When you learned how to use your first computer (I know this is practically archaic given technology advancements these days, but bear with me), did you start by reading the manual first? Instead, did someone explain to you how to use it? Or, did you start by turning it on and punching the keys yourself?
See it, hear it, or hands on—what’s your learning style?
When it comes to the human brain, everyone processes information differently. There are three primary cognitive learning styles:
- Visual (see it): This person learns best by looking at graphics, watching a demonstration, or reading. In the example above, this type of learner would start by reading the manual.
- Auditory (hear it): This person learns best by listening to things being explained to them. Reciting information out loud with music in the background is also an effective technique for this type of learner. In the example above, this type of learner wants someone to explain to them how to use a computer.
- Kinesthetic (do it): This person learns best through a hands-on approach, whether that be through direct interaction with a program or building a model. In the example above, this type of learner wants someone to explain to them how to use a computer. In the example above, this type of learner wants to get their hands on it and start using it on their own.
Bottom line: Understanding how a group of people learns and retains new information can save time and money for the county—and, with this approach, it’s more likely they’ll be even better prepared for Go-Live.
How will this information be used?
In other words: How can we apply this to the training material being developed for TechShare.Court? We started by issuing a learning assessment to identify how Dallas County TechShare.Court users learn best. The results of this assessment are being utilized throughout training development and delivery in preparation for Go-Live beginning as early as February 2016.
Part of this strategy includes creating training that reaches each learning style, including multiple methods of presentation that appeal to visual and auditory learners. In addition, the program will factor in plenty of hands-on training time. After all, practice makes perfect, right?
What do we know so far?
We started by asking our respondents their role and court or office type to gather a better understanding of who will be participating in training for TechShare.Court. With the basics out of the way, we then dove straight into learning styles and wrapped up with logistics such as preferred days of the week to train, so on and so forth.
Of the 130 responses we’ve gathered to date, an overwhelming 75% of end users in Dallas indicated they prefer to make a list, organize the steps, and check them off as they go when trying to solve a problem. The remaining 25% indicated they prefer to make a model of the scenario or call friends, colleagues, and experts directly to solve it instead. This tells us that in regards to training, most users will respond to specific agendas that show progress as topics are covered daily.
Another piece of valuable information gathered refers to how our end users learn by interacting. When asked how they prefer to tell a story, more than 65% indicated they prefer to tell it out loud while 25% would rather write it. The remaining 10% would like to act it out. This indicates that it would be very useful for users to learn by partnering and explaining what they are doing out loud. This strategy would be appealing to all types of learners because it allows them to engage with their peers, write down questions as they arise and role play to display their knowledge.
In addition to understanding how our end users learn best, it’s also valuable to know what motivates them. When asked about reward and recognition, 52% indicated they prefer group recognition to the 47% who prefer personal recognition.
With data like this, the goal is to develop training that helps end users learn more effectively while staying engaged throughout the process and into Go-Live.
Where are we now?
In addition to training, our implementation team in Dallas is currently focused on business process engineering, data conversion, system integration, and training.
The Dallas County Criminal Courts will be rolled out in phases, beginning with a pilot program in four courts scheduled for April 2016. The remaining Criminal Courts are scheduled to be live by February 2017. The implementation project is scheduled to be complete by July 2017.
For more information about TechShare.Court, contact James Hurley at firstname.lastname@example.org.