To keep at par with growing competition, organizations spend a lot of time and budgets developing trainings to develop and hone the skills of their workforce. Most extrovert learners do not hesitate to sign up for online learning courses or classroom training, in order to learn more and excel. But can you develop training with a singular focus on extrovert learners – leaving a large section of introvert learners out of the learning strategy? This can prove to be a grave mistake, resulting in restricting the reach of learning as well as diminishing its impact. While extrovert learners excel through group projects or presentations, other learners hesitate to undertake such group activities and thus shy away from learning. So, they may be experts in their fields, but fail to take proper initiatives to keep learning and growing professionally.
Self-paced e-courses create a safe and comfortable platform for all the learners to consume learning – as per their learning needs, as well as pace. In addition, special instructional design strategies can be put in place to ensure that the e-learning module is suited to address the needs of all types of learners – extroverts as well as introverts.
- Study Journals: Many workplaces swear by a blended learning format, where classroom sessions are followed by online reinforcements in the form of learning nuggets – textual, audio as well as video, that is made accessible to the learners via the LMS. In addition, you can utilize the LMS to encourage the learners to keep a learning journal – which can be a lesson recap, highlights of what they have learnt over a week or even questions or queries that they have on the subject. Instructors can review these journals over time and give comments or provide the learners with answers, as per their needs. Thus, even the most silent learner will come up with a contribution that will help the learning process in entirety.
- Online Forums: Once the learners are adept in navigating the learning platform and are comfortable in putting forth their views and learning through the online journal, online forums can be created where learners can discuss and learn collaboratively. Learners, who are not vocal in class, can be encouraged to contribute in the online forums. Introvert learners often take time to reflect and then give in their views. So, the online platform would be perfect to give them enough time and space for the needed thought process and contribute proactively.
- Written Assessments and Exercises: The number of assessments and practice exercises can be increased to involve the introvert learners more, who are often good learners, but do not contribute during the classroom question-answer sessions. Being detail oriented and more comfortable at written assignments, introverts usually shine at these exercises – which enforce learning as well as boots up their confidence.
- Audio Modules: Audio-based tutorials are often included in the study material. With easy availability of audio recording devices – including smartphones and tablets that have a microphone and recording capabilities — learners can be encouraged to create audio assignments. These audio files can be uploaded on the LMS and assessed by the instructor or trainer. Learners who are wary of talking aloud in the class in front of a group of peers and trainers can create an audio assignment – taking practice shots at first, before gaining the confidence to record the final version. Practice will help them revise the facts and learn well. The audio assignment, in turn, will help them gain confidence and help them get over their reservations.
- Online Mentoring: Introverts are often mistaken as just lazy learners. On the contrary, they are often very diligent learners, once they find their footing. To further encourage them and increase the impact of learning, introvert learners, who make progress well through an online learning course, can further be roped-in to mentor peers and other learners. On the online learning platform, introverts can write more succinctly and express well. They can be forum ‘experts’ where they can answer queries and questions related to the subject. They can also be asked to review courses, highlighting pertinent parts, which can help future learners to ascertain their learning path through the course.
As the corporate world gets more serious about training and learning, it is also evident that for maximum impact and efficacy of learning, it is important to consider different learner groups within the audience pool. Providing suitable learning opportunities for all not only helps in impactful learning, but creates efficient employees as well.