Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Learning Curve

Wikipedia's definition of the learning curve is "a graphical representation of the changing rate of learning (in the average person) for a given activity or tool.  Typically, the increase in retention of information is sharpest after the initial attempts, and then gradually evens out."

Makes sense.  As a newcomer to the field of learning and development (and specifically, on-line course design) I feel that I soaked up a lot of information during this class.  Some of the teachings that really hit home with me are:

The Addie Model
The difference between Synchronous and Asynchronous training
The Ladder of Inference
Bloom's Taxonomy
Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences

As I prepare for my final presentation, I will be sure to be sensitive to the fact that people learn in many different ways and they learn more effectively if they are actively engaged.

I continued to read Wikipedia's definition . . .  "The learning curve can also represent at a glance the initial difficulty of learning something and, to an extent, how much there is to learn after initial familiarity."  Uh oh!  I suppose I still have a lot to learn!  So I look forward to continuing my NYU education in pursuit of my professional certificate in training and to much more learning beyond that.


  1. Toni

    I really like your distinction between the initial soaking in of information and the ability to do something with it. All housed in the learning curve!

    I look forward to hearing your final presentation, you are so eloquent and effective!

  2. Toni,
    There is a lot to learn! And one of the greatest challenges comes in trying to support people along that whole learning curve. In many cases all we do in the training field is to get people's feet wet and then send them out to do the real job of learning on their own. This is okay, but it gives us a slightly different lens in terms of our approach to what content it is important to teach. Sometimes (well, most times) my bias is that we need to be less content focused (especially since these days content changes every five minutes) and more process focused. So, rather than teaching something, some piece of knowledge, what we really need to be teaching people is how to learn. The old adage, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. How do we keep learning alive all along the learning curve? That becomes our challenge!

    It has been sheer joy having you in the class!