Directed Learning Facilitator

One of the most valuable traits of a business leader is to be a good learning facilitator for colleagues and employees. This person likely leads training or instructional meetings, which requires them to be prepared, skilled, knowledgeable, and engaging. Interestingly, understanding the differences between a learning facilitator and a teacher can be the difference between a productive and informative session, and one that leaves employees uninspired.

We’ve all had that one teacher in school that everyone agreed was incredibly dull. He stood at the front of the class and droned on about a subject until everyone was nearly asleep. Why did he have this effect? While teachers are classroom leaders who impart knowledge from a position of authority, this may not be the most efficient way to get through to students – mainly because being “talked at” is not conducive to truly learning the material.


The Difference Between Directed Learning and a Learning Facilitator

Unlike someone who stands at the front of the room handing out information, a learning facilitator is invested less in telling people what to think, and invested more in helping them learn how to think about it for themselves. This person is a leader and guide, encouraging adult learners to take charge of their learning through discussions, real-life application, and self-exploration. A good learning facilitator doesn’t rely solely on slides or lecture to impart knowledge. Instead, he or she combines personal experience with a rich repertoire of approaches to equip students to take responsibility for their own learning process.

Often this is accomplished via discussion groups or brainstorming sessions, which encourages participants to develop opinions and share thoughts. This “hands-on” approach to learning results in a much higher level of engagement and comprehension, even with complex information or situations.

Perhaps most importantly, the learning facilitator approach tends to accomplish better knowledge retention. When students are simply shown a presentation or given a lecture, we may (or may not) remember much about the topic after the session. But if the presenter offers a subject along with guidelines through which participants can explore its personal relevance, the mental connections snowball – along with recall and application.

While mastering the art of learning facilitation may require a good deal of time and energy, the payoff is worth it. Not only will colleagues and employees gain a greater understanding of your material, but they also are likely to engage and remember the information to the benefit of the organization.

To learn more about facilitative learning services that are longer lasting and more productive than directed learning approaches, please visit the Training page for our partner company, Leadership Strategies.

Our team is available to help you prepare for and conduct successful learning experiences in your business. If you have any questions or requests, please contact us, chat us, or call us at 1-877-212-2361.