Exemplification of Self-Directed Learning
The first assumption underlying Knowles’s view of andragogy is that learners become increasingly self-directed as they mature. In is broadest meaning, self-directed learning describes a practice in which individuals, with or without the help of others, identify their learning needs, create learning goals, find resources for learning, select and put into practice suitable learning strategies, and assess learning outcomes.
Self-directed learning becomes even more powerful when the learner uses a systematic approach to determine what areas of knowledge and skills are needed in order to accomplish a task (learning needs and goals), how the areas of knowledge and skills will be acquired (learning objectives and activities), and how the learner will know that skill or knowledge sought has been acquired (learning evaluation).
A construction project manager is responsible to present the differences between .011 and .013 aluminum mesh screen to a project owner. The construction project manager consults with the screen supplier and manufacturer (subject matter experts) and spends a couple of hours researching aluminum mesh on the internet. The construction project manager knew what had to be learned (the differences between .011 and .013 aluminum mesh), how it was going to be learned (consultation with subject matter experts and internet research), and the effectiveness of the knowledge obtained (presentation to the project owner).
Exemplification of Incidental Learning
Incidental learning is unintentional or unplanned. In the workplace, incidental learning is the result of performing other activities or tasks. Incidental learning is acquired through observation, by engaging in conversation, or by watching or talking to colleagues about tasks. Incidental learning is a surprise or byproduct of another activity. The learner discovers something while in the process of performing or learning another task.
While we learn ‘formally’ in some very specific situations and periods of our lives, incidental and informal learning are responsible for the skills and knowledge we have learned during the vast majority of our lives.
A construction project manager settles down in the lunchroom for a break and overhears colleagues discussing the sort feature on the project management software. The construction project manager was unaware that the program allowed activities to be sorted and had been using a highlighter on a hard copy of the report to sort the activities. Unintentional as this learning was, the construction project manager now uses the sort feature and saves a significant amount of time and resources.
Exemplification of Socialization, or Tacit Learning
Tacit knowledge is knowledge that we may be unaware that we have. It is embedded in our day-to-day work activities. We tend to take tacit knowledge for granted. It is rather implicit.
Tacit learning involves knowing how to do something rather than knowing who, what, or why. It involves learning and skill but not in a way that can be easily written down.
A senior construction project manager estimates gross profit projections on a quarterly basis. The process involves compiling information from a myriad of sources and performing countless mathematical calculations to reconcile expenditures. After many years, the senior project manager has become remarkably adept at this task without noticing that it was a comprehensive learning process.