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How People Actually Learn

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					Training Materials: How People Actually Learn




HOW PEOPLE ACTUALLY LEARN

In this section you will think about:

•     how people learn using experiential learning

•     recognising and acknowledging different learning styles

•     how to help learners to select and plan what they want to learn


As tutors, we have some responsibility to provide a learning environment where
students can learn as effectively as possible, feel comfortable and have their say
about what and how they learn. This approach helps learners to take control of
their own learning and to become full partners in the learning process. Learner
involvement at the planning stage helps to ensure that the programme engages
their interest and uses relevant materials.




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                                                   Training Materials: How People Actually Learn




           Activity 1

           Think of something you have learned recently. This may be something at work,
Activity   study, or in your home or leisure time. Write down your chosen learning experience
           and consider the different stages you went through to learn it.

           •     How did you decide what to learn?

           •     How did you decide how to learn it?

           •     How much choice did you have in making these decisions?

           •     Did you have anyone to tell/show you what to do?

           •     Did you have a manual?

           •     Did anything, or anyone, put you off learning, or make it difficult for you to
                 succeed?

           •     Did you have to practise your activity more than once before you were
                 successful?

           •     Did you need any special equipment?

           •     Did you ask anyone for advice?

           •     Were you encouraged by colleagues friends/ family to succeed?

           •     Have you had any similar learning experiences that made this activity easier?


           Write a few notes about what made this learning experience important to you?




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                                                            ARKS TUTOR TRAINING PACK-SCOTLAND
Training Materials: How People Actually Learn




Activity 1 continued

Discussion
                                                                                        Activity
Once you have written about your learning experience discuss it with a partner, or     continued
in a small group.

•     How much autonomy did you have in deciding what to learn and how you
      learned it?

•     List the different methods you have used to learn
                                                                                       Discussion
•     Note the role that previous experience (or lack of it) played in your learning

•     Note how many methods you shared in common

•     How different, or similar were your learning styles?

•     What can you learn from each others, experience?


See “What’s your Learning Style?” in ARKS Keys to Learning


Activity 2

Discussion
                                                                                        Activity
Now think about your role as a tutor.

•     When you prepare learning materials how much consideration do you give
      to what your learners want to get out of the experience and how this can
      best be achieved for them?

•     To what extent can you adapt learning materials to suit different learning       Discussion
      styles?

•     How can you check up on the effectiveness of a learning experience?




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ARKS TUTOR TRAINING PACK-SCOTLAND
                                                      Training Materials: How People Actually Learn




           Adult learners have a wide range of experiences at their disposal, either through
           work, previous education, family or community activities. By discussing methods
           which have worked/not worked in the past, they can transfer successful methods
           to the new learning experience. This can help to give people confidence in their
           new learning setting.


           Activity 3

           Case Study 1
Activity
               Chris is attending a course to brush up on her numeracy and writing skills.
               She is 29 and mother to three children aged 5, 7 and 10 years. She hated
               school and left with no qualifications but now she is a parent she wishes she
               had learned more as she would like to be able to help her children with their
               homework. The school often asks if parents can come into the classroom to
               help with reading activities but Chris doesn’t have the confidence to offer.
               Chris and her husband split up last year and now she has to manage the
               house on her own. At first she found it hard to make sure that all the bills
               were paid on time and to work out a budget. But she has surprised herself
               and now feels that she is well organised and doesn’t worry so much. She
               even managed Christmas without getting into debt.


           Discuss:

           •      What skills does Chris already have that she can bring to her new learning
                  experience?

           •      How could Chris use her experience to build on her writing and numeracy
                  skills?

           •      Chris’ situation is a typical example of the complex range of skills people
                  need in order to be effective in all areas of their lives. Can you think of other
                  situations where problem solving and planning skills can be transferred from
                  one area of life to another?

           •      How can you find out about your learners’ experiences to enable them to
                  make full use of transferable skills?




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                                                               ARKS TUTOR TRAINING PACK-SCOTLAND
Training Materials: How People Actually Learn




Activity 3 continued

Case Study 2
                                                                                         Activity
    Lui Li is a refugee from the northern part of China. He arrived in Holland as a     continued
    17-year-old boy and is now 20. He had to wait for a year before he got a
    place at college to learn Dutch. He can now read and write Dutch quite well,
    but he has problems with pronunciation and people have difficulty
    understanding what he says. He also has some difficulty when listening to
    people and can only understand simply constructed sentences. He still attends
    language classes but is getting fed up as he feels he is not making any progress.
    At the moment he is working in a Chinese restaurant washing dishes, but he
    would really like to train as a motor mechanic. He has sufficient maths and
    technical skills but language could still be a problem.


Discuss:

•      How could you regain Lui’s interest in learning language?

•      How could you help him with listening and pronunciation?

•      Which key skills is Lui needing to improve?

•      Is there anyway he could incorporate improving his key skills and prepare
       himself for training as a mechanic?




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ARKS TUTOR TRAINING PACK-SCOTLAND
                                                    Training Materials: How People Actually Learn




           Activity 4(a)

           Choose two learners you have worked with recently and either write a case study
Activity   about their experience, or discuss their learning progress with a group of colleagues.

           •      What were their learning objectives?

           •      How did you agree on a learning plan?

           •      What transferable skills did they have?

           •      Which key skills were included?

           •      What kind of learning style did they adopt?

           •      How were you able to help them in their learning process?

           •      What was the outcome of their learning experience?


               Case Study 1




               Case Study 2




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                                                              ARKS TUTOR TRAINING PACK-SCOTLAND
Training Materials: How People Actually Learn




Activity 4(b)

If you are a trainee adult educator, or do not have a client group to refer to at
present, think about a group of learners you are most likely to work with, or who    Activity
you have read about.

•     What skills would you look for in these learners that they might transfer to
      new learning experiences?

•     How could you help learners identify their learning style?

•     What could you do to ensure that you incorporate the culture and interests
      of the learners in your programme?

•     How can you envisage key skills being part of this learning programme?

•     How would you evaluate the learning experience?




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ARKS TUTOR TRAINING PACK-SCOTLAND
                                                       Training Materials: How People Actually Learn




               Evaluation Questions

               How can you involve learners in designing the content of a course?

 What have
you learned?




               How can you encourage learners to transfer skills to other aspects of their lives?




               How can you find out more about learners’ strengths and interests?




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                                                                ARKS TUTOR TRAINING PACK-SCOTLAND

				
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