Monday, September 12, 2011

Thoughts on Emotional Learning

I am currently enrolled in a course to prepare me to facilitate online courses. Ironinc since I have been facilitating and creating them for 3 years, but this weeks reading was particularly relevant and let me revisit an old friend: Don Norman.

A phrase from our reading this week struck me as very pertinent. The article entitled Guidelines for Working with Adult Learners had a section called: Creating an effective Adult Learning Environment. The phrase that was powerful to me was, "Developing an atmosphere in which adults feel both safe and challenged should be the goal" This phrase reminded me of a TED Talk by Don Norman. Now, Don Norman is a designer. A designer of physical things, but his insights into what makes education work are really some of the best. The portion relevant to this class begins at about 4:30 seconds but you may want to watch the whole thing.

This in turn reminded me of some of the interesting things about learning that we need to remember. Most of us have experienced some event of heightened stress, a car crash, a near accident, something. One of two almost completely different things can happen. We either have a heightened clarity and remarkable recall of the event or...we can't remember any detail. Marines are often trained under the highest levels of stress in order to help them make decision despite the stress and to help them be able to analyze a situation, evaluate their option and then act. This flies in the face of a lot of modern educational practice of keeping the classroom completely free of anxiety. The quote from the above listed article seems to encourage a healthy balance. I say let's look for that balance in the online environment too. Some mix of high stakes and safety nets that allow us to push ourselves without paralyzing fear of failure.

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Welcome to Jorgie Learning

I really am learning and this blog is maintained both as a record of some of what I am doing as well as a place for me to train and teach others about creating an online presence. So please don't mind the dust. We aren't remodeling we are learning!

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