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Maximizing Your Structured Learning Experiences

Maximizing Your Structured Learning Experiences

By Donna Dunning

What is a structured learning setting?

The answer could be a student in a classroom, an employee attending a training session, a participant at a lecture, or a delegate in a conference.

The next time you find yourself in a structured learning situation try these three tips to maximize your learning.

Research Your Options

Think about how you prefer to learn and see how well the various options and instructors meet your needs.

For example, research the credentials, skills, and approach of the facilitator and look carefully at course objectives. When possible, observe or participate in a short class before signing up for a longer one.

Sometimes you are forced to attend a training session and it is not possible to make choices about your trainer or the material. This can be a frustrating scenario.

In this case, look for some kind of learning opportunity in the situation. Perhaps you can network with someone during a break or reflect on why the material is not interesting or appropriate for you.

Become an Active Learner

When the sun is shining in the window and your concentration lags, it’s easy to sit and daydream. Our attention spans are short and distractions are many. To stay engaged reflect on the content, ask questions, take notes, and make connections between what you are learning and what you already know.

If you tend to be skeptical, try not to immediately dismiss information that doesn’t align with your way of thinking. Try to see and understand alternative perspectives. Even if you don’t agree with what is being said, you can learn that this is how some people approach the topic. If your instructor is not open to queries or interruptions, create a list of questions you want answered later.

Use What You Learn

Too often we attend a learning session and then jump back into our busy lives without applying anything we have learned.

Find time to review your learning. Integrate new learning into your knowledge base. Evaluate what is useful and practical for you to apply. Try out what you have learned either on the job or at home and then evaluate the results of your efforts.


Your personality type preferences influence the kind of structured learning experiences that work best for you. If you would like more information on personality type and learning, check out my booklet, Introduction to Type and Learning in print or pdf format.

A Kindle version of Introduction to Type and Learning is available from for U.S. customers only.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 at 9:23 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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