Principle 1: Learning Needs To Be Social
The fact of the matter is that people don’t learn in isolation. What often happens when people are trying to learn alone is that they end up just reading and memorizing. Because there are no explanations or discussions or interactions, the subject matter falls flat.
This is assuming that the person can even focus long enough to read through, what is often, text-heavy training material. It’s easy to become distracted when there is no structure or interaction.
If someone is watching a series of explainer videos on their own, it’s also easy to lose focus or get impatient. The lack of facilitator interaction means the person can’t ask clarifying questions when they’re confused or when they need further explanation.
This type of CPD lacks the engagement necessary for new ideas and skills to “stick” and actually be remembered and integrated into one’s professional life science career.
When lessons or training are generic, it can be hard for someone to connect what they’re learning with what they actually do in their job role. It’s also easy to tune out information that you don’t think really applies to you or your specific duties in science, engineering, or technology.
Your mind will likely wander aimlessly until you hear something that you think will actually be helpful to your specific challenges and opportunities.
That’s why personalized learning is so important. When training feels specific to your role, your motivations, your priorities, and your hurdles, that’s when it’s actually effective. You’ll walk away from that kind of training with actionable information that can help improve your career as a life science professional.
This ties in with the need for personalization. Contextualization takes it one step further and gives participants real-life applications. Some programs fail to provide that “personal touch” which allows the participant to truly engage with teachers and peer groups to understand how the learnings will affect their individual development. This is a big missed opportunity.
Certain CPD programs require some offline work for optimum success but don’t have a plan to integrate that into people’s busy lives. As a result, many times participants won’t proactively review or study online materials until the training actually begins. However, by then it’s too late. That information needed to be grasped and mulled over prior to the live training session.
Life science professionals seek a balance in their work life and home life. Learning that flows easily into that balance won’t be a burden, but instead will become a regular personal development routine.
Finding training that is integrated, scheduled, and balanced is one of the keys to a successful continuing professional development practice.