VALA2014 – Concurrent Session 14 – Skilling time

I need more hands on training – reflections on creating self-directed learning by Con and Michael Wiebrands at Curtin University.

They have been running training programs for staff for years. They are self learner sand have been frustrated by those who don’t self direct their own learning.

Key concepts: open to learn, initiative when offered, accepting responsibility. Training is great for organisations as they increase organisational performance, better staff performance, shared knowledge and more.

With libraries changing so quickly it is more important than ever to have self directed learning. Training is not enough as staff need to know more about the tools. They need to learn about their environment. Training is supplementary to your own experience and reflection. If library staff are ill prepared we will struggle to support out users and our relevance is challenged.

todays learner

Todays learner –

Less common skills of today’s learner include vision, self regulation, adaptability, resilience, collaboration across networks. Do our library staff have these skills?

One of our goals is lifelong learning – are we reflecting that, are we teaching that? What is our role as managers in creating lifelong learners of our library staff?

Self directed learner is about direction for learning and the power to participate, not about spoon feeding them, that leaves people reliant.

Jane Hart axis – willing learners and unwilling learners across self-directed and directed learners. Have a wide range of skills in our staff, but don’t know what type of learners we have. Need to have programs for all these different types of learners.

They can’t present a framework for doing this because each library’s situation is different. Ultimately it relies on leadership. Have to start with knowing what staff know and what they need. Then staff need to get the training they need, according to their learning need.

Need to develop learning contracts for individual staff – start small. Provide time, space and tools to learn. Encourage sharing and reflection and regularly review and change goals as required. Need to be modelling by learning as well – to show how important it is.