Performing Learners

Transforming Learner | Performing Learner | Conforming Learner | Resistant Learner


Performing Learners ...are generally self-motivated in learning situations that particularly interest them, otherwise they may seek extrinsic rewards for accomplishing objectives that appear to have less value or benefit to them. They most often:

  • are skilled, sophisticated learners that systematically follow principles, processes, or procedures, think hierarchially, and capably achieve average to above-standard learning objectives, tasks, and performance.
  • may sometimes clearly acknowledge meeting only the stated objectives, getting the grade, streamlining learning efforts, and avoiding exploratory steps beyond the requirements of the situation and learning task.
  • take control and responsibility for their learning but may also rely on others for motivation, coaching goal setting, scheduling, and direction.

  • may self-motivate and exert greater effort in situations that greatly interest or benefit them. These learners may lose motivation or may even get frustrated or angry if too much effort or risk is required and the recognized rewards are not enough to compensate the perceived effort.
  • are steadfast, true, and reliable when they recognize and appreciate the importance of implementing tasks, procedure, and structure.
    CONTRASTS: In contrast to transforming learners, performing learners prefer what can be accomplished today, rather than tomorrow. Dreamers of the future and potential opportunities are sometimes frustrating and demotivating to performing learners. The performing learners are detail, task-oriented learners (i.e., they may value holistic or big-picture thinkers less). Performing learners with higher LOQ scores generally focus on principles and processes that help how they can improve and implement. Performing learners with lower LOQ scores generally focus on procedures and facts for getting the job done today, rather than worrying about considering or exploring the possibilities of what could be accomplished in the future.

These learners are most comfortable with coaching relationships (not guiding or hand-holding), and rely on or appreciate external support, resources, rewards, interaction, and influences to accomplish a task. They may take fewer risks with challenging or difficult goals and limit discovery efforts to accomplish many more simpler tasks to achieve key goals. They may selectively focus on grades and rewards, show less persistance in the face of failure, or may cheerfully achieve less whenever standards are set below their capabilities, as long as their important, immediate goals are accomplished.

In contrast to conforming learners, these learners have more sophisticated learning skills, commit greater effort to achieve higher standard goals, and prefer learning and performance environments with practice and greater hands-on interaction that creates and stimulates interest, competition, and fun.

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Created by the Successful Learning Research Team.
Some projects were funded in part by the Society for Technical Communication
(STC Research Award, 1997-1998).
Updated March 2010 by Margaret Martinez & The Training Place, Inc.
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Copyright © Margaret Martinez 1996-2010