Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Laurel Learning Tips

Tip #816: A Satisfying Challenge

On March 30, 2020, Posted by , In curriculum design, With Comments Off on Tip #816: A Satisfying Challenge

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.”  Michael John Bobak

I shared in last week’s Tip that my partner and I were very nervous about conducting a workshop for 122 participants when it had been designed for 30 participants. Our primary worry was whether or not we would have enough time for the participants to work in small groups and then debrief their work. All we had were two hours.

Well, the workshop on Motivational Interviewing for SHRM went as scheduled. There were approximately  100 participants, either seated at tables of seven or seated in additional rows of chairs on the side of the room.

My first concern, about a long introduction, was forestalled by speaking with the person … Read the rest

Tip #815: A Nightmare or Challenging Opportunity?

On March 23, 2020, Posted by , In curriculum design, By , With Comments Off on Tip #815: A Nightmare or Challenging Opportunity?

“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” Sam Levenson

So, you create a highly participatory two-hour learning experience for an estimated 30 participants. The activities include pop ups, small group activities and role playing. Then you find out that 122 people have signed up!!! You’re going to have to watch the clock very carefully now!

The participant workbook, with all of those activities, has already been posted on the organization’s website, so you can’t change anything. What do you do???

First, you throw out the planned 10-minute break, because there is no way that 122 people are going to leave, use the limited facilities, and come back in that time period. You also know that you’ll need … Read the rest

Tip #814: 7 Design Principles for Experiential Learning

On March 16, 2020, Posted by , In curriculum design, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #814: 7 Design Principles for Experiential Learning

“Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.

 We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”  John Dewey

There are 7 design principles for experiential learning, according to Megan Underwood, who is the VP Canada and Manager of Learning Design at Practera. She begins by defining experiential learning as learning by doing or learning by having an experience. She then delineates her 7 principles:

Principle #1: Design Backwards. Determine what we want the participants to be able to demonstrate or accomplish by the end of the training. Then decide how to get them to demonstrate that they can do that. … Read the rest

Tip #813: Action versus Intention

On March 9, 2020, Posted by , In curriculum design, By , With Comments Off on Tip #813: Action versus Intention

“My father taught me that you can read a hundred books on wisdom and write a hundred books on wisdom, but unless you apply what you learned then its only words on a page. Life is not lived with intentions, but action.”  Shannon Alder

For years, I’ve insisted that the lead-in to the learning objectives should be: “During the workshop, the participants will... “ My rationale is that skill-building training should ensure the active practice of those skills during the program, where the participants can build some confidence in their ability to use their new skills. This is particularly important, considering the fact that post-session, most participants will jump back into their busy schedules with little to no time … Read the rest

Tip #812: A Rose is…A Memory?

On March 2, 2020, Posted by , In learning, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #812: A Rose is…A Memory?

“Nothing brings to life again a forgotten memory like fragrance.”  Christopher  Poindexter

Have you ever thought how nice it would be if you could learn while you were sleeping? Not only learn, but retain what you learned? And no, we’re not talking about listening to tape recordings to learn a language or something else.

What we’re talking about is a finding in a recent study, since confirmed by other studies, that the strategic use of fragrances while learning and during sleep might improve learning retention.

At some point in your life, you have probably experienced when a certain fragrance immediately prompted a memory of a person, a place, a feeling or an event. This is not surprising, since the … Read the rest

Tip #811: My Beef with Asynchronous E-Learning

On February 24, 2020, Posted by , In learning, With Comments Off on Tip #811: My Beef with Asynchronous E-Learning

“We don’t care what people know, we care what they do. It’s all about performance.” – Michael Allen

Asynchronous e-learning’s claim to fame is that it is practical and cost effective. That is true, in some circumstances for certain content. But I have a real beef with what I see as an over reliance on it.

If the intent is to build technical knowledge and skills, using the more interactive and participatory e-learning programs makes sense. (This assumes that the content is up-to-date.) They can be useful for teaching people how to do something and giving them a chance to test their learning in simulated situations.

But life isn’t static. There is no guarantee that those simulated situations will be … Read the rest