Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reflections on LSG11 - Clive Shepherd's session

It's been a while since the Learning & Skills Group Conference, but it's never too late to reflect. The first session I'm going to look back at is Clive Shepherd's 'The Learning Professional'.

Clive has taken a bold step in drawing us closer to a practical model for how learning really works. Breaking down the range of learning interventions into different perspectives and contexts helps us to stop and question our pre-conceptions of what constitutes good learning, since our own experiences will doubtless have pre-disposed us to favour those which we have been exposed to in the past. And those experiences that we thought of as learning have almost invariably been labelled as courses.

We do so love to package everything up as courses, don't we? But does it always have to be that way? And is something you can't describe as a course, any less important for learning because of that deficiency in name? New developments in technology are catalysing changes in the way we communicate and work. As the pace of change begins to quicken, courses will quickly become obsolete if they don't focus on teaching people processes, and leave the information to one side. But that doesn't mean the information isn't important, we just have to change our approach to updating ourselves. If we can find the courage to break away from the familiar and try something new, we can devise new and more effective learning strategies.