Tip #632: How the Status Quo Can Curb Learning

On August 1, 2016, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #632: How the Status Quo Can Curb Learning

“I don’t accept the status quo. I do accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express.”  Stephen Colbert

“Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in.'”  Ronald Reagan

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

Andrea May has identified ten cognitive biases and we have considered the first eight: Confirmation, Anchoring, Curse of Knowledge, the Dunning-Kruger effect, Functional Fixedness, Mere Exposure Effect, Not Invented Here, and Reactance in previous Tips.

Now we’ll look at the last 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.

  1. Status Quo bias: The
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Tip #612: Moving SMEs to Interactive Learning

On March 14, 2016, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #612: Moving SMEs to Interactive Learning

“Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.” Sue Grafton

An international organization asked for suggestions regarding how to move their highly technical subject matter experts (SMEs) from reliance on lecture and PowerPoint to interactive learning in 1.5 hour modules.

These were my recommendations:

  1. Ask the SMEs exactly what they want the participants to know or be able to do when they leave the session. This will give you the content portion of the goal- what the participants will learn.
  1. Make sure you also find out why the participants will want to learn this- what will they do with the information or skills imparted?
  1. Provide a reality check- there is only so
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Tip #587: Designing Backwards

On September 21, 2015, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #587: Designing Backwards

“If I see an ending, I can work backwards.”  Arthur Miller

My curriculum design process for clients typically begins by meeting with a subject matter expert (SME). We work together to identify the goals and the learning objectives. I may take the lead in proposing the learning activities, but the SME provides the focus and context.

I then organize everything into a lesson plan that is sufficiently detailed so that both the SME and I know what content is necessary for both the reference pages and learner activities.

It is a logical step-by-step collaborative process that usually operates very smoothly. I may have to refocus some content and ask for clarification on occasion, but the SME actually does the heavy … Read the rest

Tip #571: Tips for Transitioning Lecturers

On June 1, 2015, Posted by , In trainers, By ,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #571: Tips for Transitioning Lecturers

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” Gail Sheehy

When lecturers recognize the value of participatory learning, there is a relatively steep learning curve for them to transition into a facilitative trainer role.

It can be very daunting to let go of the role of an expert who shares knowledge and step into the role of a facilitator who enables participants to learn and apply what they learned.

Here are some logistical tips to help with that transition.

Moving from PowerPoint slide deck to participant manual:

  1. Take all of the content that is currently on each of your PowerPoint slides and place it into a participant manual as reference material.
  1. Consider the best way that your participants can
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Tip #569: Participatory Training in Inhospitable Locations

On May 18, 2015, Posted by , In learning activities, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #569: Participatory Training in Inhospitable Locations

“It is time for us all to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever — the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.”  Vince Lombardi

Last week, I conducted a train the trainer program in a very large training room with two screens in front of floor to ceiling windows that overlooked a stadium with continually running electronic signs. The lights over the screens were inoperative.

The large windows, even with mesh blinds, let in a lot of light. Without overhead lights near the screens, I became a silhouette standing in shadow. The constantly running signs created a ubiquitous visual distraction for every participant.

I had to stand between the two screens, which projected the same … Read the rest

Tip #568: Incorporating Participatory Learning Activities

On May 11, 2015, Posted by , In curriculum design, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #568: Incorporating Participatory Learning Activities

“If I see an ending, I can work backwards.” Arthur Miller

My experience as a curriculum designer to date has involved working with subject matter experts to design participatory skill-building training programs from scratch.

Yet I was recently presented with a very different curriculum design situation. The training program was already in place. It was PowerPoint and lecture-based.

The challenge was to identify where participatory learning activities would be most effective in either: conveying the information, checking for comprehension, and/or providing an opportunity to apply and test new techniques.

At first I was somewhat taken aback by this revisionist approach. I am accustomed to designing a lesson plan by: establishing learning goals; determining specific, observable and measurable learning objectives that … Read the rest