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Adult Learning and 70:20:10

In this video recording (22:01 mins) Charles Jennings explores current trends and challenges impacting organisations and learning:

  • The transition from tangible to intangible assets in organisations
  • Organisations seeking to be more responsive to changing business conditions
  • Organisations recognising the need to integrate learning within the workflow
  • Organisations seeking to speed up the application of learning in work

The recording is from the 2013 Learning Technologies Conference held in London. 

Charles reinforces that the imperative for organisations is clear: they must be able to learn, unlearn and relearn faster than the rate of change within and beyond the organisation. The only alternative to being able to adapt is extinction.

Charles then explores the four key elements of real learning:

  • Challenging experiences,
  • Opportunities to practice,
  • Rich conversations and
  • Spaces to reflect.

In this presentation, he examines how the four areas work together and suggests how a deeper understanding of the role of experience might lead learning and development professionals to reconsider how they approach their work.

Video: Charles Jennings - The Four Ways Adults Learn


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Good overview of the 4 key elements of real learning.

Hi Charles

Through this video you provided some valuable insights into how adults learn. Some of the points mentioned by you highlight the requirement of simplicity and 'going back to the basics' approach rather than over complicating the process of learning.

The fact that learning is much better if it happens in a context where new skills and attributes can be used abolutely resonates with me. The over- theoretical models provide learning in an 'alien' environment as opposed to the physical space where it will actually be applied. I liked when you talked about raising the performance bar, through making it clear to people as to what's expected of them, how will it be measured, providing them with opportunities to be stretched and challenged with a chance to reflect on how the challenge helped them to learn. I think it covers the full circle staring with the person knowing what he needs to do and ending with what did he do and/ or how would he do it differently next time.

What was also of particular interest to me was the example provided by you of a company that embarked on a 52 week learning program wherein they used weekly stories of leaders/ staff in the organisation to talk about their experiences, challenges, doing things differently. They used the very basic technology of emails to achieve their goals of changing the culture, attitudes, values and behaviours whilst at the same time informing and bringing the organisation together as a team. As we all know gaining new skills and acquiring knowledge is realtively the easy bit. What's harder is changing people's attitudes and behaviours and also inculcating the organistaional values. I would be really keen to find out if that particular organisation was successful in turning around/ changing attitudes and behaviours. This sort of story sharing sounds very inspirational to me and is something that I would definitely want to look into within my organisation.

Concepts of spaced practice and reflections are indeed very powerful and provide depth to the learning experinece.

You refer to Donald Clark briefly in this video. I had a quick look at '10 facts about learning that are scientifically proven' by Donald Clark and was wondering if you will be able to elaborate a bit more on 'Psychological attention' and 'Murder the myths'. In 'Murder the myths' he talks about dumping the learning styles, left - right brain theories, NLP, stating the objectives at the start of the course etc. I found it interesting but would like some more information on it.

The best learning happens over Pizza sessions was one of the comments made by Charles, in context of tecchnological issues, challenges and providing people an opportunity to learn from one another. One of the program areas at SSI has been teaching workers on the use and benefits of a particular app that would be helpful for the clients.

The feedback received by the team delivering the sessions has been that workers need more hands on sessions and would like more interaction as opposed to receiving updates via emails.

I am currently working with the team delivering these seeions and utilising the knowledge gained from this tool, the team decided to have an hour's session over lunch across various programs. The sessions won't be program/division specific but location specific and hence will provide workers across various divisions to share their experiences with using the app.

The facilitation team will also showcase some stories and feedback from the clients regarding their use of the app and how they found it helpful.

Workers from different divisions will have the opportunity to share their challenges, have rich converstaions and also find solutions to the challenges faced by workers as well as clients re; the use of the app.