The Five Stages to becoming an expert
William Winn, in his article, ‘Cognitive Perspectives in Psychology’ (1996, p.92) discusses the five stages to becoming an expert:
- Novices learn objective and unambiguous facts and rules about the area that they are beginning to study (unconscious incompetence)
- Advanced beginners learning becomes more contextualised. The learning of objective facts and rules continues with advanced beginners developing their experience and their understanding of the larger context that their developing skills and knowledge operates (conscious incompetence)
- Competence includes an increasing awareness of the potentially overwhelming amount of facts and information. Competence involves the development of effective decision making skills to enable the learner to discern which facts and information to draw on for the particular situation they are dealing with (conscious competence)
- Proficiency is when the learner has internalised their skills and knowledge and starts making quick, effective decisions that are often unconscious (unconscious competence)
- Expertise is described by Winn as the complete fusion of decision-making and fusion (unconscious competence on steroids? J)
Looking at learning in this way highlights the complex interplay between instruction, practice, context, experience and individual efficacy. And then there’s the eternal challenge that all organisational learning faces: time and expectations.
Blended learning is often thought of as computer assisted learning. While there is no doubt that technology plays a valuable role, there is a lot more to blended organisational learning than just the technology. For example face-to-face training, coaching, group projects, individual projects, on-the-job opportunities, self-directed, conversations, dialogue, reflection, role plays, simulations, games, puzzles, quizzes, debates, research, job rotations, mentoring, shadowing, discovery, problem solving, eLearning and webinars.
Designing a blended organisational learning is about incorporating a range of purposely selected theories, methods and tools based on the context of the organisation and the learner to create an effective learning experience that moves the learner from novice to proficient as effectively and efficiently as possible.