When people attend a workshop, they are being taught some ideas, concepts, skills, or whatever it is the workshop is for.
In any learning sequence, this is only one of the first steps. For the participants, it certainly is the first step of their learning journey with the given material.
The next step is building on it. It’s the integration of learning. A step that depends on the individual and the way they have become accustomed to integrating their learning.
A while ago I experimented with connecting with one of my co-learners to discuss what we had been doing during the workshop. I appreciated these occasions a lot. They helped me see the learning from a different perspective and allowed me to share mine. It eased how I could integrate the learning.
Discussing this with a colleague, she shared how much benefit she recently had from the daily interactions that were made possible by sharing a room with a colleague. During our conversation, we realized, how that method was natural to her, whereas I had to learn it. Our conversation reminded her of one of her boyfriends who preferred to deal with his stress by himself. A position that had been frustrating to her. Growing up, she had experienced the necessity to constantly share her experience with her sister and both had become accustomed to an open exchange. Would it fall away today, they both would miss it. It even impacts the way they think about their relationships and evaluate them based on the presence and willingness to share.
Our conversation helped my colleague realize how different experiences people have and how they shape their ability to integrate the learning. Thinking about her boyfriend it was evident that some might not appreciate her method as a possible one. It also made it clear that some people will simply miss out on integrating their learning.
However, finding a way to integrate the learning is a prerequisite to the most important step of learning, which is the ability to retrieve the learning when it is needed.