The biggest challenge to getting a perennial learning mindset is OURSELVES. Our mindscape is so dimensional and vast that tracking all its subliminal processes becomes quite difficult, if not impossible.
Things happen on a pre-programmed mode and decisions get taken on an automated note. Complacency, for instance, is one of the common mind-traps most of us fall into. It charms its way in, almost unnoticed. The resulting ‘let-go’ feeling is so addictive that when we give in to this irresistible temptation, we slide into that amazingly therapeutic basking mode. Nothing really matters then! So what if the world is passing by in a delirious hurry? Let it. I’m all chilled out at the moment. That’s what matters.
Which is why, Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) is elusive. Harold Jarche enunciates in this article, “I think it is because it’s hard to sell a difficult journey in an age of instant gratification.”
To mend one’s own ways is easier said than done. The way out?
Start with a keen observation of the mind’s landscape. Watch all its movements carefully. Become aware, first. Awareness is THE key. Appreciate the beauty of being dynamic. Being dynamic just for the sake of being dynamic!
The next step… Seek the company of dynamic souls. Be in their midst. Watch them ‘move’. Keep watching. Somewhere it rubs off into the subconscious. Though PKM is all about personal learning, “our deepest learning often comes from our engagement with others. It can even hurt to learn. We learn socially, as humans have for millennia. While we need time for reflection, we need real experiences to reflect upon. This makes our learning personal: felt in our gut. Real learning is not abstract.”
Nothing comes easy. Mastery takes time and effort. It’s an arduous journey, yes. But, good company can make the journey truly enjoyable. Don’t you agree?
Cognitive load is a necessary ingredient of an impactful course design. Acquisition of indepth knowledge happens only as an upshot of successfully overcoming friction, difficulties and challenges. But for these stimulants, the learning can possibly turn into a damp squib.
As much as boosting inherent cognitive load is key to designing a successful learning experience, easing out extraneous cognitive load is as important to weed out incidental processing that’s not relevant to the learning task.
Long-winding sentences, confusing user interfaces, visually cluttered layouts, and jarring background score are some of the most obvious extraneous loads that complicate the learning process.
Is there anything more to it? Are there any more nuanced forms of extraneous cognitive loads that learning designers can sensitively track and design some counter initiatives that will help learners? There are, as Connie Malamad explains so wonderfully in this article. Here are a couple.
Identifying complex parts of the course and providing learners scaffolds of helpful hints so they can handle them better is an empathetic way of diminishing extraneous cognitive load.
Any increase in complexity is inversely proportional to an individual going for it all alone. Identifying such contexts and opening up windows through which learners can reach out to experts and peers is another caring way to dilute the extra load they would take up otherwise.
Learning has sloughed off its previous conventional, traditional style of acquiring new forms of knowledge. It has started breaching the ‘limited information’ channels, flowing in all possible directions seeking and absorbing intelligence of its choice.
All thanks to the evolution of technology that has made this possibility possible!
“In only one generation we have gone from traditional corporate universities to e-learning, blended learning, talent-driven learning, and then continuous learning. Tools like Google, YouTube, and soon Microsoft Teams and others have totally changed the learning landscape, so our job now is simply to deliver learning to where people are.”
What does this mean for the L&D experts? “If we don’t make an effort, people may not use the L&D department as much, and a lot of the investment we make will likely go underutilized or unliked.”
What’s the way out of this stark reality? Check out this wonderfully crafted article by Josh Bersin.
Break the ice, first.
Look at accountants. What do they do to hit it big in their profession? They think finance, they breathe finance, and they live finance. The more they do this, the more seasoned they become in their subject.
Now, look at Learning Designers from this perspective. They’re at the other end of the spectrum. Not one day is like another. Not one subject they handle is like another.
What are the terrains I strode into in the last couple of weeks? It was Japanese Candlesticks, first… then, it was Cisco IVR Systems… then, I veered off to mutual funds… Utterly contrasting topographies with no mutual connections whatsoever!
I understand that learning designers need to cultivate an agile mind that can quickly get acclimatized to such polaric variations. And, it’s not only about handling such varied subjects in a short span of time, it’s also about divining effective learning solutions for each of these subjects that WORK.
What kind of a mind should be at work here?A mind that’s like an emptied tea cup that can receive – and keep receiving – different kinds of ‘inputs’ and a mind that can willingly break the conditioned reality it’s used to seeing through its ‘limited experience’ vision. A mind that’s thus evolved is all set to tackle the tough stuff.
I was in awe as I read an incisive Clark Quinn in this article, delineating on our limited conceptions and biased thinking that stymie the burgeoning of the Original.