As people who design and implement adult learning courses and training programs, it’s important for us to realize that adult-learning is a complex process. While we understand that adults are repositories of experiences and that these experiences mark their learning journeys, we often forget that these experiences don’t just shape their attitudes, they also build their “prior learning schemas.”
Now, for a moment, step out of your trainer/nstructional designer shoes and step into the shoes of an adult learner. You too have a prior learning schema. If your schema was working perfectly for you, you wouldn’t be scouring the web, looking for the best instructional strategies, the models and methods that work for a particular audience and so on. You are, because you believe that there’s a learning gap.
When you imagine yourself as an adult learner with a learning gap, you suddenly start feeling vulnerable. You look around, you tip-toe, you clad your knowledge-needs as a need for a refresher program.
But you shouldn’t.
You shouldn’t feel vulnerable. Knowledge-gaps exist only when you have some prior knowledge. The prior-knowledge may have a few holes here and there, but you have it and you’ve earned it.
And what’s even better is that you are a self-motivated knowledge-seeking individual who is already a cut above those who don’t bother to learn for the fear of having to unlearn. They don’t want to go through what you have the guts to do, find out if they need to unlearn because their prior knowledge has imperfections.
This is why, at Instructional Design Junction, we intend to create an informal, conversational environment of learning, where anyone, novice or expert, would feel comfortable looking for knowledge they can use.
Expect the diagrams to be simple, the language to be friendly and informal, and the content to be relevant and easy to digest.
More in the next post.