DTLLS UNIT 402 DELIVERING LIFELONG LEARNING
This essay will discuss the results of the research undertaken on the following points; the importance of negotiating with learners and the reasons why agreeing goals and actions is important to the learner’s progression. Why inclusive learning and the use of various delivery methods, adapting lesson and session plans will aid the learner to learn at their individual requirement. The importance of integrating functional skills into the subject area and how effective and non- effective communication impinges and enhances the learning environment.
I realise from my study, that there are discrepancies in my current job. I work as trainer teaching various one to two day mandatory courses to mainly health care professionals. I am not involved in any pre-course screening or assessments. At the beginning of my course, I screen and assess the learners during the introductions, to find out where they are starting from and what experience they have in the subject. I then decide from the information given to me, and after negotiating with the learners if there is anything particularly they would like to do regarding that specific subject.
I have a basic session plan to work from. If I were to change my job, I feel that I am now more aware of what needs to do implemented, prior to learning, during and after.
Gray et al (2005) states learners should be able to agree some or all of their learning goals in negotiating with the teacher. The ideal time for this to happen would be at the beginning of the learning process during the initial assessment. At this time of screening the learner would be assessed to find out what their preferred learning style is, if they have any learning or health difficulties or requirements. Their learning experiences, goals and aspirations could be discussed at this time. There are many reasons why this should be completed, firstly it puts the learner at the centre of the learning process, it ensures learners are on the correct pathway for their individual learning needs and any progress and achievements can easily be flagged, this will also give the level of the learners skills prior to the start of the education process. Goals according to Gray (2005,) should be on a set time scale, which identifies
the steps the learner needs to follow using the SMART acronym, which is, ‘specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time’. Short term and long term goals need to be recorded, with a recorded date for reviewing the goals, where agreed, they should be signed by teacher and student. The information gathered would be recorded on the Individual learning Plan (ILP). The initial assessment could be done within an interview situation or within a short course. Green (2003) states the initial assessment needs to be done with the learner not to them and should emphasise the positive, to give the learner confidence to start the education process.
Wilson (1998) argues it is not compulsory for adults to be in the learning environment, but they do expect to be taught; and there needs to be variety of teaching methods and inclusive learning techniques to be an effective teacher. The teaching methods ideally should be prepared within the session plan, and be ready for any eventuality that may take place with individuals or groups. Teachers according to Wilson (2009) should be prepared to change the teaching plan and any resources where modification is needed. The type of activities that would be implemented within a teaching session depends on many things, if the session is a practical, lecture, workshop, who are the learners and at what level is being taught. (Gray et al 2005) Therefore if the object is to teach a motor skill it would be beneficial to use demonstration, individual practice, tutorials and projects; if imparting knowledge and understanding, case studies, seminars, individual learning, problem solving, lectures, question and answer sessions and assignments would best suit; if the objective is to change attitudes, case studies, discussion, and role play would work better (Wilson 1998). Functional skills integrate literacy, numeracy, ICT into the learning environment, regardless of what is being taught and at what level. However, depending on the learning program or training job role being taught there will be various levels of delivery for the specific requirement. For literacy the standards would include reading, writing, speaking and listening; numeracy standards include interpreting information, understanding and presenting results; ICT standards include finding and selecting information, entering and developing material and composing presentations. If these skills are not understood the learner will struggle to reach the potential of the
qualification they are undertaking (Wilson 2009). Teachers should use every opportunity to incorporate function skills seamlessly within the session, using various resources and activities. Eventually according to Wilson (2009) the skills will be embedded and are essential to help learners succeed and achieve in life.
Communication is the imparting or exchange of information, ideas or feelings or Gould (1999) states communication is the process of passing on information from one individual or unit to another. It can commonly be defined as an interchange of opinions, thoughts, or information. Communication includes active listening skills, engaging with the person you are listening to, and responding appropriately, empathy is a valuable asset when communicating, and occasionally assertiveness maybe needed to enable the communicator to get across their point (Wilson L 2009). The most common ways we communicate is by speech, signs, writing, body language and gestures. There are many theories and models on the communication process, some of which are very complicated, however one of the simplest models of communication reflects the work of Shannon and Weaver (1948). The Transmission Model of communication, which consists of a sender, a message, a channel where the message travels, noise or interference and a receiver. However this model is missing an essential step of the communicating process ‘feedback’. Without feedback, we do not know if the receiver has received or understood the message this would render the failure in the communication process (Shannon and Weaver 1948). The knowledge of Body language is vital for teachers to assess whether the learners are taking an interest in the teaching session. Minton (2005) argues there are no scientific rules to body language but there are many indications; Posture and how we stand, sit or move communicate messages, our dress style and facial expression speaks volumes. There are numerous barriers to communication some of which are noise levels internally or externally from the classroom. Classroom layout, other learners, levels of understanding, language barriers, socioeconomic factors, nervousness, and health problems, to name but a few (Walkin 2000).
To summarise the essay has explored the importance of the initial assessment
and screening process to meet the needs of the learner, the assessment should include long and short term goals written on an individual learning plan. The need to use various resources and teaching methods which should be incorporated into the session plan prior, and used when a situation arises with individuals or groups. Functional skills were discussed and the importance of implementing them into the various activities, which would then embed the information and prepare the learner for the future. One of the basic theories of communication was discussed, as well as the various mediums of communication and the importance of it being effective in the learning environment. Communication takes on many forms, the teacher needs to be aware of both verbal and non-verbal communication and the many barriers that can occur in the learning environment.
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