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Tip #749: Brain Facts That Influence Learning

On November 26, 2018, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #749: Brain Facts That Influence Learning

I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain.” Dr. Seuss

I save articles that catch my attention and this one, by Ben Nesvig, certainly did. In his article he identifies “5 Brain Facts That Influence How People Learn.” He posits that awareness of these five brain facts will enable instructional designers to create more effective learning programs.

Let’s look at each in turn.

  1. The unconscious mind rules the conscious mind.

Nesvig demonstrates this with an experiment. “While seated in a chair, extend your dominant leg and make small clockwise circles with the foot. While continuing to perform this motion, with your dominant hand, draw the number 6 in the air with your index finger.” If you’re like me, … Read the rest

Tip #739: Only three hours

On September 17, 2018, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #739: Only three hours

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Imagine that you are asked to convert die-hard lecturers into facilitative trainers. Imagine that you only have three hours to do this. What content and activities would you use to introduce and model the facilitation of interactive learner-centered training?

That was a challenge I recently had to meet. I’ll tell you what I did, then you can tell me if you would have handled it differently.

The room was set for accelerated learning, with colorful kites on the walls, glitter wands and koosh balls on the table, and bowls of candy.

I began by asking common ground questions, which had them … Read the rest

Tip #727: Kirkpatrick and Learning Design

On June 25, 2018, Posted by , In curriculum design, By , With Comments Off on Tip #727: Kirkpatrick and Learning Design

“Think about what your learners need to do with that information after the course is finished and design around that.” Matthew Guyan

 I just listened to a podcast with Clark Quinn, during which, among many other things,  he discussed his belief that Kirkpatrick’s model should be, and was actually partially intended to be, used in learning design. <https://blog.learnlets.com/?s=Kirkpatrick>

He said that we need to begin our design at Level 4: Results, to determine what is happening at the organizational level that is problematic.

Then we move to Level 3: Behavior, to determine what behavior needs to change to obtain the desired results at the organizational level.

Next, we move to Level 2: Learning, to determine what people need to … Read the rest

Tip #724:  The Science of Training: Part One

On June 4, 2018, Posted by , In curriculum design, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #724:  The Science of Training: Part One

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Mary Hoddy,  UW Academic Staff Emerita, Facilitator and Consultant, offered this information during a train the trainer program and I thought it was so perfect I should share it with you.

It is a table titled The Science of Training: A Summary. It shows what needs to happen before the training, during the training and after the training. It was published by Global Learning Partners and is a summary of research published by Eduardo Salas, Scott Tennenbaum, Kurt Kraiger and Kimberly Smith-Jentsch: The Science of Training and Development in Organizations: What Matters Read the rest

Tip #719: When Organizing Principles Confuse

On April 30, 2018, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #719: When Organizing Principles Confuse

“Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.” Henry Miller

I had a true AHA! moment last week that an organizing principle can sometimes confuse learners. For years, when I have taught trainers how to create specific, observable and measurable learning objectives, I’ve shown them the final product first. As a matter of fact, I’ve shown them several final products. And invariably, the participants’ design process was less than stellar.

Let me provide some context.

I teach a three stage learning objective design process. First, based on a needs assessment and the resulting learning goals, we identify the key content for a lesson plan using a template I provide. Second, we determine the desired … Read the rest

Tip #709: How to Set Learners Up to Fail: Part One

On February 20, 2018, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #709: How to Set Learners Up to Fail: Part One

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” George Bernard Shaw

I just attended a three- day marketing seminar conducted by a self-proclaimed curriculum design expert. It was very disappointing to see once again what happens when a trainer ignores the basics and sets learners up to fail.

She made ten glaring mistakes. Here are the first five:

  1. Never say “no” when a participant asks a question or makes a comment. It immediately becomes a rejection of the person, who will not risk volunteering questions or comments again. Time and again in this class, the trainer would either respond “no” to a question or comment, with and sometimes without further
Read the rest