June 17, 2015

“Individualized instruction is a method of instruction in which content, instructional technology (such as materials) and pace of learning are based upon the abilities and interests of each individual learner.” (Wikipedia)

Today there is a growing emphasis on individualized instruction.

Tardily, but not too late, we are beginning to acknowledge that there are better paths to learning.

An awareness that “Reading-Lecture-Testing” is not the only way is essential if we are going to reap the rewards multiple-media instruction offers us.

Dr. Bernard J. Luskin in his book, CASTING THE NET OVER GLOBAL LEARNING, has written, “Developing and applying new theories is currently helping us understand the complexities of why some people learn and others don’t, and how individuals may be stimulated or persuaded, influenced or taught. There is growing interest in using media effectively to help people correct deficiencies, achieve personal growth or simply feel better or more satisfied by their accomplishments. It is in the context of this rationale that the importance of understanding the nexus of media and behavior is emerging in the fields of psychology, medicine, learning, politics, and commerce.”

One section of his book is particularly relevant to the subject we are examining.

Luskin writes, “The use of interactive multimedia can emulate the individualization which we desire. Identification of specifics in relation to this way seems mechanical, but in reality is profound.”

My own observations identify three generic, user-controlled, learning technologies that are ideal for today’s trainees: e-Learning that is rooted in full motion video and/or sophisticated animations; animation-based gaming programs; and, simulations.

Combined with word-for-word optional full audio, everyone has a chance to learn.

Conversely, programs requiring more advanced reading skills — in addition to adaptations of PowerPoint presentations — have become anathemas to at least half of our trainee population.

Most of us are finally beginning to pay attention to our current learning culture.

If we can procure and produce the right choices (in most cases, that means multiple-media solutions) — we will advance learning and retention everywhere.

And that is why all of us should concentrate on learning success while avoiding, whenever possible, traditional “reading-lecture-testing” approaches.

Your trainees will be well rewarded when you do — which, for your organization, will increase both productivity and profit.

I will be on vacation next week. More on Monday, June 29 – – –

— Bill Walton: co-Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Mondays & Wednesdays)