Online, The New Innovation In Practical Skills

Formal skills training is changing fast

Things are changing fast. Even skills-based learning is moving online. It’s not the end of the world. But it is a step-change in how we learn.

I’m talking about trade skills like fabrication, building, mechanics. Along with sales and negotiating skills in business. The kind of stuff you have been able to view on YouTube for years.

Thing is though, watching YouTube videos is one thing. Formal training and qualifications. Well, that’s something else.

This shift is another example of change and innovation in business. Working remotely has many different faces.

As usual, when it comes to innovation, those who accept the change will be successful.

When it comes to learning and especially online learning. It’s important to understand how you learn best.

Understand that and you can position yourself. To get the best out of any training or further education in life.

Here is a guide to helping you with that, in these times of rapid innovation and change.

Its a lot of information to get through but bear with me. If you do the online analysis which will take 30 minutes of your life. You will have a whole new insight into what works for you and why.

Search the 2 main theories which are the VAK theory and the Honey and Mumford theory. I would recommend you try both and see which learning styles out of both theories you recognize. As there are strategies you can develop from both.

VAK — Visual, Auditory & Kinesthetic

The VAK theory is that the majority of people have one or more of 3 styles of learning. Which you may have guessed are either, Visual, Auditory, or Kinesthetic.

  • Visual learners have a strong preference for visual data and observation of a task. Learning best from pictures, videos, diagrams, presentations, displays, and handouts. A visual learner will often use phrases while they are learning like “Show me” or “Let me look at that”. Visual learners tend to be more structured. They work and approach learning using lists, directions, and instructions.
  • Auditory learners have a strong preference for the transfer of information verbally. Learning from lectures and spoken words from an expert. An auditory learner will often use phrases while they are learning like “tell me” or “Let’s talk it over”. Auditory learners tend to be happier receiving verbal instructions in their work. They have a strong connection between verbal information and memory retention. Most auditory learners, for example, know all the words to the songs they know.
  • Kinesthetic learnings have a strong preference for physical experiences. They learn by touching and by doing, they value practical hands-on experience. A Kinesthetic learner will often use phrases while they are learning like “let me try” or “how do you feel”. Kinesthetic learners tend to be those who dive into a new task learning as they go. These learners love to experiment. They are always hands-on and never look at the instructions first.

Honey & Mumford

In the Honey & Mumford theory, there are 4 learning styles. Each person will have one dominant learning style, with a mix of the other 3 styles sitting in the background. These learning styles are Activist, Reflector, Theorist & Pragmatist.

  • An activist leaner will learn best from new activities and experiences. Where they have high visibility. For example, chairing a meeting. Activist learners like games and teambuilding. Anything competitive where they can work with others.
  • A reflector will learn best from new activities and experiences. Where they can watch, think, and observe others. Reflectors like to be able to review and think about what they have learned before they act.
  • A theorist learner will learn best from new activities and experiences. Where there is an obvious model or system that they can follow. They thrive where they can explore the relationship between ideas and events. Theorists like to ask questions and to know that there is a clear purpose to and reason for the learning.
  • A pragmatist learner will learn best from new activities and experiences. Where there is an obvious link between what they are learning and their work environment. Pragmatists like practical techniques for problem-solving. They like to put into practice what they have learned.

I recognize in myself for example that I’m a Kinesthetic learner in VAK. In Honey & Mumford I’m an Activist Learner with some Pragmatist learner traits.

The great thing is that this has helped me set expectations for myself. It can help you as well.

I know that the information on learning styles is a lot to get through in a quick read. But knowing our learning styles is so important.

These systems are set up with adults in mind, but they work great with kids as well. Anyone can improve their chances of success.

By understanding their learning type and then putting the strategies in place. To make sure that they learn in a way that works for them.

It could be follow up work on YouTube online. It could be practical examples. It could be getting out of theory and trying something outside of the course.

Whatever works for you.

I think it’s worth sharing this information. Because in the last 3 years since I discovered this was out there. It has made a huge difference for me.

As more of our education and training moves online. Learning in a way that works best for you as an individual. That’s what is going to become important.

As training changes, we as participants need to innovate. This is one way to do that.


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