perhaps because you were on Facebook or distracted for other reasons. Also, over time your memory might begin to fade [and, perhaps surprisingly, sometimes it can erroneously change].

So it is important to test your memory; and give you the opportunity to fill in any gaps in your knowledge, and correct false memories. This can be done by testing memory with simple multiple choice questions, feedback, and revisiting the original information.

If you repeat this process several times then it will strengthen your memories. You can probably get away with allowing the duration between each iteration to get bigger, e.g. test 1 on same day as the initial learning; test 2 the following week; test 3 two weeks later. The durations are just an example: the science of memory is not that accurate yet.

Understanding

What about testing understanding? If a student has been paying attention then his or her understanding should at least be correct for the scenario that they were taught; but how well will they understand the new concept when it is applied to a new scenario that they have not seen before? This is how we test and develop understanding: by exposing the student to new scenarios and seeing how they predict outcomes and adapt their understanding.

Trainers

A trainer might be known as a trainer or a teacher. These people hopefully understand something about teaching, which involves supporting the above learning process and trying to keep students motivated [easier said than done these days].

A lecturer might play part of the teaching role in further or higher education. Sometimes it just involves the lecturer talking and/or writing on the board [or using PowerPoint, yawn, slides] and then leaving. You might get lucky: at the end of the lecture, the lecturer might encourage questions and be willing to answer them. Given that this approach to education might come as a shock to someone from school (for example), tutors might be provided to help the student with their learning. However, further and higher education expect the student to take more responsibility for their own learning, especially in higher education.

In the course of your job [course, get it? ah well, moving on...] you might be assigned a mentor. Typically this is someone that has worked in your organisation long enough to become skilled at their job. It does not have to be a manager, and it is more likely that they do the same job as you, or a similar job. The important thing is: they know how you should do your job. The mentor will use their knowledge and understanding to train you how to do your job well; but they might not understand the teaching process, so the quality of the teaching and learning might vary from mentor to mentor.

Note: A coach is not a mentor. A coach is someone that has been trained in the coaching process, which helps those being coached to review their current situation, set personal goals for improvement, commit to those goals, and work towards achieving those goals.

You should know

The most important thing that will affect your career and your personal life is probably innovation. You owe it to yourself to be sure that you know what innovation is, what the benefits are to you, and why you cannot risk ignoring it. Start right now on this short, free, course: What is Innovation? No registration is required, it is easy to follow, and it only takes between 2 and 20 minutes (your choice).

Training in Innovation

There is this new thing called "innovation" although I think it has been around for at least 350 years. Still, the world is always changing and just to keep up, you need to keep learning. To excel and become a leader you need to innovate; and the Innovation Future Specialist provides the best options for learning how to do this. The specialist understands training so well that he even provides a Training with Impact! option to help you apply what you have learnt and make an impact! How cool is that? There are many other services you require too, such as: coaching, consultancy, futurology, and help setting a vision for your future.

Links: Home | Contents