Saturday, 4 October 2014

Quality of Learning

Quality of Learning 

        Every human being learns through six different learning techniques. The quality of our learning is the binary value of the 6-nibble (24 bit) word, where each nibble is a technique, as shown below,

           MSN                                                                           LSN -->

6. Memorize – It’s the least significant nibble of learning word. We use to store the information in our memory and try to retrieve it whenever we require it. We hardly do any processing of this information.

5. Understand – It’s the next level of learning technique where we try to construct meaning from instructional messages communicated over a communication channel

4. Apply – In this technique we carry out or use a procedure / framework of some rules to the data we collect, in a given situation, to make meaning out of it.

3. Analyze – In this technique, we decompose the matter, study how parts are related to each other and to overall structure or purpose, to make some conclusion

2. Evaluate – Here we make Judgments based on pre-defined and accepted criteria / standards with one or more options. The main objective is to take or justify a decision

1. Create – This is the most significant nibble of the learning word where we put all elements together to form a coherent or functional assembly, reorganize elements or add some new elements, to create a new pattern which helps to improve existing processes or builds new processes

In Indian education system, till 12th standard, the entire focus is on “Memorize”. It is only up to individual student, if he / she wants to “Understand” it. But the exam system never tests “Understand” technique. When the student comes for graduation, he gets introduced to “Apply”, and some attempt is made to use this technique. In the exams though, highest weightage is still for the “Memorize”, then to “Understand”, and last (and least) to “Apply”. 

When the student gets graduated, and enters industry, he is exposed to “Analyze”, where earlier techniques are not enough to do the job. Those who can adopt to this “Analyze” technique, survive and grow. As one becomes experienced, he / she also needs to develop “Evaluate” technique. Those who do well mastering “Evaluate”, become decision makers, and climb higher in organization. While at work, some people also learn “Create” technique and they excel in technical and R&D assignments.

Unfortunately our eductaion system exactly reverses positions of "technique-nibbles", which make "Memorize", most significant nibble while "Create", becomes least significant nibble (in fact, it is mostly absent). This explains the quality of knowledge acquired by students through Indian eductaion system.  

           In ideal education system, it should teach all these 6 techniques before one is entering in the industry. The schools could facilitate to develop and evaluate students on all these 6 techniques (in correct order) from very beginning to create industry ready and smart work force