Obstacles or Barriers in Learning

Blocks in learning can be caused by:
The learning environment
• Noise, interruptions
• Not sufficient equipment
• Too warm; too cold
Physiological blocks
 Poor hearing or vision.
 Tiredness.
 Illness.
 Fear of humiliation and failure.
 Fear of being too old to learn.
 Problems with kids, colleagues, spouses, parents etc.
Lack of Motivation
‘Lack of motivation’ has an effect on all the stages of learning.
Unsuitable Work Environment
There are three aspects of the work environment which can create blocks to learning:
• The learner’s relationship with the boss or supervisor/trainers.
• The learner’s relationship with colleagues/fellow learners.
• The learner’s job itself.
Inappropriate Subject Matter
The best-planned learning experience can fail just because it is or seems to be irrelevant to the learner.
Past Experience
The experience people bring to any learning event is important in several ways.
There can be potential conflict between past learning and what the ETD Practitioners are asking people to learn now.
For example, a learner who has learnt a job by muddling through will have picked up a lot of bad habits. The learner has to unlearn those habits before introducing new skills.
Training providers keep in mind: past experience!
Self Image
From the ETD Practitioner’s perspective, the learner’s self-image comprises two elements:
• the sum of their experiences
• self-esteem
Inadequate Study Skills
The block to learning here is lack of study skills, or lack of skills appropriate to a particular learning experience.
Study skills mainly comprise of:
• reading in depth
• reading for information at speed
• answering questions
• taking notes
• summarizing
• examination routine
• planning time
• allowing time to study
Graduates may additionally be versed in:
• research skills
• questioning skills
For other, non-academic types, study skills may be comprised of:
• observation
• imitation
• use of checklists
If training requires the learner to use study skills which they haven’t got, then the ETD Practitioner: either gives the learner the study skills which is recommended, because it empowers people to learn more and more, or changes the style of training so that it corresponds with the learner’s existing skills.
To fail to adopt either of these is to reduce the effectiveness of your learning. Demotivation is the inevitable result.
Any learning should enable the learner to become better at learning itself. In a world where jobs and skills change so quickly, we all need to improve our learning skills. To summarize, the demands of any learning experience must:
• be carefully designed within the learner’s study capability
• enable the learner to become better at learning in the future
We’ve probably all met the situation where a learner has remembered with total clarity a few bits of a training session, but forgotten all the rest – often resulting in some major misunderstanding. This leads in turn to learners becoming suspicious of training – and with some justification.