Human beings are continually engaged in a learning process that is progressive. The process can only be effective if an initiative is taken to understand the individual learning needs. Learning can take place in various setting for instance, at school or the working environment. In the psychology discipline, they are learning theories that are that require a critical analysis so as to appreciate and identify the needs of the learners. The theories include constructivism, behaviorism, humanism, and cognitivist. People learn best through reinforcement which can either be positive or negative and commonly regarded as conditioning. Managers should explore creative ways of enforcing goods behavior, for example, rewarding the employees by providing incentives (Gale, 2015).
Cognitive learning is applied during the thinking process, making decisions and even when it comes to solving problems. Learners such as the employees have a different learning style that is influenced by their diverse experiences and cultural background. Also, their difference in age and knowledge has an impact on their learning needs.
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Humanism is a psychology area that studies the person and the uniqueness in each individual. There are various motivational theories that can be studied under humanism such as the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that identifies levels of basic needs that drives each person. The levels are self-actualization, esteem, belongingness, the need to feel secure and physiological needs such as air, food, water, and sex among other essentials. Another humanism principle is the experiential learning that emphasis on the importance of experience and its significance in fulfilling the learner's needs.
On the other hand, constructivism is a learning process that upholds the independent interpretation of knowledge based on personal understanding. For instance, in a work environment, the employees are at liberty to exploit their creativity and figure out things on their own or with assistance from their colleagues. In such a case, critical thinking and their prior knowledge are important tools. One of the principles of the learning process is the social constructivism where the learners’ needs are achieved through interacting with other people. Thus, a collaborative environment enhances the learning process. Besides, the principle of cognitive constructiveness implies that human being requires the information that they do not understand or use because it is more effective to build knowledge through experience as a part of learning.
In behaviorism, learning is perceived to be an active process of knowledge acquisition that is mainly based on observation. Under behaviorism, the psychological approach that is adopted emphasizes the role of environmental factor in the learning process. The human behavior is thought to be caused by external stimuli a situation that is referred as the operant condition. Consequently, learners are assumed to play a passive role because all that they can do is to respond to an environmental trigger. The learners’ behavior can change through a positive or negative reinforcement. The principle of operant conditioning is the institution of consequences that can be controlled through factors such as rewards or punishment. Positive reinforcement is adopted to strengthen a desirable behavior and vice versa. On the other hand, classical conditioning is a theory where learners are influenced to change a certain behavior as result of association. The study on classical conditioning can be explained using Ivan Pavlov’s dog experiment. In his experiment, the dogs associated the sound of the ringing bell with food and they could even start to salivate. Thus the bell was a conditional stimulus that the dog associated it with food (Gale, 2015).
Strategies that can be applied in Training so as to ensure that the Learners needs are fulfilled.
It is important to encourage social interaction in the organization to ensure that employees can learn from their colleagues. Workers can be engaged in collaborative activities that they can enjoy to create an enabling environment for learning. Also, it is important for the trainers to assess the knowledge and skills and experience of the employees and identify the areas whether they require further training, hence provide the necessary help. A senior employee despite having the experience in his job position might require updating their skill. Assessment can be done through finding out the learner’s goals, simplified training courses, or even open discussion with a knowledgeable trainer. Proper communication and listening skills are critical factors to any trainer as they can directly influence learning outcome (Moore, 2014).
Another strategy of taking care of the learner's needs is to provide the necessary knowledge through education and advanced training. The employees can be encouraged to further their education or undertake professional certificates to make them more proficient in their field. Software developers can pursue further training such as programming course to enable the students to become better technicians. In addition, trainers should teach the learners the effective personal and career development to better their experience growth and fulfillment in their respective position. In this case, learners can be taught how to set goals and various strategies they can utilize to achieve their dreams. Trainers can also ensure that learners understand their human needs and those they are met and those that are unmet can account (Bates, 2015).
Finally, the organization management could result in using incentives and rewards as a way of encouraging the staff that performs exemplarily. It is important to appreciate good work and reward accordingly in order to boost the employee’s morale. The employees who perform poorly should be encouraged to learn from the best performers. Besides, trainers should understand the individual creativity, strength, and weaknesses of each learner and identify the best ways possible to ensure optimal learning is achieved (Law & Chuan 2015).
Law, K. M. Y., & Chuah, K. B. (2015). PAL driven organizational learning: Theory and practices, a light on learning journey of organizations.
Bates, B. (2015). Learning Theories Simplified: ...and how to apply them to teaching.
Moore, K. D. (2014). Effective instructional strategies: From theory to practice. Sage Publications.
Gale, C. L. (2015). Study guide for psychologists and their theories for students: Ivan Pavlov. Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning.