We our working on a new project that educators and students will be interested in. It is called the "Fast Track Learning" or FTL.
In this introductory section we will explain the purpose of the Fast Track Learning training/book and how to use it.
Fast Track Learn By Discovery is a proven method of acquiring information or skills in an extremely efficient manner. This training/book allows a learner to gain the outlined skills in approximately 24 hours, a far shorter time than most books or tutorials on the same topic.
Discovery Learning allows students to think and work more creatively and to be an active participant in their own learning especially whenever the response requires problem solving. This learning links the student’s brain to previous experience and knowledge on a contiguous path or more properly a group of paths to discover the new information or skills. This technique helps the learner organize new information in a manner designed to discover patterns and relationships and to keep a running list of the uses to which information might be put.
This training/book guides the learner on a unique path of discovery using self-directing questions that coach the learner to search for the information required to perform certain tasks. The learner then discovers how to apply the knowledge, thereby making the path more meaningful and easier to remember for further travel.
Because educators are reconsidering what it means to learn and understand, they are attempting to create learning environments that are more student-centered and inquiry/discovery oriented.
Discovery learning takes place most notably in problem solving situations. In these cases, the learner draws on his own experience and prior knowledge to discover the truths that are to be learned, drawing a network of complex associations in the brain. These associations make the learning more hardwired - a more permanent part of the structure of the learner’s brain. It is rather like remembering a new friends name by making some association with that name from the past – the events and the memories already exist so they make a convenient place to hang new information.
Also, solving problems without expecting an instructor to provide the answer enables you to develop confidence in your own ability to handle problems in this area, which in turn encourages you to go further and to have confidence in constantly expanding sectors. Active learning demonstrates that knowledge can be built by the learner rather than delivered from an authority, empowering the learners and adding to the previously mentioned build of confidence.
Discovery learning understands that education is a process, not a simple endpoint like the gathering of one set of facts. Actually, when you consider how quickly facts change in the present intellectual climate, managing to discover some facts is completely unimportant except for the fact that you learned how to gather them in the first place. It is the process that you want to become familiar with. This is true with ever changing software as well.
Also, active learning puts the responsibility on the learner. When you are placed in the position of having to find solutions to a problem, you are much more likely to take charge of your own learning. Yes – this is a somewhat scary proposition because it is nice to be able to lay blame when learning does not progress as quickly as the learner would wish. However, because of this responsibility, learning can take place effectively in any situation - it is not dependent upon the skills of the teacher or the sophistication of the technology. Nothing can hold you back except yourself, and since you have made a commitment to the learning process, there is nothing at all to stop your progression.
Discovery learning also has these benefits:
There are 12 projects that are composed of a series of short, concise tasks that maintains learner’s attention. Each project begins with objectives and a project briefing to motivate the learner and ends with a summary to review and make the learner aware of what has been discovered.
A task may involve learning by discovery. This involves searching within the program for the answer to a posed question. We have formulated the question to introduce the learner to concepts and features in a pre-determined order. This order allows the learner to progress through learning the AutoCAD software in a building block method. The learner will build upon what has been learned in a previous task.
A task may involve learning by journaling. This involves documenting what the learner has learned in a separate journal. The act of recording information about the skills the learner is learning will reinforce the retention of those skills allowing the learner to access them faster at a later date.
A task may involve practice. This involves practicing a command to learn how it functions. Through repetition, the learner will commit the command to memory. As part of most projects, the learner will be given a drawing to produce.
At the end of each project is a section comprised of additional drawing tasks that are at a suitable level for what has been learned so far. There are some mechanical and architectural drawings. The learner is encouraged to review some of the features discovered earlier and to apply them to generate these drawings. During these additional drawing tasks, the learner will discover some challenges. Challenges are what will make the learner delve deeper into understanding the software.
Icons/pictures placed in the margin act as guides to help the learner identify various tools or procedures. There are three learning icons to indicate the three learning methods: discovery, journaling, and practice.
There are also three other guides: Signs, Hints, and Wizards. These guides will give you additional information depending on what task you are performing. In the case of Signs, we give the learner direct information about the program to keep him/her on track. Signs have specific information about AutoCAD and its operation.
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