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Learner Accountability

Social Learning and Learner Accountability

I think social learning makes the learner far more accountable in learning. With social learning you (as a learner) are in charge of what you learn, how much you learn, and where you learn it. You need to be awake and aware and ready to soak up anything you might come across.

The thing I notice the most with social learning is how easy it is to do. Humans come by it naturally. We want to teach each other and learn from each other. I think we have tried to make things far to easy for learners and while doing that we have killed their desire to learn. People aren’t meant to sit in classes for hours every day trying to gain abstract skills they may never use.  Instead of spoon feeding learners information in a boring environment, we need to make them accountable for what they feed themselves in a real life situation.

Encouraging Learner Accountability

I think the easiest way to convince anyone to do anything is to show them how it will benefit them. Now, I’ve never really had the experience to try out any of my theories but it looks good on paper. So, in theory, it would be a matter of saying (as a boss or instructor), “If you don’t want to sit through another boring course on this subject, you need to go out and see how this subject affects you and what you do. Figure out why I think it is important for you to know. If you don’t think it is important tell me why.” This relies on the learner to put the pieces of the puzzle together and form their own ideas. Maybe they find a reason why it isn’t necessary. Maybe they learn something you didn’t know. Maybe they form their own puzzle.

I’m not sure we need to go out of our way to encourage leaners to learn. I think we need to get out of their way. Quit trying to control the situation so strictly. Instructors need to step back from the controlling dictatorship mindset. Instructors would be best to point a learner in a direction and give them a shove. When the learner comes back, review what they have found and correct any misunderstandings. I’m sure there is a reason this isn’t done regularly, I’m just not sure what it is.

Categories: General
  1. dstev
    June 15, 2009 at 9:09 am

    When thinking of the boss-intstructor forcing the learner into a boring training sessions, imagine how much worse this problem becomes if there is a disconnect between the trainer and the supervisor. In the supervisor/trainer/learner triangle, each one blames the other 2 for poor training.

    You mention that idenitifying benefit is the best way to persuade. An old sales acronym is WIIFM — What’s In It For Me. If you answer that for people, then they are more likely to buy what you are selling, whether that be a product, or an idea. Prior to identifying the benefits for someone, it’s wise to identify his/her needs. That way, the benefit can be tailored to his/her needs.

    Boring-ness is a sure sign of irrelevance, either in content or delivery. The perceived benefit is unimportant to the person. The need being addressed is either not being experienced by the learner, or the training does not look to the learner like the training really will address the need.

    I agree with you that SL changes all of this by putting the learner in control.

  2. July 1, 2009 at 11:51 am

    nice! i’m gonna make my own blog

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