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Merriam-webster defines the term agile in the following words: “marked by ready ability to move with quick easy grace.”
Have you ever faced difficulties when learning about things that are unfamiliar or concepts that are unknown to you? To date, instructors have tried and tested various learning methods. One of them is agile learning.
What is agile learning?
It is believed that the concept of agile methodology arose from the field of software engineering. In the modern age, however, agile is quickly becoming a common occurrence in all walks of life, from education and corporate training to performing trivial everyday tasks.
In the fields of training and education, the agile process involves a unique strategy that is very different from traditional learning methods. Traditional methods have a very structured approach to learning. Agile learning, on the other hand, is much more flexible, much like its name suggests. It focuses more on the learners’ abilities to grasp concepts instead of sticking to a fixed agenda or schedule. However, that is not all: there is much more to agile learning than that.
Let’s discuss 7 easy ways to implement agile learning in your life.
Allowing oneself flexibility
An extremely essential part of agile learning revolves around giving yourself space and time to learn and adapt. In traditional learning methods, there is a proper schedule which needs to be followed by everyone who is part of a particular educational session. In agile learning, the schedule is much more flexible.
If you are unable to stick to the pre-decided plan, that is perfectly okay. There is no rush. There is no need to push yourself towards impossible targets. Take it easy and slow. Some parts of the training or learning session may take up more time than other parts. The schedule can always be adjusted according to the learners’ needs.
Encouraging collaboration and communication
Have you ever witnessed a self-proclaimed “love guru” religiously chant “Communication is key!” whenever giving unsolicited relationship advice? That is actually a pretty solid tip no matter what situation you are in.
In agile learning sessions, teamwork and collaboration must always be highly encouraged. For group training sessions, one way to achieve this is to hold a daily meeting where each member can update their peers about their daily progress. This will not only give them a chance to reflect on their personal achievements but also help them learn from each other.
Pacing oneself properly
While agile learning is highly flexible, it does not mean you can slack off in the name of flexibility. As a learner, you must keep in mind the overall timeline of your progress. Your deadlines will definitely not be set in stone. However, you should try to keep track of your initial progress.
After the initial few stages, it should become easier to estimate how much time and effort the following phases of learning might take. This way, you can make sure that you don’t wander way off track and stay close to the tentative deadline.
Working in bits and pieces instead of huge chunks
This step builds on the previous one.
When you know that you have to pace yourself according to how much burden you can bear, you will be forced to divide your tasks into smaller pieces so that you can handle them in a better manner. If you try to do everything at once, it will only lead to more chaos, confusion, and panic.
This is also a slight extension of the previous two points. When you have multiple responsibilities and tasks to attend to, you will have to make sure that you are placing them all in the right order of priority.
You cannot do everything at the same time. There is always going to be some compromise involved. The smart thing to do in such a situation would be to keep track of all your pending learning milestones and arrange them according to their level of importance.
Not shying away from revisions
This is another factor that sets agile learning apart from other methods of learning. Agile relies heavily on feedback.
Learners receive continuous feedback from their trainers or superiors. And it does not end there. They must also go back to their work and try their best to incorporate that feedback so that their learning endeavours produce better results.
Valuing actions over words
Making elaborate plans on paper holds no meaning if you are unable to turn them into reality. Therefore, instead of writing down the learning process on paper and paying attention to unnecessary details, it is much more important to take action.
When you have a flexible course of action in mind, it is often very difficult to stick to written plans anyway. Therefore, pay heed to what is being/has been achieved instead of obsessively documenting every little point of the plan or progress.
Our entire discussion can be summarised in 7 simple points:
- Collaboration and communication
- Proper pacing
- Division of tasks
- Feedback and revision
- Actions over words
When these seven learning strategies are implemented in your sessions, you will realise exactly why the agile process is rapidly gaining popularity.