Collaborative Development Programmes on Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategies

The New Ways of Learning

The new ways of learning include shifting the foci:

  • From content to action: increasing emphasis on learning by doing rather than learning by knowing due to the dynamic nature of knowledge and the average half-life of knowledge is decreasing year on year.

  • From ‘storing’ knowledge to ‘finding’ or ‘creating’ knowledge: we may need to memorise and store core concepts and strategies in our heads, instead of obtaining all information and knowledge necessary to complete every task; we simply need a road map for locating them.

    A survey by Professor Robert Kelley of Carnegie Mellon University showed that in 1986, people were required to grasp 75% of information and knowledge to complete their jobs. By 1997, the figure dropped to between 15% - 20%.

  • From event to process: real learning and capability building occur not as a series of event, but through a series of processes over time, including experiences, practice, working and engaging with others in new ways and spending time on reflecting behavioural changes.

To summarize, the new way of learning focuses on core skill development where structured learning plays a minimal role in the entire learning process. Change of focus in developing core skills through experiential learning approaches means a focus shift from explicit knowledge to action or tacit knowledge.

Unlike explicit knowledge, which can be expressed in formal and systematic language and shared in the form of data, scientific formulae, specifications, manuals and suchlike; and can be processed, transmitted and stored relatively easily. Tacit knowledge is highly personal and hard to formalise. It is deeply rooted in action, procedures, routines, commitment, ideals, values and emotions.

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