There is a very common idea that
each person learns in a certain way. I usually would say students are visual
learners, audible learners or tactile learners. So some learn by watching me
write the items on the white board, some learn by hearing me say the items out
loud many times and other learn by writing the items and or using the list in
practice. This has been further described as a learning preference rather than
a particular learning style for each person. If we realize and embrace this
newer idea then perhaps we may enable ourselves to learn better and in other
Remember that back in the 50’s when
much of the research on learning was conducted we did not have computers or
even TV in most homes. Books were expensive items and college was something a majority
of people did not consider attending. There was no Facebook.com or email. You
had party lines in your neighborhood rather than a dedicated phone line to your
home. Now we all have computers in our houses.
There are also a few styles of
learning such as active learners, sensing learners and visual learners. In my
opinion sensing learners have a greater grasp of the spacial world around them
and they can learn by experiencing the ideas of another through story or TV or
from reading a book or hearing a description of a process. Active learners have
to give it a try. This can take time because you need to have the tool
available that facilitate you working it out. And visual learners need to see
it done. They can repeat the process if they can watch it being performed by
someone else once. Perhaps they have a harder time when their situation does
not match the control environment, but overall if you can demonstrate it they
can learn to repeat the process.
do we use this in training at Sage
Well for the visual learners we
provide a nice video of each piece of the class in video format. This works
well for a learner who needs to hear it too. They watch as a trainer walks them
through the customization and explains the process. More advanced learners can
skip through the video if they already know the work being performed. They can
subscribe to the Developers Subscription or Admin
Subscription and learn there too.
Visual learners also benefit from the books that are part of each class. They
include any major parts of the interface that we are adjusting and code
snippets being used. Many times a visual learner will be able to remember which
page or pages a topic is on because they remember where it was in the book. You
can see them flip back to it if you watch them closely.
Tactile learners or active learners
are given the chance to try it out. In all of our classes the student is given
an actual machine to try out the exercises. Visual learners will benefit from
this step as well because it will reinforce the learning from the book and
videos. Audible learners or those who learn by watching benefit less from this
part of the class, but it cannot be dismissed. In some cases the trouble or
frustration caused by performing the steps can be a deterrent to this type of
student and that needs to be considered.
there more to learning?
Active learners of all sorts will be
considering the topics in the class and considering those topics in other
situations. If we show you how to create a lookup one way is there another way
to create one? What about a better way or a time when our method will not work?
The MORE to learning is applying
what we give you in class to your situations in the real world. We cannot give
an education it must be obtained. It is not possible to obtain what we need as
successful students (of SalesLogix) in only 3 days. It is just the start.
is my learning style important?
It is less important than you might
think. Realizing that you may have a preference for one style over another is
the key. If you prefer to watch a video and read the book then do that. If you
can read the book and try it yourself on our machine do that. You need to
evaluate your learning process against some concrete results. Try a lesson one
way and then try to repeat the lessons that you learned (creating a lookup) on
a clean environment. Were you successful? Perhaps you need to add some practice
in or adjust your method.
It is important to know your
learning style because the real cost of an education is time. It takes time to
learn and doing it inefficiently costs a lot of time. Usually this is the
difference between meeting a deadline and not.
goal of learning
If you consider the goal of learning
you may learn just enough to meet that goal. We each may have a different goal.
If the goal is to learn enough to do our job as effectively and efficiently as
possible then realizing our learning style is important.