Put on Your Learning GLOVES!

magic gloveWhen true learning occurs, a change in behavior takes place.  As instructors, we should strive to create a change in learners’ behavior in the real world.  With effective instruction, learners should be able to reproduce the learned behavior without mistakes beyond what was taught.  So how can we make instruction more effective?  Make learning meaningful!  How do we make learning meaningful?  Whip out the pixie dust and put on your magic learning GLOVES

Getting learners actively involved – When you are teaching, employ active learning techniques.  Instruction is most effect when it is learner-centered and interactive.  Remember, the more learners are involved and the more they participate in the learning process, the more effective it will be.  Be a facilitator rather than a lecturer.  Excessive lecturing and Power Point presentations are not only boring which causes learners to tune out but they also are not involved in the learning process therefore making it unproductive.  Wouldn’t you agree that we want learners to be able to perform rather than just talk about the subject matter?  So please, by all means, avoid death by Power Point! 

Learning must have a purpose – Be sure to create a sense of purpose.  Ensure learners understand the purpose of the instruction and why they need to learn and know the material.  If they know why they are learning it, they will be more likely to embrace the learning experience.

Organizing content – Know that content is king.  Incorporate content based on learners’ needs and interests.  Content should be meaningful, transferable to real life, and organized in a logical manner so that it flows.

Viewing content as relevant – Incorporate real world application.  Include information and situations that learners view as relevant and that helps them perform a task or solve a real-world problem.  Encourage learners to relate the material to their own experiences and to real world applications that apply to them and allow them to share their experiences.

Evaluating learners – When you evaluate learners, offer constructive feedback so they will know what they are doing right and what areas need improvement.  Constructive feedback will help learners to continue to learn and grow.

Surviving the learning environment – Create a safe learning environment.  Treat learners with respect, understanding, and concern.  Be understanding of their needs and fears.  If learners are afraid they will be ridiculed or embarrassed their affective filter will be high and they will be less likely to learn.

light bulbOne final tip:  Be a reflective practitioner, strive for excellence, and always make improvements.  If something is not working well, determine why and fix it.


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