Learning Styles: Finding Ways to Make It Stick
How people learn is highly subjective and can pose a challenge when it comes to making information and knowledge “stick.”
For this reason, many credit unions find themselves in a bind, not only when seeking the best approach for training their team, but also when trying to gain more for their training dollar.
Credit unions deserve to know that they will receive a return on their investment, which may require them to be more strategic when choosing how training is delivered for their staff and volunteers. Just as staff personalities are different, so too are learning styles.
So what is the most effective way to overcome this obstacle? Catering to age demographic may be one way. The age of a training group can highly influence the method used. Older individuals, for example, generally prefer to sit at a desk and
They are primarily visual and auditory learners, and are so because they were taught to beónot necessarily because it’s the best way or the most beneficial for them. This
On the other end of the spectrum, the younger demographic tends to learn better through more hands-on or scenario-based training. This group expects their teachers to keep them engaged, which means having more than a download of information and strong memory skills. Younger trainees usually learn better in a face-to-face or distance learning environment, such as webinars.
While age demographic can serve as a good guide for designing a training session, it shouldn’t serve as the sole determining factor. The Texas Credit Union League (TCUL), for example, incorporates a wide range of teaching methods to accommodate the various learning styles of the staff and volunteers at its member credit unions.
We try our best to offer the highest priority training topics in a variety of ways to ensure we meet everyone’s learning style. We offer the same or similar topics via live face-to-face sessions, whether in an all-day seminar or an hour-long breakout session at a conference, while offering a distance learning option such as a webinar, CD-Rom, learning manual or CUNA Center for Professional Development (CPD) class.
Given the wide variety of learning styles, how can a credit union move forward with creating an effective training session without alienating anyone or breaking the bank? I encourage all credit unions to incorporate a learning style assessment for their staff and volunteers.
There are a variety of free learning style assessment tools that can be found online today. The information gained from these individual assessments can be helpful when trying to determine the best environment to send your staff and volunteers for training.
Tonya Farmer is vice president of training and events for the Texas Credit Union League. Reprinted with permission from the Texas Credit Union League (www.tcul.coop).
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