Tip #733:  Ask: “So What?”

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” Mark Van Doren

We know that experiential learning activities contribute to better learning and retention. We design learning programs that incorporate these activities in a purposeful manner. We don’t insert a game just for the sake of a game. Every learning activity must achieve a specified level of learning, whether it be knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation or creation.

So, there is a reason why we select certain activities to achieve certain levels of learning for key content. But do we make the learning process as rich as it could be? I don’t think so. I’m embarrassed to say that I know now that I haven’t.

Let’s take a case … 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 #631: How Loyalty and Freedom of Choice Can Curb Learning

On July 25, 2016, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #631: How Loyalty and Freedom of Choice Can Curb Learning

“Your thinking depends on your perception, just as your perception depends on the way you think.”   Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

Andrea May has identified ten cognitive biases and we have considered the first six: Confirmation, Anchoring, Curse of Knowledge, the Dunning-Kruger effect, Functional Fixedness and Mere Exposure Effect in previous Tips.

Now we’ll look at the next two cognitive biases and discuss how we can counter their effect through our training design and delivery. The titles and descriptions of the biases are Ms. May’s. The commentary continues to be mine.

  1. Not Invented Here bias: The tendency to discount information, ideas, standards, or products developed outside of a certain group.

I have encountered this bias in regard to case studies. It … Read the rest

Tip #630: How Tradition and Familiarity Can Curb Learning

On July 18, 2016, Posted by , In brain research, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #630: How Tradition and Familiarity Can Curb Learning

“Even in the familiar there can be surprise and wonder.”  Tierney Gearon

Andra May has identified ten cognitive biases. We have considered the first four biases: Confirmation, Anchoring, Curse of Knowledge and the Dunning-Kruger effect in previous Tips.

Now we’ll look at the next two cognitive biases and discuss how we can counter their effect through our training design and delivery. The titles and descriptions of the biases are Ms. May’s. The commentary continues to be mine.

  1.  Functional Fixedness: This bias limits a person to utilizing an object or idea in only the way it is traditionally used.

When we want participants to be creative, we often use a brainstorming activity. However, when they are brainstorming options to address … Read the rest

Tip #629: How Knowledge and Confidence Can Curb Learning

On July 11, 2016, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #629: How Knowledge and Confidence Can Curb Learning

“Fortunately for serious minds, a bias recognized is a bias sterilized.” Benjamin Haydon

There is a lot that can interfere with a willingness to learn new things.

Andrea May, VP of Instructional Design Services for Dashe & Thomson, has identified what she considers to be the top ten cognitive biases that adversely affect learning and posted those on the Dashe & Thomson Social Learning Blog.

Let’s look at the next two cognitive biases and discuss how we can counter their effect through our training design and delivery. The titles and descriptions of the biases are Ms. May’s. The commentary is mine.

3.  Dunning-Kruger effect: The tendency for incompetent people to overestimate their competence, and very competent people to underestimate their Read the rest

Tip #628: How What You Know Can Curb Learning

On July 5, 2016, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #628: How What You Know Can Curb Learning

“Two quite opposite qualities equally bias our minds- habits and novelty.” Jean de la Bruyere

There is a lot that can interfere with a willingness to learn new things. This includes cognitive bias, which Kendra Cherry defines as “a systematic error in thinking that affects the decisions and judgments that people make.”

Andrea May, VP of Instructional Design Services for Dashe & Thomson, has identified what she considers to be the top ten cognitive biases that adversely affect learning and posted those on the Dashe & Thomson Social Learning Blog.

Let’s look at the first two cognitive biases and discuss how we can counter their effect through our training design and delivery. The titles and descriptions of the biases … Read the rest