Implications of Behavior on Learning

Behavior and LearningHere in lies the common issues with developing eLearning programs: a subconscious bias to our comfort levels and the way we think. I have found it is a real injustice to my learning and how I train others. Behavior modification should be on the list of things to do for a better eLearning solution developer.

There have been many learning psychologists in the past century providing learning theories, stimuli, detailed response and behavioral changes.   When it comes to training, we need to move away from negative thinking, as it does not teach what should be done, but rather punishes and sets the bar low for knowledge transfer. Adult learners crave structure and controlled change.  How can you put all the pieces together to create a learning environment or alter behavior for a better learning solution?  Every day a conscious effort needs to be made to create positive business behaviors towards training and what outcomes are desired.

Research into learning theory shows a matrix of interrelated theories that are best applied according to the environment of learning, learner, and activity. Some can be complex at first, but after digesting, what comes to light is a simple experiment documented on stimuli, response, outcomes and adjustment.  The deeper part of any learning program is taking theory and converting it to logical scenarios in your world. I pondered what would be effective and it seems risk/reward learning is the majority in the corporate world. This is not always appropriate, nor does it reinforce anything.  I would suggest you look at the theories of Thorndike, Guthrie, and Pavlov. Though these theories are different, they are interrelated learning approaches that can greatly impact and improve your training.   If you invest that hour of research you will have many learning theory tools in your training arsenal to modify the behavior of your learners.

In the corporate world, training the stimuli to associate with more positive responses will help overcome the mental readiness of learners.  Like looking through the wrong end of a telescope we must mentally turn it around to see the bigger picture. It is your job to make the view through the telescope a positive experience as it will make a resounding difference in your training programs.

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