Posted on 10:47am Monday 25th Apr 2011
In the first two articles in this series I wrote about the first two phases of the Experiential Learning Cycle. (ELC) I have explained that to create good learning the designer needs to have a clear idea about what they want their delegates to learn. This has to be the ‘Overall aim’ of the training programme, and that then gets broken down into ‘Individual Learning Outcomes’ (ILO’s) Each of these form a most important part of the route from Know to Unknown. The ELC starts with an experience, the What phase, moves into the ‘So What’ phase, and finally into the ‘Now What’ phase. The best way to look at the Now What phase is to ask the question ‘Now what am I going to do with this knowledge I have gained.
Assuming the knowledge relates to work, ‘How does it relate to my work?’ If it has no clear and obvious link to the work place someone needs to ask the question what is this being trained for. So often I have come across L and D managers who have pet subjects that they pushed and pushed and time after time the delegates would say ‘Yes very interesting, but what use is it to me.
The Now What phase has the potential to enable the delegate to carry the learning on well after the training has finished, either by virtue of an ongoing action plan, or because of the de-brief the trainer runs. By asking the ‘How does this relate to my work?’ question the trainer is able to project the learning from the classroom directly into the workplace.
The ‘Now What’ phase is also quite crucial in any post training evaluation. All evaluation should be able to plot learning from the planning phase right through to the workplace, and show how the learning has made an impact on service delivery in the company.
As you can see the Experiential Learning Cycle plays a vital part in all learning activity, and its understanding by everyone involved in Learning and Development activity is really important.