What is the one skill that, if learned well, would dramatically change your life? This question has been and is still one of my favourites. It got me thinking about the importance of learning. If learning one skill could dramatically change my life, then what if that one skill was the skill to learn new knowledge and skills!
As a Learning and Development professional I know that learning is a skill just like any other skill. Knowing how to learn is a critical skill for everyone, no matter your age, status in life, or occupation. In the same way that living requires growth, learning enhances your mental growth. Just like other living things, our brains thrive and grow under the right conditions. Everyone’s brain is made for learning!
So, what key competency (skill) should you use to gain, retain, recall and reuse new knowledge and skills? It’s a key competency professional training designers use intentionally when designing learning initiatives. It’s called, ‘learnalyzing™’. You won’t find it in the dictionary since it’s a word I coined to describe a way of thinking about learning content.
What does it mean to ‘learnalyse™’? Let’s look at the two words, ‘learning‘ and ‘analyse‘. ‘Learning‘ means to gain new knowledge or skill by study, instruction or experience so you can recall and use it when needed. ‘Analyze‘ means to study or determine the nature and relationship of the parts to discover its true nature or inner relationships.
Learnalyzing™ involves standing back from what needs to be learned to first of all determine WHAT you’re learning (including the structure and organization of the learning content) and HOW to go about it. Learnalyzing™ is the missing step that needs to happen when you’re beginning to mentally engage with the learning materials and media. It’s part of the learning process.
You need to actively identify what you’re learning for your brain to more easily know where to place or hang the new knowledge and/or skills for easier retention and recall. That’s what learnalyzing™ is all about. It‘s how to take anything you need to learn and demystify it so it’s easier to learn. What’s the point of trying to learn something if you can’t remember or use it later on?
You can learn new knowledge and/or skills faster and easier if you look for (learnalyze) and work with and re-work learning content so that it is pro-cognitive, i.e., the features, characteristics and attributes that make it easier to learn are obvious and understandable.
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