Creating the Learning Experience

I’ve spent the day in various cafes, refining and rehearsing in my head this week’s workshop on creativity. This level of focus does not come easily to me: my typical days are fragmented between many tasks, so to do one thing is a luxury (or a curse). But the time alone does not mean i’ll get it right. I may get elements right, but elements don’t make up a coherent whole.

Creating the Learning Experience

How do we create effective learning? This is one view in my mind as i’m designing the workshop on ‘Creativity’

Any learning experience is a mixture of theory, story, co-creative activity and rehearsal. Get the balance right, and we can deliver effective learning, get it wrong and we lose context, lose application or lose sense (and the audience).

Tackling ‘theory‘ is not about lectures: it’s about creating and tying into existing knowledge schemas. It’s like finding which Lego bricks fit. It’s often about contextualising what we are exploring and framing the learning against real world problems.

Story‘ is about building a coherent narrative through the learning, be it eLearning, mobile, social or a workshop. We need both context and the ability to explore freely so that we can build shared understanding, shared meaning.

Increasingly we use Social Learning approaches to ‘co-create‘ meaning within the learning: this is about sense making within and alongside our community, about uninhibited curiosity and the ability to explore around the subject in a safe environment, about time to reflect.

As we move to ‘application‘, we need space for rehearsal: linking back to the real world as we build our vocabulary. For organisations, it’s about creating permissive spaces to make mistakes, being clear with the rules and understanding how we identify and welcome certain amounts of risk.

In my mind, i’m juggling these four dimensions: trying to raise my perspective out of my head and into the overall experience and everyday reality of the participants. I may not get it right, but if i #WorkOutLoud and share the experience, maybe i’ll learn from the mistakes.

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
This entry was posted in Learning, Learning Design, Learning Journey, Learning Methodology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Creating the Learning Experience

  1. Nice attempt to synthesise Julian. I guess you are talking about experiences where we intend to learn something rather than when we try to do something and learning emerges along the way.
    ‘It’s often about contextualising what we are exploring and framing the learning against real world problems’ I find its the other way – trying to work with an everyday problem then thinking about what I’ve learnt and drawing out anything that I might use again..

    • julianstodd says:

      Yes, absolutely Norman, i should have contextualised it better in formal, organisational learning. I wrote a piece about accidental learning that i meant to share with you here, but i can’t find it right now… but whilst searching, i found this, which you my enjoy instead.

      I was pleased to get the email telling me you’re joining us for the workshop this week – will be great to meet and share some stories and i’ll value your feedback. Best wishes, Julian

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  4. sylvie says:

    Great post as always Julian Stodd! Just wanted to let you know that there is a typo in the first sentence, “weeks” needs an apostrophe. 🙂

  5. sylvie says:

    You’re welcome! 🙂 I really enjoyed reading this post!

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