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September 15, 2020
It’s been said before, but a single learning approach isn’t going to work well for everyone. Goals, objectives, and training needs vary widely between individuals and every industry. Learning styles are different for each learner, and some industries attract certain types of learners more than others.
With COVID-19 making it difficult to carry out hands-on learning, those of us who are ‘kinesthetic’ learners (that is, we learn by doing), are worst-served by online training opportunities that don’t connect our bodies and our brains.
Ways we learn as adults
Adult education is not the same as education for kids. Kids are sponges, their brains are developing and generating the connections they will need to understand the world. As adults we don’t soak up information as much as relate it to what we already know, and the more times we can do that, the better. Good adult learning relies on stories, anecdotes and examples that show how a principle or concept is applied to the real world. This is set into a cycle of wash, rinse, repeat.
We learn about subjects on a timeline and a series of levels, starting with basic knowledge and moving to mastery - where we know our subject inside and can teach or demonstrate it to others. “Bloom’s taxonomy” is the way that adult educators break out training and learning. Level 1, Remember, is at the base of all learning. To get to deeper or higher levels of training requires more input, more activity, and more interaction with others.
Assess your learning style
There are three primary learning types:
Visual (seeing and reading)
Everybody has a mix of these learning styles, with one usually being dominant. Some styles are better suited to hands-on demonstrations and some are better suited to book-reading or visual teaching aids.
Do you know what your dominant learning style is? Take this quick 30-question assessment to find out!
Blue House Energy online training is built to support all three styles:
Read a study guide
Watch animations and videos
Listen to a voice over
Do interactive exercises
Delivery of online learning: the modality
COVID has wiped out many ILT opportunities for the foreseeable future.
Training ‘modalities’ are the ways that learning is delivered. Here is a list of how online training is provided:
Online University/College Course
online course that takes place over a semester or other time period. Typically, the instructor is available via email and discussion boards, with no live teaching. Students submit online assignments and have to hit deadlines. This is how Blue House Energy Energy Advisor training is provided, with the opportunity to work with a mentor.
Learners can see live classroom and interact with instructor and other learners via 2-way audio.
Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT): learners collaborate and interact with instructors in a real-time, virtual environment.
on-demand (asynchronous) self-paced, interactive modules of learning, with no live instruction. This is very different from a webinar, which is typically information transfer. E-learning takes into account adult education and instructional design principles to ensure that there is a useful learning process.
This brings together VILT and on-demand e-learning. This is how our new Building Science Bootcamp program will be delivered
Blended learning for adults - the best of all worlds!
You’re an adult. We’re adults. BHE has a laser focus on life-long learning and creating respectful and successful online training for residential builders and renovators. That means we adhere to some common principles for education. As adults who want to learn something we:
Understand why something is important to know or do
Have the freedom to learn in our own way
Need to be able to relate it back to our lived experiences
Have determined it’s the right time for us to learn about a subject
Learn best when the education process is positive and encouraging
Since 2012, Blue House Energy has focussed on e-learning as a way to offer consistent, affordable, training that is always available. E-learning works best when it is in easy-to-digest segments that you can review at your own speed, in your own time, with resource documentation supporting the on-screen activities.
This year, we are launching a blended online learning experience - using on-demand e-learning to give you the fundamentals of building science and VILT to challenge and apply those fundamentals to real world situations, with a real-world expert in building science on hand to answer all your questions and lead discussion. Bootcamp takes place over three weeks, with three distinct areas of study, so you have a chance to digest and review materials.
Building Science Boot Camp for Cold and Mixed Climates: pre-register now (no money required). Our first cohorts will start in Fall 2020.