Coaching and Learning
Key principles in the learning experience include hints for the manager, tips for the coach and strategies for the learner. Managers, coaches and learners work together to create learning experiences. Peers coach each other best with support and approval from management. Successful dynamic learning incorporates some or all of the following strategies:
1) time built in - the workday could include specific time for instructional strategies. Managers should be included in this important first step. Prioritizing the need for tip sharing can make it happen
2) goals and feedback - coaches must make a plan and provide specific observations as the process unfolds. Need assessments will lead to the next step of developing a strategy and eliminating common misunderstandings. Feedback is given to the student and instructional strategies are evaluated for effectiveness.
3) sustained and intense - instruction is given in a way to build momentum. Short-term learning is transferred to long-term memory and practiced without long lag times.
4) learning cycle - the student engages in a cycle of receiving instruction, practice, reflecting, instruction, practice and reflecting. The cycle may include self-testing and the student may quickly become the teacher, coaching someone new.
5) hands-on - coaches can strive to develop lessons or experiences which address the need to apply learning to practical tasks. Refining experiences and devising new strategies can speed learning.
6) risk taking - devising new strategies demands an openness to ideas and alternate viewpoints.
7) modeling - the coach is being observed by the learner. Active learning happens as the learner practices, but passive learning happens as the learner copies the coach.
8) alternating study environments - mixing up the locale where learning takes place, embeds knowledge more richly and deeply. Having lunch with your co-worker in the cafeteria and discussing what you have just taught her in the office, will solidify her knowledge and she will appreciate your peer to peer coaching tips.
9) mixing content - present the same subject material in a variety of ways. Multi-media experiences, hands-on, and book learning will achieve a better result.
10) spacing study sessions - allow time between learning sessions for the learner to absorb and reflect upon the new knowledge.