“We have to rescue learning”. This is the main mission Shackleton-Jones undertakes in his book How People Learn. And he starts at the beginning: with a new theory of learning that charmingly and provocatively highlights the weaknesses of our general understanding of learning.
Instead of the widespread belief that learning is synonymous with storing and retrieving information, Shackleton-Jones advocates the theory that we associate information with emotions. When we remember these emotions, we also recall the information associated with them (Affective Context Model).
Taking this as a starting point, Shackleton-Jones explains why traditional face-to-face training and e-learning are often not effective and makes pragmatic counter-proposals.
Experiences are the right choice when it comes to drawing the employees’ attention to a topic. They address emotions and make topics such as compliance, safety and communication relevant for employees. If, on the other hand, employees need help with their daily tasks and challenges, the motto here should be “resources, not courses”.
In the best-case scenario, resources have nothing to do with learning, but with hands-on help. Resources work similarly to watching a video on YouTube on how to tie a tie.
And, regardless of whether we are speaking about resources or experiences, the starting point must be a dialogue to ensure that an actual task is practiced or solved. If this crucial step is omitted, there is a risk of running into an inefficient “information dump”, a classic problem of many e-learning concepts that present information in bulk but don’t solve any specific problem with it.
How People Learn is very entertaining and contains many practical examples, tips and even a model for creating trainings: the 5Di Learning Design Model. It convinced us so much, that we ourselves now use this model (this is how we roll).