Teaching, Lecturing, Training and Learning

I finally have found a role I am as passionate about as I am about education. It’s fun, it’s gregarious, it’s emotionally rewarding as well as financially.

However, I’ve just been put through an online e-learning course which must have been more than 30 hours of modules. It was horrific.

I work from home, alone, with the phone and email as my tools. I travel frequently around the country and also often fly to Finland, Sweden and Norway to visit my Accounts, as I am an Account Manager.

So sitting alone, listening to some sort of online presentation with interactive questions has been a severe challenge.

I wish more trainers and the like would take a PGCE and teach for a year actual 11-18yr old students. When you realise how people learn you would never think training is video lecturing with tests of recall rather than understanding. Teaching is not imparting knowledge. … That is the first base of error.

Latin gives a clue, the Latin root of Educate is ‘to draw out’. The student needs to find paths of recall in their minds. The facilitator in the room, often called the teacher , needs to draw out the understanding from the student. Pushing information in does not create recall paths, neither do tests of comprehension. The test should be determining understanding.

Additionally, the solitary experience of being lectured and tested for recall via an online portal is an assurance of wasted time and money as the student is unlikely to be able to synthesise the information provided into something of use to their situation.

Footballers do not hone their skills sitting in a room alone with an e-learning set of presentation before starting a match. Football training is taking an ability and developing it into a skill through repetitive application. For football it needs a field, a ball and a few team mates.

Teaching is not telling, Training is not lecturing … So much of the training courses developed are of near zero applied value. Take a student and test for comprehension (not recall) some 6months to a year after the class was taken and the results will doubtful shock.

Global Integration on Remote Teams showed how to do it. Splitting a class into 5×5 and then dropping them all over Brussels with part of a puzzle to solve that needed groups to connect, no phones available. The mission, to get all 25 to the restaurant.

The teaching method was educate (to draw out) the training method was to engage in a physical team activity. Genius.

So, how do you do it. Well, first, as a teacher you get the students to drive. Create discussion, explore ideas. As teacher you facilitate, ask questions, take the room down dead ends. The class decide its a dead end, they look further. To propose things to consider. They come to a consensus. Through multi-way dialog, ensuring all contribute, they determine understanding. As they formed it themselves they connected the imagery and the neurones to ensure they have comprehension, understanding and recall.

I did this with a group of 30x 14 yr olds and they had a wild time in the lesson. They solved all the problems given , they passed the end of topic exam with little to no additional work and they told me it was the best lesson they had had in the school ever … They had been through years 7 and 8 before making 9.

I’m interested in how online education, personal development and training can be delivered effectively and have some thoughts of my own but would be interested to explore others.


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