What methods do adults use to learn? Significant research in this area over the last decade, and some non-western perspectives have helped us gain a more holistic understanding.
How do adults learn?
To answer his question, we need to understand the following 4 dimensions of adult learning:
- Andragogy is the art and science of teaching adults. It enables us to understand the learning imperatives, style, and motivations. For examples:
- Adults are self-directed learners. They take charge of their own learning.
- The motivation for an adult to learn is guided by his role in the society and is usually tool and application driven. They will prioritise immediate application of learning to future application.
- Adult learning is more problem centred learning than subject centred learning.
- Contextual Learning: also called situational cognition is about learning within a real context or situation. Adults need to have the context to learn. Factors like culture, geography, history, habits, and others influence context. Learnings from one context might not be applicable in another.
- Transformative Learning: this form of adult learning is about changing, attitudes, beliefs, and perspectives. It is crucial when learning leadership skills. This occurs when adults can synthesise the learnings from their experiences, with the context, and cognitive process to be able to see a whole new dimension and open new perspectives for themselves.
- Holistic Learning: the most recent research in adult learning theory has focused on more holistic concepts of learning. These ideas extend beyond simple cognitive processing to include the body, spirit, and emotions. The brain, body, and emotions are all closely linked, and understanding how they interact can teach us a lot about our reactions, attitudes, and beliefs.
To summarise adults learning needs to be contextual, problem solving oriented, self-directed, involving body spirt and emotion.
Couple the above with the fact that on an average an employee is online 30 times / day and will not watch a video greater than 4 min. The attention spans of learning have reduced, and the preference is for shorter modules which can add immediate value. This learning trend is called micro learning. ~30% of an employee’s time during the workday is spent on mobile. Hence mobile enabled learning eco systems are a necessity.
Driven by experiences, learning is largely going to be self-directed by employees and the role of the organisation will be to provide an interconnected and flexible eco system.
In this new world people own their careers and not companies. COVID has given rise to its own set of challenges:
- Approximately 17% of employees 35% of employees require up-skilling
- 40% of employees will work remotely
Dealing with huge numbers for up skilling will require digital & scalable solutions. When you combine the remote working numbers, you get a hybrid model that is driven by the following 4 key trends which need to emerge in executive training:
- On the Job, training that is contextual & self-directed
- Just in Time, training that solves for real world problems
- Personalised, training which considers an individual’s body, spirit, and emotion make up.
- And Micro-Learning which means delivering training in short digestible capsules of up-to 5-10 minutes.
How Artificial Intelligence can help?
Machine learning and deep learning algorithms are at the heart of AI, which aims to replicate or simulate human intelligence in machines. You encode the brain of a human coach into an algorithm and create a robot that can provide similar and, in some cases, more precise feedback.
Imagine if you can create algorithms using AI that can be deployed on cloud as a SaaS product you have an extremely:
- Affordable coaching solution
- Scalable coaching solution
- Personalised coaching solution
- On the job coaching solution
- Just in time coaching solution
With AI and the cloud, you can make the above a reality that is both scalable and affordable. Using Sentiment Analytics, NLP & Deep Learning today AI can give contextual and personalised feedback.
Let us understand what this does for the Business: –
- By providing training when it is needed, you can increase the ROI on training spend by up to 70%..
This is due to the fact that applying skills rather than reading about them helps the human brain learn faster.
Taking a scenario, the global sales head of the company has a team of 100 sales executives. He wants to get a pulse on the communication skills of his team. While his top 20% is particularly good but he does not feel greatly confident of the rest.
His Asia sales executive is negotiating an extremely critical deal. His emails are either too passive or too aggressive. Being in different time zones hand holding is not an option. If someone could review his mail before its sent, make it sound right, it would help close the deal faster.
An AI solution can parse the email and give you the predominant tone along with suggestions on how to improve.
It will mine your data over time to reveal the underlying derailing patterns. Soon, the AI coach will be better acquainted with you than you are with yourself.
And as a global sales head you will have a communication skills heat map of your team. It will enable you to know the coaching you need to provide to each employee as well as give invaluable insights on talent development and management.
Design your training solutions to match with how adults learn to maximise outcomes. Some interesting data completely tying to what we understand about adult learning:
- 70% of us like to learn at work
- 60% like to learn at their own pace and
- 50% prefer learning at the point of need.
Providing on the job, personalised and just in time training solutions is the future and is what will make hybrid work models successful.
What are the examples of AI coaches available?
AI coaches are mostly available in the areas of Business writing and oral communication . Some of the apps in each of these categories are:
- Business Writing – Grammarly, Ginger, kWurd, Pro Writing Aid, Sapling
- Oral Communication Skills– Speeko, Orai, uSpeek, Rocky AI
While this is a great start, the future belongs to AI coaches providing coaching on a whole host of soft skills, including:
- Critical thinking
- Strategic thinking
- Time Management
- Decision Making
- Coaching teams
- Handling difficult conversations
- Conflict Management
We did backward visioning above to paint the picture of what the exciting world of AI coaching will look like soon and it’s not only promising but also assures of the better future ahead of us.
Jenny has been a lead in corporate training & executive coaching from juniors to senior’s leadership in more about 60 companies & 25 countries with over 22 years of experience. Jenny has trained people from various organizations like Maruti Suzuki, UnitedHealth Group, Grab Taxi, IndiGo Airlines & many more. Jenny has been a strong business leader as she’s also been with GE (General Electric) for ten years in three different GE Businesses, she has also led a training profit center for GE Corporate for four years, which has outsourced successfully.
Jenny is certified by Crontonville (GE Leadership Training Centre) in Designing Customer Experiences, Change Management, Facilitation, Basic Leadership Skills, Coaching, Hiring, Influencing Skills, and Workout.
myjen is an AI powered Coaching and Leadership Development Company. It’s driven by the vision of making leadership coaching personalized, on the job, real time & microlearning. myjen.ai committed to bringing Artificial Intelligence to training solutions and aims to revolutionize the way we learn. It has created and designed 3 AI based products to enhance Communication and Interpersonal Skills, however as of now uSpeek, kWurd are available in the market. myjen.ai comes with 40 plus years coaching, learning and development experience and has worked with 50 plus corporate clients, and 100,000 trainees in 24 countries. The company has its corporate offices in India and United States.
Company Website- www.myjen.ai