Is reflection the key to effective learning?
The learning technologies section of the Olympia Exhibition offered ample evidence of a new confidence towards technology-enabled learning. There were plenty of ideas, innovative products and fresh exhibitors. My guess is that such growth reflects a recognition that end-users are now more comfortable with sophisticated technology - more and more of us have smart phones.
One of the more interesting ideas was the subject of a TJ exchange discussion: Hans Dirkzwager of BT Learning Solutions addressed the question "is reflection the key to effective learning and, if so how do we facilitate?" Little time was wasted on the first half of the topic - everybody agreed that reflection was critical for learners in the knowledge economy.
What generated real interest was Hans' descriptions of the applications that his organisation is developing to provide new frameworks for reflection. One, for example, encourages people to reflect on their emotional mood at different times and offers them the opportunity to share this information with others in the workplace. Another encourages surgeons to capture information on communication problems that they encounter in challenging situations.
This research project receives EC funding support and is developed by the BT team. It is at the pilot stage. Will it work and will it make an impact? It is very difficult to second guess the extent to which users will embrace new technology. However, the potential is considerable and this area of technology-enabled tools to encourage reflection and self-awareness is one to watch.
Hans is a managing consultant at BT Learning Solutions and his main interest is around how technology enhanced learning can facilitate change and bring business results. Hans took part in the Learning and Skills eXchange run by TJ and our partner Towards Maturity.
You can view other learning eXchnage blogs here:http://www.towardsmaturity.org/article/2013/02/01/summary-lt13uk-exchanges-towards-maturity/