Learners’ own stories are more important than yours

I’m quoting Clive Shepherd for the title here (from his article ‘Engaging your learner – four dos and four don’ts’). I just love the way this captures in a few words one of the most important principles of adult learning.

Our target groups are professionals, very rarely complete newbies. We’re helping experienced people do their jobs a little better. Unless the training is about a few new rules that came out, we’re not there to ‘instruct’. Compliance is a tiny fraction of what we do, so ‘instruction’ should be a tiny part of the training we offer. People’s experiences count and should be at the centre of their learning too.

Lots of e-learning articles promote the use of stories to make the learning experience more ‘engaging’. I couldn’t agree more. As an aside, I think we should aim at making the learning ‘empowering’ instead.

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