I've recently started a part-time master's course. It's great – I get to study around work, and apply what I learn to my job! But going back to academic study after a few years out of uni has taken some getting used to. I've had to get back into the habit of writing for an academic audience, dust off my critical thinking skills, and wrap my head around lots of dense theory! I'm enjoying the course, but it's certainly been tiring.
Fortunately, our latest bundle of videos addresses these very issues, and more! And whether you're studying a course alongside work, running a project, or managing a team through change, they can help your learning and innovation too. Here's how.
Become a Self-Directed Learner
Studying as an adult usually means being independent in your learning. No one else will hand you all the answers – you have to go out and get them yourself!
The good news is, we learn best when we know what we need to learn, and how we can learn it. And when we have more autonomy over our learning, we're more likely to enjoy it and retain the information. That's why self-directed learners are so effective. Watch the full Self-Directed Learning Video to discover seven ways you can take control of your learning!
Beware of Cognitive Overload
Once you've committed to a learning plan, it will feel exciting to start learning. But you can have too much of a good thing! If you notice yourself "switching off" or struggling to take in all the information you need, it may be that you're attempting to learn too much in one go. Our animated video explains why this happens – it's all to do with cognitive load theory. Watch a teaser below, or learn more with the full Cognitive Load Theory Video.
Use Learning Curves to Your Advantage!
Learning curves are especially useful tools if you're supporting a team to learn something new. Gaining a new skill can be a huge challenge at first. Usually, it will take a lot of time and resource for your team members to master it, but once they do, it's like second nature. That's what learning curves are all about, and you can use these graphs to track and support your team's learning.
First, learning curves are a helpful tool to prove that the learning process gets easier. So if your team is struggling to get to grips with new software for example, you can reassure them that with practice, they'll soon be using it with confidence. Plotting your own learning curve can also help you estimate different needs, like training, staff and materials. Find out how with our video.
Unlock the Potential of Diverse Teams
Because my master's course is run online, it's open to students all over the world. My peers come from all corners of the globe, and so by talking to them, I get really rich insights into different trends and cultures. My research and writing are all the better for it, because I'm able to explore ideas I never otherwise would have considered!
Diverse teams are hugely beneficial for the workplace, too. They spark innovation, minimize bias, and drive profit! But recruiting a diverse team isn't enough to benefit from diversity of thought. You need to promote and encourage their different ideas. So, to get the most out of your diverse team, watch our How to Encourage Diverse Perspectives Video.
About the Video Presenter
Our Self-Directed Learning and Learning Curves videos are presented by Jonathan Hancock. After 15 years as a BBC current affairs presenter and producer, Jonathan spent a decade in education, progressing from classroom teacher to school leader. He’s passionate about all aspects of learning, but has a special interest in memory, having won two Guinness World Records and the title of World Memory Champion. Jonathan has published 14 books on thinking and learning, designed training programs and competitions, and consulted for TV shows.
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Lifelong learning is not rocket science. It doesn't need to be perfect and polished. There are, however, two decisive factors that we need to consider when it comes to the success of lifelong learning.