The trend towards competency-based learning is often seen as a marked change in learning culture. This applies certainly to education systems characterised as vocational. The change is not only a change of methodology or content, but a fundamentally new perspective on education and training. In this new perspective the instructor is less teacher and more facilitator of learning processes. This role consequently demands beside traditional didactic methods an increase in individual support and encouragement techniques. Teachers/trainers help with planning a learning unit and monitor individual learning processes.
Learning support is a systematic interchange regarding the progress of a learner. It aims at strengthening self-learning and self-management competencies by supplying advice (as far as necessary) at all stages of the learning activity. Learning support does not procure actual knowledge in a field, but helps the learner to acquire it more effectively.
Guidance in the field of training is supplied by teachers/trainers or workplace supervisors. It relates primarily to working techniques and methods.
While learning support aims primarily at overcoming difficulties, guidance is more about supplying information and finding the best strategy for the trainee. In practice both activities will mostly be interrelated in the communication with the trainee.
The task of providing learning support for trainees/students falls to teachers/trainers and to workplace supervisors. Main challenges are, to provide individual assistance under time constraints and to balance the role of consultant with that of instructor or supervisor.
Objectives of learning support