Motivating Active Learning
To increase and motivate the workforce to continue learning, the educational contents must be delivered in the most engaging way so that the learners can retain the knowledge for use later.
HAVING an educated and well-trained workforce is crucial for our nation to achieve the goals stipulated in the transformation agenda and more importantly, Vision 2020.
Even though our workforce may have the skills and experience, continuous education and training are essential to enhance their competency in the challenging and competitive global environment.
Fundamentally, the objective of education and training programmes for the workforce is to stimulate and help them to learn and eventually to transfer the educational contents, be it in the form of a skill or information, from the classroom to their real working environment.
In order to increase and motivate the workforce to continue learning, knowledge must be delivered in the most engaging way so that the learners can appreciate the importance of it.
This will enable them to apply the knowledge in daily life and spur their interest in lifelong learning.
This is vital for the nation to progress and excel in the competitive global economy.
Over the years, professional trainers face the challenge on how to engage learners to learn and subsequently practise the theories they learn in the classroom in their work place.
In her book Training from the Back of the Room, professional trainer Sharon Bowman wrote: “How long can you sit and listen to a fact-based lecture, devoid of stories, emotion, or anything that connects you personally to the content?
“Your tolerance for such a learning experience is probably minimal, and the actual time you remain sitting without getting fidgety is probably a matter of minutes, not hours.”
In response to the challenge, training and education methods have evolved from the traditional lecture-based method, which is considered to be passive, to a more active method that will engage active participation from learners.
These methods are implemented in the form of case studies, role-playing, problem-solving, discussion, and etc.
In view of the above, let us reflect on a significant event during the time of the Prophet Muhammad which was narrated in a hadith.
This hadith was taken on the authority of Umar al-Khattab, the second Caliph of Islam, where he said: “While we were sitting with the Messenger of Allah, one day a man came up to us whose clothes were extremely white, whose hair was extremely black, upon whom traces of travelling could not be seen, and whom none of us knew, until he sat down close to the Prophet, so that he rested his knees upon his knees and placed his two hands upon his thighs and said, ‘Muhammad, tell me about Islam.
by Mohamad Azhar Hashim.