aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

Meta What?!?!!?

Posted by Ellen on December 13, 2009

Back in grad school, when discussion turned to “deconstructionism,” I mentally closed down. Something about that term turned me off, maybe because it sounded pretentious when people uttered it.

Here’s another one: metacognition. But the concept is simple, and — thanks to learning and development specialist Taruna Goel — easy to implement, all for the good of your association.

Metacognition is learning from learning, “perhaps more important than learning itself,” Goel writes. “Sounds strange but what it means is to allow learners to think about learning and therefore construct their own connections between what has been learnt in the past versus what is being learnt in the present. It is about being aware of your learning and taking control of the same.”

Because learners are in charge of how they are learning, they’re increasing their ability to access that learning in the future when they need it. We all know that unless someone can transfer what they learned into a real situation in which they can apply that learning, then it doesn’t matter how “effective” the training was.

Here’s an example. On an icey road your car starts to go into a spin. Intellectually, you recall that you’re supposed to turn your wheel a certain way. But in reality, you’re struggling to transfer that intellectual learning into a practical, physical action.

How do you structure a learning event to help transfer of learning? Goel provides specifics for pre-training, training event, and post-training activities that will make your job much easier!

Take a look at her blog  — skip the beginning, academic stuff (unless you’d like an excellent summary of various theories on learning transfer) and go right to the “Pre-training” subtitle toward the end of the post.

Follow her advice and you’ll not only deliver more effective learning events to your members, but you’ll be addressing any of those feedback comments that said, “It was hard to sit and listen for 90 minutes, even though I was interested in the topic.”

Transform your learning events from “Sit and Listen” to “Move and Interact.” Avoid the pitfalls of “sage on the stage” by putting your members — as learners — square in the center of the learning activity.

Doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, and Taruna Goel tells you how to do it.

What are you waiting for?

2 Responses to “Meta What?!?!!?”

  1. Hello Ellen,

    Thank you for including my post in your blog. I hope your readers will find it useful. I’d be happy to receive feedback and comments on my blog.

    Taruna Goel

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