The CAMPUS Skilla method was developed in 2015 to stimulate self-learning, professional development and activities to be put in place right from the design phase of the training experience. How can training programmes be developed that are able to empower people and encourage independent learning?
First step: helping gain AWARENESS
It is necessary to focus on the factors that lead people to activate an effective self-learning process in different organisational, professional and cultural situations. There are several reasons that lead each of us to learn, but the starting point is always the awareness of a personal need, a need to improve our lives and our own professional development. At the beginning of the training process the first step is therefore to become aware of one’s strengths and areas for improvement. What activities should be put in place and by what means? The internal evaluation process is certainly a reference point to help people assess themselves and become aware of their training needs. There are several tools available, from simple questionnaires, structured interviews, to permanent and dynamic online self-assessment systems that make internal training demand and availability meet (the recommended system models).
Second step: stimulate SELF-REALISATION
Awareness does not automatically lead to improvement actions, a boost to self-realisation is required. We must help people visualise an objective or new skills that can be reached through the training commitment required, supplementing it with self-confidence and a new status. This process, which is rational and emotional, creates a “personal vision” of the objective to be reached, fundamental to motivate people to the effort and pleasures of the learning process. The manager – subordinate interview is the moment that, if well managed, can help the person to clearly define the objectives to be achieved. It is also important to create a cultural environment that enhances learning and peoples’ skills, but also the curiosity and the pleasure of learning.
Third step: provide a STUDY METHOD
During this process, it is essential to help people find out about their own learning style, appropriate to their intellectual and emotional characteristics, and acquire a real study method. A thoughtful person, which shows a dominant auditory sensory channel, will have a learning style completely different from an operational and impulsive person, with a dominant visual sensory channel. The study method that needs to be adopted will accordingly be different. This phase must be accompanied by:
- the availability of online tests to find out about their own learning style. For example, the Kolb test on learning styles and the Gardner multiple intelligences test can be of great help
- one or more training pills or guides with tips on study methods and techniques to facilitate self-learning.
It will be important to develop learning experiences that stimulate different sensory channels: for example, the visual aspect will be supported with infographics, maps and pictures the auditory aspect with the teacher’s voice in real or virtual situations tactile situations with continuous activities and practical tests.
Forth step: support PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
We know that formalised and aware self-learning, which is increasingly requested for company training and development plans, is often a profound change for people and the generations that have grown up with traditional training: classroom sessions, slides, a tutor and students. Studying, on the screen of a computer, or reading a text, by oneself, deciding when and how, is for most people an important change and as such should be managed. It takes practice, self-observation and awareness of one’s difficulties, but also successes. It is good to schedule the time to be dedicated, the precise areas and tools. Some people find it useful to adopt small measures such as a notebook or a supporting text, while others are immediately comfortable with learning in eLearning mode. Only practice and experimentation allow you to find the best method. This phase must be accompanied with: an online tutor, reminder systems, periodic checks with tests, practical tests and cases. Tracking of activities and visible progress are useful to both the user and the tutor, as well as the trainer.
Fifth step: stimulate the USE of social environments
A minimum requirement for undertaking self-learning experiences is the familiarity with technological environments, such as eLearning platforms and internal social environments to interact with colleagues, tutors and teachers. However, it is increasingly important to help people use the web with ease, to integrate and customise what the company can provide with endless resources on the network. Know the most famous MOOCs with Coursera or Edx, environments like Slideshare, Youtube education and Ted, knowing how to use search techniques and organising information, is increasingly important for self-study. Before starting a self-study programme, it is essential to ensure that all the people involved possess the “minimum standard digital skills” for easy access and use of the online environments provided.
Sixth step: certify completed DEVELOPMENT
As you get closer to the goal, the energy to finish a course increases. It is essential to record the acquired progress and certify skills. Participants must be supported with Project Work that make their professional growth visible and measurable. Gamification systems, such as the badges that certify the skills acquired, may be used to stay motivated. This topic was discussed in posterLab no. 9: “self-learning”. Franco Amicucci