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CIPD learning & Development show: Learners who self-direct!

Lauren Tomlinson

There were over 3,000 HR and learning professionals that attended CIPD’s Learning and Development show in London Olympia last week. We have exhibited there for many years…but this year with a bigger, better stand. If you didn’t already know, we won an award for the second-best stand, in the best stand competition!

With thousands of people to speak to, our consultants were delighted to share the KnowledgePoint experience with so many.

Nowadays people immediately think that digital is the way forward. After speaking to so many different people in different industries and backgrounds, we concluded that there definitely is a space for digital learning, but not exclusively.

Based on our 20 years of experience with the learning markets and speaking to so many people at the show this year and in previous years, we have concluded that students or learners, like to use their own motivation to self-direct their personal learning in the digital world or otherwise.

“An essential aspect of maturing is developing the ability to take increasing responsibility for our own lives – to become increasingly self-directed”. – Malcom Knowles

Back in 1980, Knowles created 4 assumptions of the characteristics of adult learners, and in 1984 added another assumption.

  • Self-concept – As we grow, our approach to learning and in life changes. There is a key shift from dependency to independency
  • Adult learner experience – As we mature and experience life a little more we obtain knowledge, based on that experience and it becomes a useful resource for future learning
  • Readiness to learn – Our readiness to learn becomes more focused around developmental tasks of our work and social roles
  • Orientation to learning – Our attitude changes from postponed application to immediate application of knowledge. Furthermore, our orientation shifts from subject centred to problem centred
  • Motivation to learn – As we mature, the motivation to learn is internal (Knowles 1984:12)

These 5 concepts are true to every different learning method. And just like the CIPD learning and development show, as an example of how the conference being like talk and chalk, people go there to learn, and the increase in numbers of people attending compared with last year is a great example of how people prefer to meet face to face rather than online.

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