Approaches to Learning
Things change, people change and so do ways to approach knowledge and skills transfer. Gone are the days when learning could only take place in a classroom through a knowledgeable teacher. Today, several means of acquiring knowledge and skills are available. Below, which we explore the most accepted approaches to learning.
This is the traditional approach to learning. It involves participants or students, a classroom, a teacher, a whiteboard – you know the drill. In classroom learning, participants are expected to listen attentively and participate. The differentiating factor about this kind of learning is that students and teachers need to be physically present in the classroom. Its major strength is that it promotes a multi-directional exchange of ideas as well as face-to-face interactions between students and teachers. Classroom learning supports team projects, peer evaluation and group discussions.
Online learning is grounded on the idea of using online tools for learning. This means conducting lectures, assignments and assessments via virtual platforms. Online learning is considered the optimal approach by many since it puts the lid on travelling, instructor and accommodation costs.
Within the category of Online learning, microlearning is considered the cream of the crop. This is because it focuses on delivering just the right amount of information necessary to help a learner achieve a learning objective. In short, the idea is creating byte-sized modules focused on one learning objective. In the workplace, the value of microlearning becomes evident given the limited time employees have at their disposal for training during work hours.
This approach sits at the halfway point between Classroom and Online learning. Blended learning forces learners to attend certain classroom sessions for specific sections of a training programme. The majority of the content, however, is covered online. Although blended learning offers the best of both worlds, it is considered relatively cost-intensive since travelling, accommodation and instructors are part and parcel of this approach.
It goes without saying that every approach to learning comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Nevertheless, when faced with the need to choose one of the above approaches, one must consider the bigger picture. The reality is that companies are forced to be driven by efficiency and cost-cutting. Given this context, the benefits offered by online learning, particularly microlearning, greatly outweigh those associated with its counterparts.