Psychometric specialist SHL reveals how character flaws inhibit e-learning prowess

Some people’s personalities mean they will get very little from e-learning, according to research conducted by psychometric testing specialist SHL.

It found delegates who have “affiliative” or “variety seeking” personalities will get little from e-learning, while those who are “achieving” or “decisive” types will get a lot from the medium. SHL said the former prefer classroom-based learning and respond to social interaction.

The latter two types, it said, tend to be driven to finish tasks without needing encouragement

SHL based its findings on results from an occupational personality questionnaire completed by 90 delegates attending its training in 2006 followed up by post-course questionnaires.

The questionnaires divided personalities into three groups:

  • Relationships with people
  • Thinking style
  • Feelings and emotions.

Within these groups are 32 dimensions – relating to personality types – such as ‘decisive’, ‘affiliative’ and ‘evaluative’.

SHL head of training Tim Evans said: “Humans are social animals and personality inevitably has an effect on which mode of learning is more appropriate to an individual. To be effective for all personality types, e-learning not only needs to be clear interactive, animated and engaging, but also form part of blended learning.

“This retains an element of the non-routine face-to-face interaction and could be the future of really successful training.”

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