Learning Literature Review Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose Research Proposal

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Learning Literature Review

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose Critical for Individual Learning

Role of the Personality Classification Method

Fundamentals of Learning Organisations

Applying Learning Theories to Organisations

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The intent of this literature review is to evaluate how individual, organisational, and structural learning takes place, taking into account existing concepts, empirically derived research results, and frameworks to analyse learning in each respect context. Individualized learning is more a function of the autonomy, mastery and purpose than pedantry or forced lecture approaches to teaching. Individualized learning effectiveness is also highly predicated on the level of trust that students or learners have within organizations for their managers or instructors as well (Gubbins, MacCurtain, 2008). The rapid growth of the Internet has also made it possible to tailor specific learning strategies for individuals which in turn are influencing organisations (Najjar, 2008). The technique called scaffolding (Najjar, 2008) capitalizes on the Internet's ability to personalize training and teaching sessions, unique to each student's specific needs and requirements. This is having a compound effect on the learning within organisations (Schilling, Kluge, 2009) where the attainment of autonomy, mastery and purpose are possible given the tailoring of lesson programs. Scaffolding or the creation of personalized learning experiences augment and make more efficient autonomy and mastery of subject matter further impacting the building of learning organizations (Hannah, Lester, 2009). Ultimately the development of entire networks within an organisation that become learning ecosystems become prevalent when individualized learning is made a priority, as is the case with the Toyota Production System (TPS) supply chain network (Dyer, Nobeoka 2000).

Literature Review

TOPIC: Research Proposal on Learning Literature Review Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose Assignment

The catalysts of effective individualised learning are all centered on the level of trust that employees have of their managers, instructors or those seeking to assist them in learning (Nielsen, Nielsen, 2009). Trust is essential as a foundational element for individualised learners to gain autonomy in the learning process, so that mastery of specific skills can be achieved. Autonomy and mastery are what are consistently cited as the two dominant motivators in enabling long-term learning and the retention of concepts. When purpose of learning is communicated in the context of individualised learning, effectiveness increases drastically, especially for senior managers who seek to find greater levels of proficiency in their professional roles (Woods, Carter, 1985). What emerges then from this research is that only when there is a consistent level of trust within an organisation can the three critical determinants of long-term learning be effective, which are autonomy, mastery and purpose. The combining of these three factors through blended learning strategies that seek to create more interactive, less didactic approaches to training, combined with personalized training methods (Najjar, 2008) have proven to be orders of magnitude more effective than traditional "drill and kill" approaches to lecturing (Zapalska, Brozik, 2007). Studies indicate that for long-term learning to be as effective as possible, there needs to be a concerted effort to strengthen each aspect of learning autonomy, mastery and purpose as well, treating each as a separate strategy yet unified to a common learning objective as well. For senior managers, autonomy is more critical than any of the other attributes of effective learning as they are often challenged by the changing pace of change itself which is often intimidating (Woods, Carter, 1985). Learning at the individual level then must also overcome resistance to change and often cultural inertia in organisations where the pace of change has become intimidating and avoided through cultural barriers (Godkin, Allcorn, 2008). Overcoming the inertia and cultural resistance to change however is critical if any professional is going to stay current on techniques, training and complete programs all aimed at increasing the quality and value of their contributions over time (Wetzel, Yencho, 1992).

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose Critical for Individual Learning

The challenge then in terms of enabling greater individual learning is to get beyond seeing the effort to gain new skills through learning merely as a job requirement (Wetzel, Yencho, 1992) and see instead the broader purpose of mastering a specific subject or skill set to achieve greater professional growth. The motivation for professional growth varies significantly between individuals and in organisations that routinely practices resistance to change by downplaying its importance; they create an environment that makes little use of purpose and mastery as long-term learning motivators. What is essential therefore is the needed then is organisations' leaders, specifically the CEO and senior management team, to model the learning behaviors they want to see achieved in the context of change (Godkin, Allcorn, 2008). The CEO and senior managements' reaction to change and the need for individualised learning is the single biggest predictor of the success of failure of educational programs within an organisation (Weiss, 2001). Clearly then for purpose to be relevant for individualised learning in the context of organizations, the CEO and senior management teams must model the behavior they want to their subordinates to have. Mastery of specific topics, from quality management techniques for production auditors for example to the development of entirely new design, development, and validation skills for engineering are also predicated on the level of commitment on the part of senior managers in these areas and their support for significant change in their organizations (Koivunen, 2009).

The concentration on autonomy, mastery and purpose all predicated on a solid foundation of trust (Nielsen, Nielsen, 2009) form the foundation of effective individualised learning strategies. Augmenting these three core components are the use of scaffolding or the tailoring of specific learning strategies to the unique strengths and weaknesses of each individual learner (Najjar, 2008). Within organisations this strategy has been effective in overcoming resistance to change (Godkin, Allcorn, 2008) especially for nature managers who seek to create cultures of stability where change is perceived more as a threat and less as an opportunity to improve and grow (Woods, Carter, 1985). All of these factors including the successful use of scaffolding or individualized instruction have shown that learning systems online have statistically significant levels of effectiveness when all of these factors align in training programs (Zapalska, Brozik, 2007). Clearly then the challenge for organizations who seek to gain a competitive advantage through the use of knowledge and training must do all they can to enable autonomy, mastery and purpose on a solid foundation of trust in order for long-term learning to be accomplished.

Role of the Personality Classification Method

In creating learning strategies and programs at the individual level the use of a technique called the Personality Classification Method (Woods, Carter, 1985) has also successfully been used for augment individualised learning. The premise of this approach is to classify individuals in learning programs by their learning styles. These four styles include diverger, assimilator, converger and accommodator (Woods, Carter, 1985). The Personality Classification Method has been successfully used in organisations who seek to increase long-term learning by the optimal mix of learning types within a class or series of instruction sessions. The research instrument used for defining each category is called the Kolb Learning Styles Index (LSI) (Simmons, 2006). The Kolb LSI has been used to evaluate the dynamics of teams within organisations of mature managers who seek purpose and autonomy in learning (Woods, Carter, 1985). The Kolb LSI plays a contributory role to the development of learning strategies where the focus is on mastery and purpose in the context of organisational cultures that resist change (Woods, Carter, 1985). Further, the Kolb LSI also is used for defining scaffolding strategies (Najjar, 2008) that align to the specific strengths of the individual from the context of their learning styles. The use of the Kolb LSI in the context of defining departmental and group-wide learning strategies has also been effective, as it has provided insights that alleviate potential intergroup and intragroup conflicts. The use of the Kolb LSI then serves to optimize learning groups and sets the foundation for organisational learning as a result, all predicated on a high level of trust be attained (Vendelo, 2009). Combining then personalized strategies to enable greater levels of learning through scaffolding (Najjar, 2008) in conjunction with using the Kolb LSI as part of the Personality Classification Method to better nurture the development of autonomy, purpose, and mastery on the part of the student results in significantly higher levels of long-term retention of key concepts over time (Simmons, 2006).

Fundamentals of Learning Organisations

The creation, nurturing and continual growth of learning organisations require the development of collaborative, cross-learning process workflows that in turn nurture information and knowledge sharing network-wide. Nurturing and creating these process workflows only for the sake of market-based innovation however yields mixed results (Kok, Biemans, 2009). What is critical then from an organisational learning standpoint is to create cross-organisational process workflows that fuel total knowledge sharing and the rapid accumulation of expertise in a specific strategic area. An example of how organisational learning is effective achieved is in the examples cited of the Toyota Production System (TPS) a world class supply chain system (Dyer, Nobeoka 2000). The TPS has evolved from a purely transaction-driven supply chain to one where suppliers… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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