Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Six Learning Techniques

Every human being learns through six different learning techniques. The quality of our learning is the binary value of the 6-nibble (24 bit) word, where each nibble is a technique, as shown below.

Here value of each nibble represents the expertise level in respective technique. The overall expertise of a person as considered in Industry could be the total binary value of 24 bit word.

6. Memorize – It’s the least significant nibble of learning word. We use it to store the information in our memory and try to retrieve it whenever we require it. We hardly do any processing of this information.

5. Understand – It’s the next level of learning technique where we try to construct a meaning from instructional messages communicated over a communication channel.

4. Apply – In this technique, we carry out or use a procedure / framework of some rules to the data we collect, in a given situation, to make meaning out of it.

3. Analyze – In this technique, we decompose the matter; study how parts are related to each other and to the overall structure or purpose, to make some conclusion.

2. Evaluate – Here we make Judgments based on pre-defined and accepted criteria / standards with one or more options. The main objective is to take or justify a decision.

1. Create – This is the most significant nibble of the learning word where we put all elements together to form a coherent or functional assembly, reorganize elements or add some new elements, to create a new pattern which helps to improve existing processes or builds new processes.

In many countries, the entire focus in schools is on “Memorize”. Whether students want to “Understand” it; is completely dependent on the student. The evaluation system will hardly test if the student has learnt “Understand” technique. When the student enters undergraduate course, he / she gets introduced to “Apply” technique, and some attempt is made to use this technique. In the exams though, highest weightage is still for the “Memorize”, then to “Understand”, and last (and least) to “Apply”.

After graduation, when one enters industry, he / she is exposed to “Analyze”, where earlier techniques are not enough to do the job. Those who can adapt to this “Analyze” technique survive and grow. As one becomes experienced, he / she also needs to develop “Evaluate” technique. Those who do well mastering “Evaluate”, become decision makers, and climb higher in organization. While at work, some people also learn “Create” technique and they excel in technical and R&D assignments.

An ideal education system should facilitate learning for all these techniques, thus making them industry ready and smart work force.