Rate of Learning * Food of the Gods

As the saying goes, “the only thing that is constant is change.” While reading HG Wells Food of the Gods, about two scientists researching the growth process of living things, something occurred to me. The rate of human growth used in the book can be used as a reference for how people learn, process and adapt to new information. Stay with me for a moment…

Change is constant and learning is constant, right?

In Food of the Gods, two scientists theorize that the natural rate of growth is constant with periods of rest (Figure C.), which (applied to learning) is an ideal rate for Bloom’s Taxonomy right? We start with receiving information and progressively move to knowledge and then evaluation. That is great! Although, raise your hand out there if you feel like the rate of change and new information in your day to day life is a constant stream (Figure D.)? Everyday we can expect that things will change, new information will come in, new events will happen that impact our daily work and lives.

How do we manage this constant change? How can organizations manage this? Will sporadic growth and periods of rest continue to work for us? How many organizations have learning programs to accommodate Figure C. and D? To the contrary how many organizations have programs that resemble Figure A. and B? An initial information dump without reinforcement or no change at all.

What is the answer? Here are my thoughts:

  • Create learning programs that resemble Figure C. and D.
  • Provide tools to enable informal learning.
  • Build communities to support social learning.
  • Revisit topics of frequent change.
  • Use refreshers consistently to reinforce.
  • Turn learning into a constant stream.
  • What are you thoughts?

In closing to paraphrase Tim O’Reilly,

“…it is easier to consume small bites of information over a long period of time than to consume large bites of information in short period of time”.

Rate of Learning

Rate of Learning

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