How information are perceived
A coach or ETD practitioner planning successful strategies must understand that a learner may prefer one or another of the following ways to take in and process information (James and Galbraith 1985):
How People Take In and Process Information
Every good training design, i will incorporate all six modalities to ensure that each learner’s needs are being addressed.
TELLING IS NOT COACHING
How many times have you said to yourself, “I’ve told him and told him how to do it, but he still gets it wrong?” Your describing a process doesn’t ensure that the listener understands it or has developed the skill to do it.
This is a vital distinction: People generally learn by doing, not by being told how to do something. For example, you’ll learn more quickly how to reach a new location if you’re the driver instead of the passenger. The more times a person can try out new skills or apply new knowledge, the more likely he or she is to learn the skills and details.
Process is the key to successful coaching/teaching and training
- ETD practitioners who are process-oriented attend to the following:
Creating a positive learning climate
Involving learners in planning for their learning
Involving learners in identifying their own needs
Involving learners in setting their learning objectives
Involving learners in designing their learning plans
Helping learners carry out their learning plans
Involving learners in evaluating their own learning outcomes.
All coaching/teaching and training, lends itself to a process designed around these seven principles.
By nature, we are social beings. Effective ETD practitioners capitalize on this elemental characteristic by using cooperative learning techniques when more than one person is being trained for the same skill or task.
The basic principle of cooperative learning is that people “work together to maximize their own and each others’ learning” (Johnson, Johnson, and Smith 1991).
This approach is based on two assumptions:
- learning is an active endeavor and
different people learn in different ways (Meyers and Jones 1993).
As an example, let’s assume you have two people who are learning a new presentation graphics computer program. To promote cooperative learning and spur synergy between them, present some content-related questions to review material already covered or arouse curiosity and interest in what you are about to introduce.
You might ask:
- What is the recommended number of lines per page for a transparency or slide?
How many ways can you display a presentation?
Where is the spelling tool located?
Instruct both learners to write answers to each question. Then ask them to work together to create new answers and to share these cooperatively improved ones with you. You’ll correct, clarify, or expand on their responses and they’ll learn, additionally, how joint effects enhance success.
When coaching adults, the most important thing to remember is just that – they’re adults!