The rapid development of informational technology forces people to adapt to the change. There is a change in the learning field and a shift in processes, strategies, and objectives. Academic content and delivery approaches are evolving with educational interactions involving the transfer of knowledge and skills. Nowadays, learning is not only a transfer of knowledge but also an activity that produces a transformation of mindset and behavior patterns. Learning theories are the frameworks that navigate new-age learning. Instructional designers extensively use them to meet the requirements of the target audience and the situation. In this blog, we will speak a little about a few learning theories and explain why we think it is essential to know about the new-age learning theories and their implications.

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What is the significance of New Age Training Theories?

Learning theories establish frameworks for learning modules describing how learners acquire, process, and retain information during learning. Instructional designers use learning theories to identify the appropriate format and methodology of learning. It makes learning meaningful and engaging for learners using varying learning styles. Various new-age learning theories are now challenging the age-old traditional classroom teaching. The design of e-learning courses frequently incorporates a number of these modern learning theories. Some major new-age learning theories are as follows:

  1. Adult learning
  2. Action learning
  3. Experiential learning
  4. Facilitative learning
  5. Social learning

Adult learning:

Andragogy, or adult learning theory, was developed by Malcolm Knowles based on a self-directed, independent learning method for adults. While some ideas of pedagogy may spill over into training and development, andragogy, or the practice of educating adults, is of more significant importance to organizations and training and development professionals. The workplace includes adults primarily, so adult learning must be at the center of training and development activities. Adult learners want to achieve autonomy, mastery, and purpose and are more likely to be active participants in learning.

There are some conditions when it comes to andragogy:

  1. Adults must understand why learning is important.
  2. Adults must expand on their prior knowledge.
  3. Adults must feel in charge of their education.
  4. Adults are open to learning if it offers a quick solution to a problem.
  5. Adults prefer problem-focused instruction. Therefore, adult learning ought to be more problem-focused than content-focused.
  6. Adults should be in charge of making decisions about their education since they are involved in the planning and evaluating of their instruction.

In andragogy, the focus is on independent, self-directed, and cooperative learning among adults. Adult learners are instrumental in their learning process. They are more proactive in doing the work needed to facilitate learning and drive the learning process based on what they think they have to succeed on the job. Learners also bring a greater volume, quality of experience, and rich resources to one another.

Action learning:

As per the action learning model, a learner can acquire knowledge by cooperating with teammates to solve a problem in a group environment. Action learning is a method for solving issues. It entails taking action and evaluating the outcomes. It enhances the process of solving problems. By doing this, learners can expand both their skill sets and basic knowledge.

The principles involved in the action learning model are as follows:

  1. The goal of the learning process should be to identify a solution or a response to a real-world issue.
  2. Learning is a choice, so the learner must be open to it.
  3. It takes time for action learning to reach its full potential because it is a highly social activity and process.
  4. As important as resolving the scenario or problem is, the individual’s knowledge base and skill sets must also be developed.

Experiential learning:

In 1984, David Kolb published this learning theory, drawing inspiration from John Dewey, Kurt Lewin, Jean Piaget, and other prominent thinkers. Experiential learning, as the term implies, involves learning from experience. The four stages of the experiential learning theory are active exploration, abstract conceptualization, reflective observation, and concrete learning.

The initial two stages are about absorbing an experience, while the latter two are about changing an experience. According to Kolb, effective learning is the learner moves through the process and can join at any point.

  1. Learners have new experiences or interpret an existing event in a new way when they engage in concrete learning.
  2. The learner then reflects on their own experience throughout the reflective observation. They consider the meaning of this experience via the prism of their experience and knowledge.
  3. As the learner develops fresh ideas or modifies their thinking in response to the experience and their subsequent reflection on it, abstract conceptualization takes place.
  4. Active experimentation is when a learner applies new concepts to the environment to determine whether any adjustments are necessary. This procedure might take place over a brief or extended length of time.

One can use experiential learning every day. Whether jumping on a bike to ride instead of listening to the description of it or visiting the zoo to learn about animals rather than reading about them, they are all part of experiential education. Experiential learning can allow learners to apply things they are learning to real-world experiences immediately. It helps them retain the information better. Learners can significantly benefit from learning that helps them prepare for the real world. Experiential learning focuses on using real situations to help learners learn and prepare better for their future.

Facilitative learning:

In this model, the instructor acts as a facilitator and creates a comfortable atmosphere for the learners to consider new ideas. To facilitate learning, one should establish an atmosphere where the learners feel comfortable and can discuss and explore new ideas. Carl Rogers (1983), and others, over time, developed the theory of facilitative learning. The facilitative learning model can increase learning creativity when planning, carrying out, and evaluating lessons.

The following are the main objectives of facilitative learning:

  1. System for organizing adult education.
  2. Community learning.
  3. Enable independent learning.
  4. Social skills communication.
  5. Availability of appropriate learning resources for learners’ requirements.
  6. Determine the needs, learning resources, and characteristics of the learners.

Therefore, facilitators also need training to enhance their expertise to maximize the outcomes of facilitative learning.

Social learning:

In the 1960s, Albert Bandura developed contemporary social learning theory principles that completely changed the tradition of learning. According to this theory, learning takes place in social contexts and experiences. Bandura argues that individuals can learn from one another. To prove that learning is not always the result of operational conditioning and that people can learn by mere observation, Albert Bandura came up with Bobo Doll experiments. Using this experiment, Bandura proved that children are able to learn from observing adult behavior. According to him, observation can generate information in the observer. Bandura’s theory views human development as a social process.

Albert Bandura proposes five essential learning steps: 

  1. Albert Bandura’s theory suggests that people can learn by observing. Learners educate themselves by directly observing the behaviors of others and by following the consequences of using those behaviors.
  2. Attention is a prerequisite. It suggests that people cannot learn only by observing. They can only actively internalize their thoughts and concepts if they pay attention.
  3. The observation comes before retention. In social learning theory, one must observe behaviors first, then practice.
  4. Reproduction should be automatic. To enhance the learners’ abilities, they must be able to practice and rehearse. Since the focus is on individual meaning, outcomes must be applicable and unique.
  5. To fully participate and internalize the material, the learners must be motivated.

Using this theory, learners learn a great deal simply by observing others. Describing the consequences of behavior increases appropriate behaviors and decreases inappropriate ones. It also includes discussing the rewards of various behaviors. Modeling provides an alternative to training new behaviors. Instead of using shaping and operant conditioning, modeling is a faster, more efficient means of providing knowledge.

Infographics for The New Age Training Theories

The New age learning theories

The new age training theories

Conclusion for The New Age Training Theories

To sum up, unlike traditional learning, the new-age learning theories discussed above enable learners to apply what they are learning to actual situations immediately. It improves their ability to remember the material. Learning that prepares learners for life in the real world can benefit them. Therefore, when it comes to corporate training, these new-age learning models are very beneficial.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for The New Age Training Theories

What is the significance of learning theories?

Learning theories establish frameworks for learning modules describing how learners acquire, process, and retain information during learning.

What is new-age learning?

Some major new-age learning models are as follows: adult learning, action learning, experiential learning, facilitative learning, and social learning.

What is action learning?

Action learning is a method for solving issues. It entails taking action and evaluating the outcomes.

What is adult learning?

Andragogy, or adult learning theory, was developed by Malcolm Knowles based on a self-directed, independent learning method for adults.

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