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The “Just do it” learner

Posted by : - September 6, 2011

This week we will discuss the final learning style that we will cover in this series.  This is the kinesthetic learner.  The kinesthetic learner learns by doing.  An employee may hear a concept and see a concept, but they will not fully understand it (and retain it) until the concept is put into practice.

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to help the kinesthetic learner.  During training, ensure that the users have access to the staffing software they are learning.  Also, make sure they have ample time to use that software during training.  Following each topic, allow the class 10-15 minutes of time to “do” what was learned.

Allowing trainees to use the software can be easily achieved if you have the right environment; however most of us don’t have a training room filled with computers waiting for use.  If you are unable to provide individual access to the software for each user, there are a couple of things you can try.  You could create a set of exercises for each user to work through at their desk after training.  You can motivate those users with a prize for each user that comes in the next day with a completed exercise.  If you want the users to be able to “do” during training, then you could take turns having users demonstrate the learned concept to the rest of the class.  This is also a useful approach when conducting online training.  You can take turns turning the screen control over to the users to drive.  The trainee becomes the trainer.

In my experience, most people will sit through training, but not fully learn the staffing software until it comes time to do their job.  Unfortunately, it is hard to be successful (and remain patient) when you are learning in the hot seat.  In order to prevent this type of learning that is so common to human nature, you can try to force real-life scenarios before they happen.  If possible, the trainer could sit with an individual user and walk through some of their daily processes while using the software at their desk.  When creating in-class exercises, you can create real-life scenarios.  Instead of instructing the trainee to create an Activity, instruct them to appropriately record a phone call from Jamie Smith stating she is available to work starting next Tuesday.  If there is a weekly report or list that is essential to a user’s job, then task them with entering the data that accurately populates the report.  They know what they want the end result to be, but they need you to help them learn how to get there.

Whether they are a kinesthetic, auditory, or visual learner, everyone needs training.  A good training program can become a great training program if you provide your learners with a variety of training and the opportunity for repeatable, take-away learning tools.

Erica Ellis

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Erica has been part of the Bond team since 2006 when she started with VCG's Implementation team. As the Client Services Manager, her team consists of people responsible for customer support, account management, implementation, training, report writing, and data migration.