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Learning Styles and Learning Theories in HR Development

Info: 2157 words (9 pages) Essay
Published: 25th Aug 2021 in Education

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Learning can define as a measurable and relatively parameter to identify that how much human or animal can absorb the knowledge in order to happens with experience or by nature. There are many methods to learning something such as listening, reading, visuals, and an experience.

People are different from one another and their not equal. Every person has unique styles to learn. Learning styles define as an intellectual capacity, concentrates, absorbs and remembers information. Each person has a unique learning skills and styles. To further clarify there are famous models found by Honey and Mumford, and Kolb.

In Honey and Mumford model explain four types of learning styles such as Activist, Reflector, Theorist, and Pragmatist. Activist means ‘I will try anything once’ some people if they want do something or learn, they will try anything once. These kinds of learners are open-minded and enthusiastic about new things, act first and think about consequences later and easily get involved with others. Second learning style is Reflectors means, ‘Look before you leap’ these kinds of learners are learning observe and ponder new experience, and their analysing all available data before they act and they think before come to the conclusion. Third learning style is Theorist means ‘If it is logical it is good’ this style says that some people are learning through the theories assumptions, principles and models. They would always think problems through systematically and logically. The last learning style is Pragmatist means ‘If it works, it is good, but there is always a better way’ these kind of people learn if something works in good way and practically that is the best way for them, eager to try out ideas, theories and techniques to see if they work in practice, They are essentially practical, down to earth people who like making practical decisions and solve problems.

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In Kolb’s learning model there are four main stages such as concrete experience (CE) is where the learner actively experience an activity, reflective observation (RO) is when the learner consciously reflects back on that experience, abstract conceptualization (AC) is where the learner attempts to conceptualize a theory or model of what is observed and active experimentation (AE) is where the learner is trying to plan how to test a model or theory or plan for a forthcoming experience. These four stages are corresponding to Kolb’s four leaning styles are diverging (CE/RO) means ‘feeling and watching’ these kind of people are able to think in a different way and different perspective, they use information and imagination to solve problems, and these people perform better in situation like idea generation. These sort of learners are interested in people tend to be imaginative and emotional and they are like to work in groups.

Assimilating (AC/RO) is the second style of Kolb’s model, this mean ‘watching and thinking’ this kind of people need theory rather than the practical. They want more an explanation than the practical opportunity. Ideas and concepts are more important than people also use the logical approach when solve the problems. The third style is converging (AC/AE) is mean ‘doing and thinking’ these type of learners does not need any theories, but they want practical. They can solve their problems through practical issues; they prefer technical task and less relationship with people and interpersonal aspects, and people with a converging style like to experiment with new ideas to simulate and to work with practical applications. The fourth style is accommodating (CE/AE) means ‘doing and feeling’ this is where the people use other people’s analysis, information or can be their product and prefer to take a practical, experiential approach, they use others information and carry out their own analysis. They are attracted to new challenges and experiences and to carrying out plans. People with this learning style willing to work in teams to complete the goal and they set the targets and actively work in the field trying different ways to achieve an objective

When comparing Honey and Mumford model and the Kolb’s model there are distinguish between different learning styles. Honey and Mumford described the same thing done by Kolb’s but using different words, so therefore there is no such difference between these two models. Hence there is a strong similarity in Kolb’s model stage one says concrete experience (Having and experience) says being fully involved in an action or interaction, utilizing current knowledge and skills but in Honey and Mumford model style one describe Activists which is describing immediate experience, open-minded, bored with implementation. Kolb’s second stage Reflective observation (reviewing the experience) is say looking back at what happened, describing it, reflecting on the causes and effects of learner behaviour, but Honey and Mumford’s reflectors style is say listen before speaking, ponder and analyse, delay reaching conclusions. The third stage of Kolb’s model is Abstract Conceptualization (concluding from the experience) is forming generalization, concepts and theories that will enable to integrate observation and reflections into behaviour on future occasions or in other contexts, but Honey and Mumford’s theorist style like people think through logical aspect. The fourth stage in Kolb’s model is Active Experimentation (Planning the next steps) is describe planning ways in which in learner can apply and test conclusion in further action but Honey and Mumford’s Pragmatists style which is seek try and new ideas, practical, down to earth, enjoying problem solving and decision making. Also activist and accommodating, reflector and diverging, theorist and assimilating, pragmatist and converging are similar to each concept.

Learning styles are needed to identify how the people can absorb and remember things. Likewise learning theories are help to identify how people learn through changes in behaviour, environment and goals. The behaviourist approach measures learning in term of relative permanent changes in behaviour. This is like the environmental control learning. The work of Pavlov (on dogs) and Skinner (on rats) suggested that learning is the formation of new connection between stimulus and response on the basis of experience or behaviour is positively or negatively reinforced.

Therefore in an organization trainer should always think about their trainees’ behaviour, when making the particular training programme. Imagine job role for customer care, if the trainee is not like to be social or talk with others anymore, he/she is silence character. In this situation to avoid this or change the behaviour of trainee, trainer has to make a training programme relate to the behaviour. Otherwise training cost and time will be wasted. To minimum that trainer can give the feedback to the trainee, and increase the morale. Every person has a goal; human behaviour is towards a goal. Many be some person does not have education background ,but that does not mean that he/she does not have any information to reach to him/her goals using their experience. Therefore having aim or goal will lead to gather the data or information, hence without any kind of information is hard to reaching to the goals. Likewise the Cognitive Approach is defining as a relatively permanent change in cognition occurring as a result of experience.

People can learn through the experience and storage of information in the brain. They can understand their environment and how it works. They decide what is important to learn and learn through techniques and strategies they feel comfortable with. In an Organization if the trainee does not have any motivation to learn the new material to being with, therefore it is important for the delivering and design of training programme. The trainer should not tell the trainee’s what to do; rather they should guide the trainees in discovering the correct solutions and ways of thinking. For example trainer should give a goal to trainees, therefore to achieve the goal trainee will learn.

There is another learning style called social learning approach. This is where people learn through by observing others behaviour, attitude, and outcomes of those behaviours. Most of the time, human learns through imitating others. First they start imitating their parents. People learn to perform actions by modelling, watching, analysing the way others do them.

In an Organization if there is a good trainer like having good attitude, good communication skills, presentations skills. A trainee will also like to follow or do the same way in other word imitative the trainer. Therefore it will be a benefit for an organization hence trainee will perform best in the future. These types of learners are very easy handle. When planning and design of learning events in an organization they should appoint appropriate trainer for the training programme. Therefore trainees will motivate to learn by imitating their trainer.

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The Learning theories offer certain useful propositions for the design of effective training programmes. The individual should be motivated to learn. The purpose and benefits of a learning activity should be made clear, according to the individual’s motives or goals, reward, challenge, competence. Clear goals and objectives should be set, so that each task has some meaning. This will help trainee s in control process that leads to learning, providing targets which performance will constantly be measured and adjusted. Each stage of learning should present a challenge, motivation, without overloading trainees so that they lose confidence and the ability to assimilate information of experience. Also trainer can design case-studies; problem solving exercises and so on engage the purposive process of learning. Coaching, mentoring and term learning activities engage social earning. There should be feedback on performance and progress in proper way and on time and it should not be delay. Active participation in the learning experience in action learning or discovery learning is generally more effective than passive reception hence it enhances concentration and conditioning.

There is a relationship between the time spent in learning and the level of competence attained. The learning curve is a graph showing the relationship between time and learning competence attained. The learning curve as follows:

  • Level of competence
  • Standard curve
  • Stepped curve
  • Time

The learning curve describes the progress and variable pace of learning. It is common for people to say that they are ‘on a steep learning curve’ when they have to acquire a lot of new knowledge or skills in a short period of time. The standard curve says that career or learner spent learning one thing for a long time and does not improve further. However in practice this will depends on the design of the learning programme and the motivation and aptitude of the learner. The stepped curve says that career or learner spent leaning many things during the given training period of time and which will improve in further. Stepped curve is common in cases where an individual changes jobs or work methods, or make the transition a non-managerial to a managerial position.

However there are learning theories and learning styles available in order to design the training programme, but the most important part is transfer of learning .Learner should able to transfer what he/she learnt in the training period. If the learner can successfully transfer the knowledge and skills into practical task that can define as positive transfer. If the learner is failed to transfer what he/she learnt from the training programme into the application of task can be define as a negative transfer. If learner is learnt something by imitating others it will help for the learner to changing analysing skills or presentation skills relevant to the practical applications. This another way to measure how much success of the training programmes.

As an employer it is very important to providing career development for their employees. An Employer should aware about the training programme hence the programme may be expensive or takes time. Therefore to provide an effective training for the learners employer should select the appropriate training methods which is up to date and relevant to the application task. Also before design the training programme employer should get clear picture about learners, hence people are come from different background so therefore their intellectual capacity and absorbs the knowledge level may different. In order to base on their behaviour, learning capacity the training programme should be variable.


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