Archive for the ‘ Teaching Strategies ’ Category

Tips to give Students on Learning how to Learn

The tips in this post were extracted from http://www.rod.beavon.clara.net/learning.htm. For other posts about Learning How to Learn click the category in the sidebar.

Free images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Here are some tips (with my input) that you can pass onto your students to help them learn.

Tip #1: Set the Expectation that Learning takes Time

To learn something (rather than memorize it and place it in short term memory) requires that students take the time to assimilate the information and reflect. It can be frustrating at first as students may feel that they are spending too much time on the activity of learning, but let them know to be patient as the more they learn, the faster the process will become. I see it as becoming efficient at something the more one does it.

Tip #2: Plan for Learning

Planning is key to staying on track with a course and learning. Dayplanners (electronic versions, even) can aid students in dedicating time to learning. Point out that they should have balance and plan time for family, friends, extracurricular activities, down time, or anything else they feel they need. Students should also consider including some buffer time in case of unexpected situations that may affect the time they’ve planned for learning. Also suggest that students record any reflections they may have about things they’ve learned while on the go. For myself, I find that when I’m on the bus, about to doze off, or preparing for work, I’ll have a realization that I’d like to explore. I jot it down on my mobile device, however, students can carry a small notebook instead if they prefer. I suppose bar napkins work also 😉

Tip #3: Use effective learning techniques in each learning session

In each of the learning sessions, students should …

  • plan to work for an hour. If any longer, plan for a break.
  • review the material covered in the last session.
  • have a  particular goal in mind of what they would like to accomplish.
  • skim the material to be covered in the current session
  • recast the information in a different form (into a drawing, flowchart, mindmaps, etc.)
  • skim the information again to get another overview with the new knowledge they have gained.
  • review the information you have learned and revisit areas where you’ve had difficulty. Jot down questions to ask the instructor for areas that remain unclear.

These are just some of the tips from the resource. Definitely visit the website and read for more tips that you could pass onto students. There are tips specific to particular learning activities like reading, writing, assessing graphs, etc.

Where do these Tips fit in for Virtual Software Training?

In using these tips, I would pass on this information to my learners in form of a tip sheet. However, is that really enough? One imagines that getting them to complete activities that foster this skill would mean that we, as educators, are tearing them away from their role. Corporate learners have very little time to spend on learning as they are balancing their full time jobs. However, that’s the perspective that needs to be slightly adjusted. As an educator, it is my role to help students understand that if they learn how to learn, then they are actually saving themselves time and preventing costly mistakes (from misusing the software tool). As the resource mentions, learning to learn means that knowledge obtainment becomes more efficient over time. However, we shouldn’t overlook how the effectiveness. Learning the material effectively means the student can properly use the software. This saves them time as it means that there will less likely be mistakes that will need to be addressed (which uses up more time than if it were done the best way the first time around).

Thus, in addition to providing them with the tip sheet, some time in the training session will need to be carved out so that I, the educator, can sit down and help the learners plan their first learning session outside of class. Alternatively, they can help each other since the learners typically all work together and can understand the demands of their job. Assistance like this may be required as the task may be too daunting for them to learn to do on their own while balancing their job. Thereafter, students can plan their own learning sessions and review it with the instructor or their classmates until they get the hang of it. I also believe that making a learning session plan would help commit them to learning the tool.

At the beginning of each class, during a review, I would involve students to share what has worked for them in this approach to learning to learn. This way, the learners can share any additional techniques they’ve found that have helped them learn.

How would you use these tips or pass them onto your students?

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An Approach for Developing and Implementing Questioning Techniques

Looking for an introductory post on questioning? See this post!

I recently came upon this resource for questioning: http://faculty.ntcc.edu/apt/module8.html. Be sure to take a gander, as I found it to be valuable in providing me with some guidance in being effective in questioning.

To summarize some of the strategies outlined in this resource…

  • Ask Divergent Questions: Divergent question’s have many possible answers. For example, “What are some possible ways to solve the problem of poverty?”
  • Promote discussion amongst students: Paraphrase and draw in other students.
  • Wait 6 to 8 seconds before calling on a student for a response.
  • “Spontaneous questions that come up during class time are helpful but questions that are thinking skill-builders usually require more thoughtful pre- planning and structuring.”
  • Paraphrase answers back to students.

Free images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

So how do we translate this summary into an actionable process? Well, I’ve deducted some steps from my own experience as a teacher. Read on for the steps and a personal example.

Step 1: Identify When to Create Questions and for what Learning Tasks

As mentioned in the resource, “questions that are thinking skill builders usually require more thoughtful pre-planning and structuring.” When should you create the questions that will encourage your students to think deeply? Typically this is done when the lesson plans are created in the curriculum development process. Were you handed lesson plans? Update it with questioning techniques where appropriate.

Looking at the lesson plan, the educator decides upon the types of questions to ask for particular learning tasks. For example, a divergent question may not be ideal for the knowledge stage of Bloom’s Taxonomy (discussed here previously) for a course concept. Sometimes questions may come naturally to the educator outside of the lesson plan. This is wonderful and organic as it draws from the educator’s experience with timing. See the other post for question ques for different levels in Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Step 2: Pose your questions in Class

Following your lesson plan (feel free to be organic), pose your question. As per the advice of the article, wait 6 to 8 seconds before calling on a student to respond. This allows them time to identify what you are asking, and to gather their thoughts. The silence can be difficult for an educator. I often feel the urge to provide a number of “correct” answers. However, after waiting 6 to 8 seconds, I now say, “Any guesses?” or “There isn’t a wrong answer!” I find that this has been quite successful with my learners as then there is less anxiety in participating.

Step 3: Promote Discussion amongst your Students

Once a student has piped up, draw other students into the discussion. You can for instance ask another student, “What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with what __________ is saying?” Then further probe. Ensure that once students have answered, that you demonstrate that you’ve understood them by paraphrasing what they have said. This is especially important as validation is a key characteristic to adult learners (discussed previously in this post).

Step 4: Review

For more involved questions, you may review all the input students have provided. This aids with retention, and also gives a complete picture of what was discussed. This review could be led by students if you wish to incorporate active learning.

An Example of the Approach

I’ve used this approach to create divergent questions as I typically am more organic and impulsive with questions on the lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. I first went through my lesson plans and identified learning tasks where divergent questions would be appropriate. For instance, in online surveys (the subject matter of my classes), students have the ability to allow respondents to go back to previous questions. Alternatively, they may decide to not allow this at all. I write in my lesson plan to pose the question: “Would you allow respondents to go back to previous questions in your survey?” There isn’t truly a wrong answer to this question.

Students typically answer this question in three ways: 1) No, I wouldn’t allow it, and 2) Yes, I would allow it, and 3) I would allow it for only some questions. For whichever answer a student chooses, I would then encourage the discussion and ask why. I would then ask if there was a student that thought otherwise and their reasoning.

If there isn’t a student that identifies an alternative perspective, I may introduce one and fuel the discussion. For instance, let’s say a student answered my question with, “Yes. you should allow the to go back and change their answer in a previous question on the survey…because what if they made a mistake. This would give you more accurate data because they can correct it.” If other students do not disagree, I may play devil’s advocate and say, “But what if they change their answer to avoid answering MORE survey questions because they figured out the survey logic for skipping. Would “No” be better for accurate data?” This discussion can go on for awhile as there are many benefits and challenges with each possible answer.

At the end of this activity, I then conduct a review. I prefer that students lead this. I divide students up in groups to represent one of the possible answers to the divergent question and ask each camp to summarize what it is we have discovered with each possible answer.

Introverted Students, Positive Learning Environments, and Classroom Management

This journal entry gives insights on introverted students. How do we create a positive learning environment for them? How do we manage the classroom so that they are included and recognized? After completing this entry, I actually found an additional related resource that would be worth visiting: http://www.transformativeclassroom.com/more.php?axi

Objective

“In the Ted Talks video,(http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html), Susan Cain shares her insight on introversion. Here’s the summary from the Ted Talks website:

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

Cain discusses how school and work environments are geared towards stimulating extroverts, and ignore the low-key stimulation that introverts need.

Here’s the full video:

Reflective

Upon watching the video above, I thought, “Oh, thank goodness! Someone has finally said it!”

Interpretive

Much like Cain, I am more introverted, and have felt the pressures to be more extroverted. For instance, once upon a time, I was once in an impromptu meeting with senior executives to discuss the development of a training program. After the meeting, I emailed them some additional thoughts I had on what was said. Their reply was a professional scolding for not sharing these thoughts during the meeting. The senior executives used negative reinforcement to promote extroversion when I felt that I should have been given positive feedback for further exploring the ideas in a deeper manner– a natural activity for an introvert.

I didn’t always identify myself as an introvert. For a long time, I was in denial about this characteristic. This denial came from my need to be accepted in a society that values extroverts. I did everything I could to be a social and personable individual and ignored the uncomfortable feeling of being in a high-stimulation environment.

Because of the pressures to be extroverted, I chose to study Marketing and Communication in university. I thought that if I were surrounded by extroverts (typical of the Marketing and Communication disciplines) that I would somehow transform into a social butterfly. I also thought that I could become an outgoing individual if I studied these disciplines because the subject matter was about about interacting with the public and strangers.

When I obtained my degree, and started my career, I ended up being an educator (software trainer). The pressure to build rapport with strangers (i.e. my clients/learners) was so great that I had gone as far as Googling, “how to make small talk”. I suppose this search itself demonstrates how much of an introvert I am — engaging in research and deep thought ABOUT socializing versus taking the more extroverted approach and heading into a crowd and thriving from the energy and potential experience.

I believe at this point I realized that I was more of an introvert than an extrovert. The evidence was surmounting:

  • I prefer individual activities in my free time like reading, knitting, running, and yoga.
  • I find that I am mentally exhausted after socializing. Even being around large crowds of people is tiresome.
  • I find high-stimulation environments distracting.
  • I tend not to ask others about themselves as I feel that I would be intruding.

Now that I’ve watched Cain’s talk and have recognized the pressures that society has put on introverts, I feel the need to modify my teaching approach to create a positive learning environment that fosters both extroverts and introverts.

Currently, in my training sessions, introverted students are pressured to be extroverted in order to be considered good performers. All class activities are collaborative in nature. There are no activities where learners are independent (unless you get a session with one student). In the sessions, the trainers are constantly passing mouse control to students and facilitating group discussions.

Decisional

In creating a balanced menu of learning activities, my department will need to adopt and create tasks that stimulate introverts and extroverts. For example, we could pose a discussion question for learners to take with them to think about outside of the training session. In the next session, we would have students communicate their findings. The chance to reflect and think critically outside of class would satisfy the yearning of introverts to engage in deep thought, and the presentation of information in the following session would satisfy the stimulation that extroverts need. This is just one example. I feel my training team will need an arsenal of these activities. I will set up a brainstorming meeting. (By the way, I like how these journals give me so many great ideas for my team. My team members are often excited when I let them know my findings from these entries.)

However, what I should point out is that no individual is completely introverted or completely extroverted. So likely, these activities would not cause severe cases of anxiety in students.

Another action item would be to create a pre-course quiz that would actually let students know if they are more on the introverted or extroverted side. I know that many assume they are more of one over the other, but sometimes these results can be surprising. This information can be revealing because students who are actually more introverted may discover that they are actually behaving like extroverts because of societal pressures (which can be stressful for introverts). This can provide them with insight about how they learn best and give them a sense of ownership in helping the trainers mold the session to their needs. This empowers students to learn the way they want – which is an intrinsic motivator.

Classroom Management & Adult Education

What is Classroom Management?

Classroom Management is “the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run smoothly despite disruptive behavior by students. The term also implies the prevention of disruptive behavior.” (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classroom_management)

Disruptive behaviour from one student distracts the focus of other students. It negatively impacts learning.

Examples of Disruptive Behaviour

Here are examples of disruptive behaviour that I’ve seen from students:

  • Being late for class
  • Distracted by their mobile devices
  • Chatting amongst themselves
  • Interrupting the educator or other students

Before you move onto the next section, think about how you would handle these situations.

Strategies & Tactics for Managing Disruptions

The following resource provides an excellent table for handling disruptions.

http://www.4faculty.org/includes/108r2.jsp

To summarize, it looks at disruptions like the undermining of the instructor’s authority, leaving class too frequently, spacing out, cellphone distractions, monopolizing discussions, etc. We’ll be exploring these further in detail (relating it back to my training experience in later posts)

The solutions in the table encourage educators to recognize students as human beings, and to understand the behaviour at a deeper level. Read on for an example. I’ve taken a real life experience and have demonstrated how the solution is applied in such a scenario.

An Real-Life Example of Classroom Management

Here’s a classroom management situation that I’ve been in before. In one of my classes, I had a student who constantly interrupted me, asking about course content that would be discussed in later sessions or interjecting with how his own experiences related to the course content.

In managing this, I took the following steps:

  • Assess the source of this behaviour: For instance, is the student angry, excited, anxious? In my case, I could sense the student’s excitement. I also wasn’t afraid to ask the student questions about the current course materials to assess his feelings. For instance, at the end of the class, I may ask, “How did you feel about the course content we covered today?”
  • Validate the student: Show appreciation for their excitement. Let’s be real here, excited students are a gem. In my case, I told the student, “I’m really loving your energy and enthusiasm! It’s refreshing to see someone so gung-ho about what this software tool can do for them!”
  • Take action to correct the behaviour: This does not necessarily mean that we sit down and have a serious one-on-one talk to the student. There are soft approaches that can prove to be effective. In my case, I took better care to go back to the Course Agenda (where all the topics are laid out) to show what was covered and where we were going. I also devoted some time to explaining why the information was laid out this way. This was enough to correct the behaviour. I also adopted this technique in future classes as a preventative measure. As mentioned earlier, classroom management is about preventing disruptive behaviour as much as it is addressing it during class. I also ensured to incorporate more activities that would be an opportunity for the student to share his experiences and how it relates to the course.

What happens if that wasn’t enough and the student continued to display the disruptive behaviour? I would incorporate more strategies that allowed the student to become the expert on the knowledge. This would provide them with a deeper understanding of why the course content is laid out in the way it is. The Jigsaw Strategy comes to mind. This strategy would also allow the student to incorporate his experiences as example as an approach to teaching it to his jigsaw group. See this post about the Jigsaw Instructional Strategy.

So how did this match up with the table given in the resource in the previous section? In the table, it suggests in handling the student, we should do the following:

Many students are excited and talkative so it might be good to give them a few class periods to settle in. However, if it’s evident right away that this is a trend, it’s best to ask them to stay after class. You might approach them initially by saying that you are pleased with the amount of enthusiasm they have for discussion but were hoping that they have suggestions for getting the other class members equally involved. The student will most likely get your drift with minimal humiliation.

From this resource, it’s evident that I should also wait to see if the behaviour continues before addressing it. However, I feel preventative action can always be taken to ensure the class runs smoothly. Thus, I can still show the agenda more frequently and be more open about how the course I laid out. I also like the idea of asking the disruptive student to help in getting other students involved. This is using a very clever instructional strategy to promote active learning.

Looking for more posts about Classroom Management? Click the category in the sidebar! As well, be sure to check out the Resources menu (specifically, Other Resources) for more Classroom management resources.

Four Steps – Planning for Learning How to Learn

If students understand how they can learn, then they can utilize the tools that they know would work for them. This awareness of the process of learning is discussed quite a bit in my post about Metacognition. Check out that post for some tools that you can use with your students.

Another useful tool I found is from the Study Guides and Strategies website: http://www.studygs.net/metacognitiona.htm

According to the Study Guides and Strategies website, there are 4 steps in learning to learn:

  1. Begin with the Past
  2. Proceed to the Present
  3. Consider the Process and Subject Matter
  4. Build in a Review

On the website, there are questions that belong to each of the above steps that can help students develop their strategies to learn.

Students should first begin with the past and assess the strategies that have worked for them before. They can ask themselves questions like, “What is your experience about how you learn?”, “Did you like quiet or study groups?”, “What are your study habits?”, “What has worked, and what hasn’t?”

Then they assess the present and ask themselves questions like, “How interested am I in this?”, “What affects my dedication to learning?”, “Do I have a plan? Does the plan consider my past and learning style?”

Next, students consider the process and subject matter by asking themselves, “What is the heading/title and keywords that jump out?”, “As I study, do I ask myself whether I understand?”, “Should I go more quickly or more slowly?”, “If I don’t understand, do I ask why?”

Lastly, students build in a review and ask themselves, “What did I do right?”, “What could I do better?”, “Did my plan coincide with how I work with my strengths and weaknesses?”

Check out the website for more questions within each of the four steps.

When would you have students go through an exercise like this? Before a project or exam? At the beginning of the course?

I think for my own training scenario, I would have students go through an exercise like this before the course starts or at the beginning of the first class. I would then incorporate a group activity where they share with other students techniques that work for them. This can help other students adopt new techniques they haven’t tried before in learning.

Questioning Techniques – Purpose and Bloom’s Taxonomy

Why use Questioning in the Classroom?

Guy Claxton, Professor in Education and Director of CLIO Development University of Bristol (source: http://teachertools.londongt.org/?page=questioningTechniques) states that…

[q]uestioning enables teachers to check learners’ understanding. It also benefits learners as itencourages engagement and focuses their thinking on key concepts and ideas.

I agree with what Claxton is saying. Think back to being a student. What provoked you to think about something in a deeper way? When an educator asked questions, or when  he/she who lectured and made statements? It’s likely the former. As well, I find that by using questioning techniques, it makes for a more interactive class. No longer is the educator at the front of the room talking and filling the heads of students like a vessel.

Bloom’s Taxonomy and Questioning Techniques

Bloom’s Taxonomy can provide you with guidance for the types of questions you can ask your students.

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a pyramid that illustrates the levels of learning and thinking. Educators aim for higher levels of learning and thinking in their students, however, one should note that levels of learning and thinking at the bottom of the pyramid need to be present before students can move up the pyramid.

The table from the University of Victoria Counselling Services webpage (http://www.coun.uvic.ca/learning/exams/blooms-taxonomy.html) gives a definition of each level and question cues.

If you’re more of an audiovisual learner, please check out this video:

To summarize these two sources, see the table below. I’ve also added examples to each.

Level

Definition

Question Cue

Knowledge At this level, students are asked to recall factual information in an objective manner.For example, “List the document types that you can create in Google Docs.” list, define, tell, describe, identify, show, label, collect, examine, tabulate, quote, name, who, when, where, etc.
Comprehension At this level, students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of the information. This may include interpreting facts, predict consequences, and translate knowledge into new context.For example, “Differentiate between Spreadsheets and Fusion Tables in Google Docs.” summarize, describe, interpret, contrast, predict, associate, distinguish, estimate, differentiate, discuss, extend
Application At this levels, students are asked to use information, methods, concepts, theories in new situations. They may also be asked to solve problems.For example, “Relate the Two Factor motivational theory for job satisfaction to the educational setting.” apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete, illustrate, show, solve, examine, modify, relate, change, classify, experiment, discover
Analysis At this level, students use information to identify patterns or components, recognize hidden meanings, and organize part.For example, “Explain what the sample cross tabulation report is showing.” analyze, separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, divide, compare, select, explain, infer
Synthesis At this level, students use old ideas to create new ones, generalize from given facts, relate knowledge from several areas, and draw conclusions.For example, “Prepare a plan of how you will use the software tool to support your business process.” combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, what if?, compose, formulate, prepare, generalize, rewrite
Evaluation At this level, students assess values of theories, makes choices based on reasoned argument, recognize subjectivity. The use of critical thinking is essential here.For example, “Recommend a solution for the business based on your assessment of related theories.” assess, decide, rank, grade, test, measure, recommend, convince, select, judge, explain, discriminate, support, conclude, compare, summarize

From the table, as students are close to the top of the pyramid, they are move involved with knowledge and information.  However, there is value in questions at the lower level of the pyramid. They can help students build familiarity with course concepts before they move into synthesis and evaluation. There is an appropriate time for questions in each level in Bloom’s Taxonomy.

For example, if I as an educator have just introduced a new theory, I would not ask students to rank this theory against others (Evaluation) without ensuring that students comprehend the theory and others first.

For more posts about Questioning Techniques, click the Questioning Techniques category  in the sidebar.

Student Motivation: Changing our Approach and understanding Intrinisic Motivation

This journal entry focuses on motivation and takes a in-depth look at a statement made by Eric Jensen (in the Objective section), and also the speech made by Dan Pink in a TedTalks video.

Objective

“There is no such thing as an unmotivated student. There are, however, students in unmotivated states” — Eric Jensen.

In the Ted Talks video, Dan Pink shares his insight on motivation. Here’s the summary from the Ted Talks website:

If you want people to perform better, you reward them, right? Bonuses, commissions, their own reality show. Incentivize them. … But that’s not happening here. You’ve got an incentive designed to sharpen thinking and accelerate creativity, and it does just the opposite. It dulls thinking and blocks creativity.” (Dan Pink)

Reflective

Upon reading the statement above, I thought, “Ah ha! What an empowering statement!”
Upon watching Dan Pink in the TedTalks video, I thought, “That comes as no surprise. I agree!”

Interpretive

With his statement, I believe Eric Jensen is conveying that if students are unmotivated, it isn’t of permanence or necessarily consistent with their character. Rather, being unmotivated is a state from which students can be moved. I relate it to the concept in physics about potential energy, (energy at rest), and kinetic energy, (energy in motion). To move something from the state of potential energy to kinetic energy, something has to change in the environment or an action needs to be taken upon the item in the potential state. Thus, I found the statement empowering: I, as an instructor, can build an appropriate environment or approach teaching in a way that sparks students to learn. This is important as motivation paired with active learning results in student engagement (Barkley, 2010, p.6) which results in increased knowledge acquisition and general cognitive development (Pascarella and Terenzini, 1999, as cited in Barkley, 2010, p.4).

Pairing what I’ve discovered from Jensen’s statement with Dan Pink’s talk about motivation, gives me a plan of action in motivating students (discussed in the Decisional section). Pink explained that incentives can do the opposite of what you want them to do if you are looking to motivate individuals to be creative and think beyond whatever task you have put in front of them . If I were to relate this to teaching, it would be akin to using “good grades” as an incentive for students to learn. For some students and some learning tasks, this may work, but they may not go beyond course material, gain insight from other sources, relate it to their own experiences, etc. They would do what was necessary to get the grades. I can relate to what Pink is saying. In my own teaching scenario, I am teaching clients to use a software tool in a business environment. They wouldn’t be motivated by grades. It also wouldn’t make sense for me to provide them with monetary incentive to learn, as I’d probably put my employer out of business. Something else needs to be done to move my students into a motivated state.

Pink mentions that motivation for creativity and use of cognitive ability needs to incorporate three factors:

  • Autonomy: the urge for individuals to direct their own lives.
  • Mastery: the desire to get better at something that matters.
  • Purpose: the desire to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

I concur with what Pink is saying. When training clients, I incorporate these three factors in my learning activities. In incorporating autonomy, when I train clients virtually on my company’s market research software tool, they are passed mouse control to complete learning tasks. I teach them the steps in the software, and repeat them if necessary; however, they are flying solo as the course progresses. I also ask them to work on their projects while taking the course so that they can immediately apply what they learn. They are responsible for their own education, their own projects, and their own successes.

Mastery is also incorporated. During the training sessions, there are discussions about how the learner’s success in learning the software tool translates into success in their jobs and for their companies. Their mastery of the tool means that they can rely on the tool when making million dollar decisions that can improve experiences for their own customers.

With respects to purpose, there are student discussions about how online research is a new area in the market research industry. The learners are part of a greater change that is taking place in their discipline; they are part pioneers. This relays to them that they are part of a larger movement.

These factors incorporated into the training program has resulted in many enthusiastic students. They are motivated to learn and to strive for success. However, based in my interpretations, I think more can be done in motivating my learners.

Decisional

From my interpretation, I have identified that if I were to come upon a student in an unmotivated state, I would first need to check my perspective on the situation. I would need to recognize that being unmotivated is a state and that I have the resources to move them into a motivated one. I feel as though there should never be a point where there isn’t something I could do for my students. I would need to assess why they are unmotivated to learn. I will set up a meeting with my training team to discuss the adoption of this attitude and to set up guidelines for assessing such situations.

Taking what Dan Pink has said in the TedTalk video, I will need to adopt more instructional strategies that incorporate Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. One that comes to mind is the Jigsaw instructional strategy. This activity requires students to become experts on a topic and sharing this information with a group consisting of students who are experts on different but related topics. Learners are autonomous as they are in control of how they want to learn or present the information to the group. Mastery is accounted for as they need to be experts on their subject matter. Purpose is fulfilled in that they are part of something larger. In order to get a full picture of what is being learned, they are driven to learn from other members in their group and to teach the other members. The motivation lies in the learning activity itself.

Before I can adopt strategies like Jigsaw, I will need to research them. I will set time aside for my trainers (myself included) to research instructional strategies that satisfy the three mentioned factors. This may be through online resources (asking the Training & Development group on LinkedIn, watching YouTube videos, searching in Educational Databases, etc.) or a trip to the local library.

Although I feel the learners of my training program are motivated overall, there may be specific instances where they are not motivated. For example, they may be willing to learn in class, but they may not be motivated to complete assignments that would be beneficial to them. I will identify the areas where my learners are not motivated, and will develop strategies for approaching this issue. However, before we can do this, I think more research should be done on motivation.

Motivation has many theories and we can not rely solely on the one described by Pink. For instance, while studying for my Business degree, I had come upon a lot of theories about motivation. This includes Maslow’s Hierarchy, the Two Factor theory, etc. I believe some of these could be applied to teaching. I will ask my trainers to present a motivational theory in our next training seminar and to facilitate a discussion of it suitability.