It is a widely accepted fact that we have to trigger or manage our learning opportunities ourselves - that learning is not a once-off incident but a continual process. This is why we take this look at "The Management of Learning".
Fact is; by sitting back and waiting for learning events to come to us, we will become disillusioned. We need to be active and strive in hopefully the best direction we can.
So what direction is that? I hear you ask. The answer to that question is one only you know. My recommendation is to start with your personal strategy plan. This will look not only at your business training needs - but at your own personal and private needs.
The technique is an excellent starting point as it forces you to question where you are today, where you want to be and what steps you can do to get there.
Learning new fields or approaches is simply the stepping stones to getting where you want. This is all about the management of learning.
It is often hard to manage learning especially if you are an adult like me, working full-time. Yet, there are ways and I decided to offer the following steps for anyone interested in adult learning.
Deciding on which way to go.
Choose an area you would like to focus on and choose a time-frame in which you would like to complete this learning. For example,
Research the material available online and get an overview of what is current and what direction you would like to go.
Check out the top websites and e learning sites on these topics. What seems to be the key areas that they are mentioning? What are the possibilities using Mobile learning?
Then compare it to what you know. (In others words, complete a GAP analysis of where you are, where you would like to get to and then decide on the steps necessary to get there.)
This will give you a clear outline, together with the time-frame of how to project manage your learning.
Then, source material on those topics.
Nowadays there are so many sources available: Podcasts, Videos, Audio books and Presentations, Mobile Learning material.
Source at least 3 examples of each source of learning and check for online Seminars or Goggle Hangouts on these topics. Youtube can be an excellent source of free material. Use your list of topics to search for the video. Typically, you can quickly evaluate how good a training is by the comments under the video.
Plan out your time.
Plan, for example, to spend 30 minutes or one hour daily on this material.
Podcasts, Videos and other digital material have the immense advantage that you can control the pace. You can stop them and repeat them as often as you feel necessary.
Take notes to check your understanding and enable easy resourcing of the information later.
With Paper books, it is advisable to “make the book your own” by highlighting, underlining, placing notes in the margins, whatever is necessary to make that book yours for understanding. Use symbolic doodles even; for example, streaks of lightening, exclamation marks, light bulbs to represent warnings, noteworthy points and good ideas.
Make it a habit not to finalise your work with the book until you have understood it, cover-to-cover, from start to finish. Some people recommend listening to Audio books at least 5 times before finalising it. It helps too to list up the five most important concepts of the book.
Re-reading or re-running any of these sources of learning will reinforce learning.
(Note: we also have a list of highly recommended "Must-read" business books - as recommended by several groups of experts on LinkedIn. )
Build your 30 minutes or 60 minutes daily schedule, then build your weekly schedule and set up your plan for the time-frame how you are going to achieve your learning. Keep your action plan close to you. Planning is key to good management of learning.
It is to be recommended that you note down your progress, like on a child’s behavioural chart. Give yourself stars for achievement. This will really motivate you immensely.
The Advantages behind committing yourself to the management of learning will be:
- Less frustration as others seem to know more or are more up-to-date on issues,
- Better abilities
- Increased self-esteem as your work takes on a better quality
- Increased inclusion in a wider variety of work
- Brand new ways of looking at the world
And you will simply increase your employability!