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Inquiry-Based Learning Sets the Stage for Innovation

In the 1960’s we saw shifts from traditional forms of instruction to discovery learning and other problem-solving approaches. This shift meant less rote lecture and memorization. Joseph Schwab was considered one of the key founders of the inquiry-based learning method, which professes that individuals learn through investigation. In other words, students acquire knowledge through aggressive questioning and creative thinking.   Inquiry-Based Learning in the Classroom Inquiry-based learning was first applied in science curriculum. This makes sense, since asking questions is a fundamental aspect of any scientific experiment (Edelson, et al, 1999). However, educators are also applying this technique in other …

Adult Learning: What Really Differentiates Adult Learners?

Several decades ago, Malcolm Knowles instituted adult learning theory by making the distinction between how children learn (pedagogy) and how adults learn (andragogy). Specifically, he highlighted how adults draw from past experience while learning. On the contrary, children are only just forming their experiences. Furthermore, he believed adults need practical reasons to learn concepts through problem solving. Additionally, he theorized that adults are more internally motivated (than children) to learn (Knowles, 1980). We often hear this motivation referred to as “they need to know – what’s in for me?” Finally, adults want to take a part in their own learning. …

Demystifying Learning Styles and Tailored Instruction

How often have you heard “he’s a visual learner” or “she learns better hands-on”? Over several decades, we’ve heard of three main learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (some sources provide more than three). Although some individuals can have a combination of two or all three, there is usually a dominant style. For example, a visual learner grasps concepts when presented with illustrations and struggles with concepts presented with a lecture. As a result, instructional designers include instructional approaches that touch these learning styles when designing a training course or module. As an example, a typical eLearning module includes text …

The Benefits of Virtual Reality and Serious Games Training

Over the last two decades, virtual reality and serious games training have emerged in educational settings. However, this movement has not gone without skepticism. Critics assert that these training methods are not as effective as instructor-led classroom training or live exercises using real equipment. It is also possible that some learners hold a similar critique by attributing “guilt by association” to these training methods. The thinking goes that any type of computer-based training must mean another boring CBT. Furthermore, there is also the critique that virtual reality and serious games are more for entertainment. Therefore, the thinking goes that they …

Micro-learning Exercises: The Power to Motivate Learners

If you are from the training or education world, “micro-learning” is likely not a new term for you. A Micro-learning Solution, which is a short 3-5 minute learning segment focused on a specific outcome, can serve multiple purposes. Micro-learning Exercises can provide opportunity to practice a specific task (not unlike a part-task trainer). They can also help fill “downtime” while learners/students are otherwise waiting to perform that task for an instructor (or teacher). This in turn allows learners to hone in on one specific challenge they seem to have (e.g. based on an assessment score), or providing training at the …