How to Get More (Learn More) From Training and Education
Market research shows that we adults are enthralled with courses. We love to learn! Trainers and developers are responding with an explosion of new courses, and these are costing more than ever. Therefore, its critical to know your learning needs and how to meet them
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· Too often, we decide what courses to take by scanning
a list of new courses. This is like picking dessert from a dessert
tray: you pick what you want more than what you need. Reflect
on your needs. What do you need for your career? Is there a particular
problem youre facing in your career, home life or job?
· Try to specify your needs in terms of outcomes or impacts, not in terms of activities. For example, seek certain enhanced skills, knowledge, perceptions, etc. Think about how youll know if these outcomes were reached or not.
· Dont just look at courses as means to achieve your preferred outcomes. Too often, we think we only can learn in classrooms from an expert who lectures us. With todays technologies, we have immediate access to a wide range of materials and information. Homeschooling is an increasingly useful technique for learning.
· Think about how much youve really used materials from earlier courses. For example, are you the kind of person who takes a course and brings materials home to sit on a shelf and never be looked at again? If so, what can you do to change?
· Look at the outcomes promised from the course. Do
they match your needs? Do the objectives and learning activities
sound like theyll really produce those outcomes promised
from the course?
· Call the instructor and discuss your needs. Find out if he or she believes the course will be useful. Beware the person with a big hammer -- to them, everyone is a nail.
· Get a biography of the instructor. What evidence do you see that the instructor really has the expertise to be teaching that course and subject matter?
· Attempt to get an outline of the course. Is the course well organized? Does the course include sufficient time for questions and for evaluation? Are materials provided to support lectures?
· Ask the school or the instructor for a copy of the form used to evaluate the courses and the instructor. What objectives are measured by the form? These objectives are often those that the instructor will try to reach.
· Assess if the course will be jam packed and very hectic. If so, there will probably be little time for questions and answers. You might be overwhelmed with a datadump of information and little knowledge.
· See if theres a discount to take the course a second time if needed. Occasionally we dont get enough from a course even if the instructor does a fine job and the materials were very useful.
· Be sure youre comfortable and can hear the instructor.
Sit at the front of the room if possible.
· Take notes by recording important points and conclusions, not everything the instructor says. Note if the instructor is speaking from a set of materials, in which case, you may not need to record all the important points because the materials may already contain those points.
· Get a list of whos in the course. Ask some classmates if they are interested in getting together to help each other apply the materials and exchange feedback about experiences.
· Is the instructor following the agenda? Will promised topics be discussed with sufficient time?
· Find out how to get in touch with the instructor at a later time if needed. You may have a question or two about how to apply materials. The instructor may appreciate your feedback.
· Ask questions if you dont understand the instructor or whats going on! This may be the most useful activity for getting the most out of your course. Speak up if you wonder whether information or materials seem realistic or practical.
· You can learn a lot from evaluation! The most useful
forms of evaluation include time at the end of course for learners
to discuss the quality of the course. At the beginning of the
course, ask the instructor to try leave sufficient time for this.
· Too often, evaluations are based on our feelings about our experiences in the course, rather than if the course achieved its objectives or not. Carefully consider whether the course met its objectives or not.
· Very soon after the course, review your notes and
the materials. This will ensure your notes are complete and help
you internalize the materials.
· Mark your calendar for three months out. At that time, ask yourself if youre using materials from the course? If not, why not? What can you learn from this?
Self-Assessments (numerous self-assessments)
Goals - Setting Personal Goals
Changing Your Behavior
Basic Requirements of Learners in Training and Development
Learning Style Inventory
Student Skills, includes:
- - - Reading Skills
- - - Tips for Studying More Effectively
- - - Tips to Do Better On Tests
For the Category of Personal Development:
To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.
Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.
- Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business
- by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
Includes step-by-step guidelines, tips and tools to effectively lead:
2. Other individuals in the business
3. Groups and teams in the business
4. Business organizations
5. As well as all functions within the business organization.
Many of the Library's materials about business, leadership and management are adapted from this book. Just click on the title of the book above to see the Index and Table of Contents.
- Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff
- by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
Includes step-by-step guidelines, tips and tools customized for personnel in nonprofits to effectively lead:
2. Other individuals in the nonprofit
3. Groups and teams in the nonprofit
4. Nonprofit organizations
5. As well as all functions within the nonprofit organization.
Many of the Library's materials about nonprofit leadership and management are adapted from this book. Just click on the title of the book above to see the Index and Table of Contents.
The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.