With fewer resources and tighter deadlines, trainers may be tempted to adopt a “one-size-fits-all-learners” approach to delivering training. However, we are doing learners a great disservice if we fail to consider the needs of individual learners. What comes easily to one learner may not come easily to another. What one finds fascinating, another may find dull. What one can relate to, another cannot. When looked at from this perspective, a “one-size-fits-all-learners” training approach will be at best inefficient and at worst will miss the mark completely.
Let’s face it – learning is a highly individualized, personal process. At first this seems problematic for trainers – how can we create and facilitate training that appeals to many individuals, all of whom are unique? The answer is that any training program must be both inclusive and responsive to individual learners. Refusal to acknowledge that learning is personal will only create disinterested learners who are “just going through the motions.”
Last month, I blogged about my personal training philosophy. My philosophy is composed of four instructional strategies that have been proven to help intrinsically motivate learners. Below I’ve added the word “personal” wherever it applies to my philosophy:
- Active, experiential learning – personal participation, personal experiences
- Self-directed learning – personal choice and personal responsibility for learning
- Social learning – personal connections, personal network
- eLearning – personal access to learning
The key, unifying element that leads to higher learner motivation is, in fact, personalization. Trainers create the framework that allows for personal exploration and connection. Learners participate in ways that are meaningful to them. Trainers offer guidance and support ongoing.
And the result of training that is personalized? Learners will be surprised at how much they enjoyed the training. They will feel like they got so much out of it. They will feel like the training was created just for them, even though the training was offered to many.