Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
My live blogged notes from Thursday’s keynote at Learning Solutions in Orlando.
Heidi’s intro: When our learners are taking courses, they are making decisions about what they are learning…
“Paralysis Analysis” – we get paralyzed by everyday decisions like buying a box of cereal or a tube of toothpaste.
Plato: the way to make decisions is to be as rational as possible. “the human mind is like a chariot with a rationale rider who needs to control the wild horses.”
Veneration of reason and the denigration of emotion.
We assumed people are rational and this became the basis of modern economics.
What role does emotion play in decision making?
Describes a case study of a guy with a brain tumor in the frontal lobe. After surgery, Eliot (the patient) had become cold – he could no longer make decisions when he was deprived of emotions. Pure reason isn’t a gift from the gods – it is a disease.
Emotion changes everything.
How do our emotions come to play in common everyday decisions? The emotions shaped by education and experience. How are our emotions shaped by what’s happened in our lives?
“I don’t know how I knew. I just had this feeling.” (Michael Riley describing why he decided to fire on an unidentified blip on his radar during the first gulf war. Nothing on the tapes looked different, but somehow he knew this was an Iraqi plane. The missiles shot down the plane, saving the USS Missouri from attack.)
Gary Klein – a cognitive psychologist – known for his research on the instincts of firefighters. He looked at the radar tapes for the previous 6 weeks and saw a very subtle change that triggered something in Michael Riley’s brain.
The role of dopamine. It’s what makes us like sex, drugs and rock n roll. Pleasure and reward. But also helps us recognize patterns.
If you keep giving the reward, the dopamine stops firing – the brain gets bored with the new before too long. We get bored and habituate to even the most pleasurable rewards.
The neurons want to find the first event in time that predicts the reward – dopamine doesn’t care for the reward. Pattern detection machinery at its core.
“Prediction error signal” – aversive emotion, the negative feeling when the reward doesn’t come. (The feeling that makes you want to kick the vending machine when the snickers bar doesn’t come out.)
Prediction error software – a really efficient way to learn.
The brain learns by making mistakes. An expert has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.
The message to kids: “you must be smart” vs. “you worked really hard” – kids praised for trying hard kept trying hard. They played into idea of themselves as people who try hard. The kids praised for being smart became afraid to make mistakes. Kids praised for trying hard end up scoring 30% higher – this changed the way they learned from their mistakes…
Let’s look at planes and pilots
80% safer to travel by plane than by car.
In 1975, 3/4 of plane accidents caused by pilots making bad decisions.
Pilot education was revamped. Chalk and talk really isn’t that effective. Can teach a pilot what to do, but the lessons remain abstract. They know what should do, but in that stressful situation the lesson seems far away and pilots struggle to apply…
That’s when FSA decided to invest in flight simulators.
Pilot error has dropped by 50%. A lot of credit goes to the sims – pilots make mistakes in the sims --- train brains – they’ve made the necessary prediction errors. They already know what to do – they’ve already got the requisite feelings there to make decisions.
But the secret to good decision making is not to always trust your gut.
Dopamine agonists – drugs that saturate our brain with dopamine cause gambling addiction.
The most delicious rewards are the unexpected ones – we get more dopamine – and then we try to predict it.
Slot machines – over long term they are programmed for you to lose. But every once in a while you get a big signal, a surprising reward. Your brain looks for the pattern, but there is none. You keep getting the surprise. On dopamine agonists, you’ve lost the ability to override the dopamine.
Metacognition (think about thinking)
Helps you avoid avoidable errors.
Loss aversion (loss feels way worse than gain feels good) – the only way to avoid loss aversion is to know about it.
Can you eavesdrop on your own thoughts?
Think and reflect about where your beliefs come from. This will help you make better predictions.
The marshmallow test:
Tell kids – you can have one marshmallow now or wait 15 minutes at get two. 20% of kids could wait for two minutes. The kids who could wait knew how to distract themselves. To strategically allocate their attention. So they didn’t stare at the marshmallow. At 3 1/2 kids can’t do this at all – their brains haven’t developed yet to this.
The marshmallow test turns out to be predictive of later SAT scores, grades, etc. Why? The same metacognitive skills that make you wait at the age of four are also crucial at 15.
So how do we teach those skills? With just a little training – a few metacognitive tricks and these kids can now wait. (Show them a video of another kid distracting self and now they can do it.) Peer modeling of other kids successfully delaying is all it takes to teach kids these skills.
So do these generalize? Can they apply these lessons to their homework when they’re 12 when you taught them to resist marshmallow at age 4? Not sure yet…
How can we teach kids how to think about thinking?
The brain is like a swiss army knife with lots of gadgets and techniques. The key to decision making is to adjust your thinking to the task at hand.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Las Vegas is an idea…a coming together of people’s imagination. There’s no good reason for Vegas. The same could be said of Orlando.
Imagination powers human beings.
There are no facts about the future.
There are forces at work in the world for which there are no precedents.
The arc from 1950 to now is almost inconceivable…people never used to leave their towns, they’d marry the kid next door, they had seven kids, there were two types of phones.
If you went back in time and gave your iPhone to your grandparents, they wouldn’t know what it is.
Most of our learning systems – the things that were devised to help us make sense of the world we’re living in – most of these systems were devised in 1850. Classrooms, training, prof dev – rooted in the last century.
Education, learning and eLearning needs to transform.
This is a new profession, and a critically important one. How do we make sense? We need to be courageous in how we rethink basic principles in how people connect.
We connect differently – Twitter, Facebook, etc. – the potential to connect in the ways we do is unprecedented in human history.
If we are to make sense of this revolution, we need to think differently about ourselves. Too many of us play down our talents.
We don’t just live in a physical world. We live in a world shaped by our beliefs, by our culture. We carry our culture with us in our heads.
Cultural differences – e.g., “quite” – in UK it means moderately, in US it means very/extremely.
Culture Shock – when you move to another country, you don’t quite get it. This current and desperate dash into the future – our old values haven’t evolved -- “Future Shock”. (Alvin Toffler, Book: The Third Wave)
People over 25 typically wear wristwatches; people under 25 typically don’t. (Note: I don’t wear a watch – I use my phone!) People under 25 are surrounded by digital devices that tell the time. Those who wear watches just take it for granted.
“Technology is not technology if it happened before you were born.”
In the West, our eyes are drawn to what we think is the center of the image. (He shows a picture of a tiger. In the West, people see this as a tiger. In southeast asia, they see a jungle. This was part of a research study).
In the US – the cult of the president/the head honcho – the individual.
We (westerners) get drawn to the subject of the picture, the Asians see the whole of the picture.
We take these things for granted, they affect our perception – it affects what we look at and how we think about it.
We live in a culture dominated by narrative stories.
Most people have no idea of what their real talents are. And many people don’t enjoy the work they do. They just get on with it. People who love what they do – they are in their element.
When you’re doing something you love to do – time flies. It’s all about your energy.
To be in your element means two things:
1. Doing something you have a natural capacity for. You just get it. (the role of instrinsic talent!) Part of it is aptitude. You need to explore your own aptitudes. Being good at something isn’t enough. To be in your element, you need to love it. When you love it – you never work again.
2. Practice what you love.
Find the nexus of passion and aptitude.
Pay attention to what interests you. Pay attention to your own individuality.
Our lives our created by our interests, our values, our imaginations, our senses of possibilities. We evolve our futures.
New technologies could be the greatest creative opportunities. They transform how we connect, how we think…Hard to predict where they will take us.
He was talking to someone at Apple: Today’s supercomputers are still just very fancy calculators. They do, but they don’t have an opinion. They are tools. In 5-10 years? – computers will be able to process and learn. They will be able to rewrite their own operating systems based on their own experiences. In 2020 a computer will have processing power of an average human brain.
The Singularity – the point at which computers integrate with the human mind.
Our profession is at the threshold of something extraordinary.
The challenge is to engage with technology as it is now, but to be expansive in where it might take us eventually.
The element – what it means to be a person. We need to keep our humanity. Recognize the conditions under which human beings flourish. Find your passion and practice it.
Now watching a docu-vid of the Blue Man Group:
We ALL can be creative. “If ordinary people can find their element, extraordinary things can happen.”
“We all share a common humanity” – the blue man as an everyman. But also an outsider. See the pop culture trappings through the eyes of an outsider.
Combine these 3 principles with the sense that life is not predictable. And…
We now have an extraordinary set of tools. These tools could diminish our sense of humanity – as part of our practice, we can put the humanity in there and maintain it.
“I am not what’s happened to me. I’m what I choose to become.”
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
My live blogged notes from eLearning Foundations Intensive with Bob Mosher. Here’s a picture!
J.I.T. = “just in time” – the acronym was born in 1992.
What does this mean to the learner? they expect it, informal, interruption, necessary
eLearning invented J.I.T. We equated availability with relevance. “Anytime, anywhere”. But J.I.T. doesn’t equate with relevance, because it’s often not targeted.
Once eLearning came along, learners starting asking for help! Contextual learning.
The promise of JIT and the reality as it played out in the 90s.
So welcome to performance support. To support, not teach.
- Fundamental principles and practices of performer support
- Help you begin the journey of applying them.
- Get you ready to apply a holistic learning ecosystem at your own org.
What is a holistic learning ecosystem?
A spectrum, spans the organization, connective (not just a vertical job). The help desk is part of that ecosystem.
If you’re in the learning business, you should be talking to your help desk people every week! They’re living what you did to people!
After a “course” – don’t ask “did you learn?” Instead ask the help desk people – they’ll tell you how well the spreadsheet course went.
Managers of the learners – part of your ecosystem. He sites a study: the # variable for effectiveness in training is manager impact.
“You learning people care way too much about training.” – we’re focused on the process and not the results. We should be more caught up in what they DO once they leave your training program. I don’t care what they memorized or how they did on exam. Are they a better worker?
Informal Learning “What’s in a name?”
Don’t use the name. Jay Cross wrote a great book on it. Informal sounds optional.
Allison Rossett – Job Aids & Performance Support. She says “call it performance support and not informal, cuz you can’t get a CFO to pay for informal learning.”
What learners want with Performance Support – “give me the answer!” At a problematic moment of need, you want the answer. And they want it on their demand. Easy to find and contextual. Don’t want to have to leave and go out to their LMS and login….this makes you leave the instance.
As designers, you’re supposed to design for two moments:
- Mastery “I get it!”
- Competency “I can do it!” the application of knowing.
Training Event – an intentional time out. To get to mastery.
Competency – on the job – the “transfer environment. By the time you get to lunch, your training session is a distant memory. This is where performance support comes in. It’s a competency model. Goal is application, not mastery!
Disconnect between Mastery and Competency in many orgs in both design and measurement.
Measuring it. ROI.
Training is often held accountable for things it shouldn’t…
Fair measurements of mastery:
- knowledge gain
- demonstrable skills
Competency (Performance Support) tied to:
- productivity gain
- transferred skills – completion of job tasks
- time to proficiency
- lower support costs
- increased user adoption
- optimized business processes
That whole list is a holistic performance ecosystem.
Is mastery becoming less relevant?
Things change so fast!
The Five Moments of Need:
- When learning for the first time
- When wanting to learn more
(a lot of formal instruction/elearning is about these two things – the wonderful architected thing!)
- When trying to remember and/or apply
- when things change
- when something goes wrong
These last 3 are performance support. within the context of the problem, it’s no longer about the training binder (it’s more about the yellow sticky note!)
Link effectiveness to context.
What are performance support tools being used to support the final 3 moments of need:
- searchable docs
- help desk
- The guy next to us -- (“we are instinctively beggars by design” – we ask the guy next to us, but he is an FTE…may not know…but we’re not teaching independence. We need to be more agile! Inefficient. The average length of help desk calls are 20 minutes.)
Bob’s list of favorites:
- Job aids
- CoPs (wikis, blogs, forums)
- learning portal
- reference materials….
- Help Desk
- Pod casts
- recorded webinars
- instant messaging.
The problem is: this list terrifies the person who just wants to know how to change the margins in the document. There’s no architecture!
We’ve got assets, but we’re not architecting these in such a way to make them consumeable.
From Allison’s book: there’s before, during, and after the moment of need.
Planners (before) – reference guides, CoPs (wikis, blogs), e-learning
Sidekicks (during – in the moment of the problem) – job aids, context sensitive help, faq’s, coach/mentor, helpdesk, CoP’s (twitter)
QuickChecks (after – to get better) – checklists, assessment tools, feedback loop
Environments that help make performance support more consumeable. The LMS of performance support.
Training (first 2 moments of need) TEACH: Training objectives, conceptual practice, deeper detail, steps – take them to the moment of need.
But when we transition to the moment of need – you can’t replicate that design. You don’t want the objectives! You just want the steps. not the voiceover or the pictures. You want the checklist at the moment of need.
If the steps are not enough, go to deeper details, if that’s not enough then go to practice/demos, if that’s not enough go to other resources (elearning).
Brokers are architecting this journey from simple to broad and based on context.
Apply (I can’t remember – I need guidance going in), Change (the rules changed), Solve (I can’t figure it out, I’m stuck)– you need sidekicks, planners, quick checks for all three situations…
Examples: Mobile Performance Support tool – on your phone – sales guys learning about new line of chairs before march in to a sales call -- they are about to apply this information. This is Planner/Apply.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Next week is Spring Break in Florida for the eLearning geek set as we descend on Orlando for the eLearning Guild's Learning Solutions Conference & Expo.
I've already started packing (just to give you a sense of how excited I am).
I've got a busy week. Presenting a bunch of times and looking forward to all the schmoozing (my absolute favorite thing in the world!).
You can track me down in many places:
Tuesday 10:45-11:45 "How e-Learning Instructional Design Differs from Classroom ID"
I'm presenting this session with Ellen Wagner as part of the pre-conference eLearning Foundations Intensive.
Wednesday 7:00-8:00 Breakfast Byte "Talking Shop About Learning Theories"
I'm no expert on learning theory, but looking forward to expounding and exploring over coffee and croissants.
Thursday 10:45 ID Zone "How We Decide"
Author Jonah Lehrer presents Thursday's keynote. I've read the book and am primed to discuss ways we can apply these ideas to our work as Learning Designers.
Thursday 2:30-3:30 "Case Study: Converting a Live Workshop to e-Learning"
Nothing like a good case study to get the ideas flowing. I'm co-presenting with Karen-Ann Broe of United Educators as we share UE's journey into eLearning, looking at one workshop they converted to an online format with Articulate and Moodle. We'll share lessons learned and take you on a tour of the program.
Friday 9:45-10:45 "New Skills for Instructional Designers"
A wild hootenanny hosted by me, Ellen Wagner and Koreen Olbrish of Tandem Learning. Three feisty eLearning women taking a harder look at our profession.
And if you don't find me at any of those spots, I'll be hanging out the Kineo booth on the expo floor along with Kineo CEO, Steve Lowenthal, and Partner Steve Rayson. Stop by booth #208 and see what makes us so fresh!
Hope to see you there. Please stop by and introduce yourself – trip me in the hall if you have to. And if we’re connected on Twitter – make sure you tell me your Twitter handle. Some of you don’t actually look like your avatars…
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I had great fun last week talking with Will Thalheimer on common design flaws in e-Learning.
In case you don’t know Will, he’s an amazing asset to the e-Learning community, providing a bridge between research and practice.
According to Will, the top three mistakes learning designers make:
1. We’re too focused on information presentation.
2. We fail to minimize forgetting.
3. We isolate our e-Learning.
The conversation continued and Will added on a few more common mistakes in e-Learning design.
Monday, March 08, 2010
Back in June, I asked if the corporate Moodle was at a tipping point? People were on the fence.
And then the eLearning Guild published their LMS report in the fall of 2009, with Moodle clearly gaining a foothold in the corporate market. (Hear my October 2009 interview with Ellen Wagner, one of the report’s authors).
So is Moodle still gaining traction in the corporate market? Surely seems to be.
Last week over 200 attendees joined in the Learning Technologies Moodle seminar which Kineo helped out with – How Companies are Making the Most of Moodle.
A few articles have come out of that session that I think are must reads if you’re wanting to learn more about Moodle and how it fits in to the corporate LMS landscape.
- Mark Berthelemy writes a nice overview of how Moodle can help corporate L&D departments out of the box, and what Moodle can’t do without customization. Introduction to Moodle for Corporate L&D.
- And there’s Donald Clark Plan B: Moodle: e-learning's Frankenstein, which provides a nice historical overview of the evolution of Moodle.
So where is the corporate Moodle going? Time will tell, but we’re keeping ourselves busy!
Join us at the Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2010 in Orlando, March 24-26. We’ll be showing Moodles demos at booth #208!
(Be sure to check out the video on the Learning Solutions main page – see if you can spot me! *blush*)
Friday, March 05, 2010
Join us for our next Kineo Insights webinar:
March 11, 2010: eLearning Insider: Challenges and Best Practices for Internal Development Teams
8:00 AM Pacific/10:00 AM Central/11:00 AM Eastern/4:00 PM UK
- Rory Lawson, Instructional Design, Manager Learning Design, Learning HSBC Group Management Training College (UK)
- Anne Marie Laures, Principal at Laures Consulting, former Director Learning Services at Walgreens
- Ellen Wagner, Partner Sage Road Solutions, former Sr. Director Worldwide eLearning Adobe Systems
I’ve been having a lot of fun contributing articles and tips to the eLearning Top Tips section of the Kineo website.
This is me gaining more insight into our practice, but I must admit that theory always turns me off a bit. I’m a practical person; I like to know what works, I don’t want to get too bogged down in the theory and abstractions. But it really is good for me, a little shot of theory really does make me a better person – a better ID!
Check ‘em out and let me know what you think:
C’mon. It won’t hurt at all. Maybe just a tiny pinch.
Did I miss anything? Any suggestions for future topics?
Photo credit: hypodermic needled IMG_7418 by stevendepolo
Episode #8 of Instructional Design Live on EdTechTalk.
A conversation with Professor Karl Kapp on instructional design – with a focus on the differences in ID as a practice in the academic and corporate worlds.
(Apparently, it’s Karl Kapp month here on Learning Visions! See my interview with him last week on his new book.)
These are my live blogged notes – apologize if they’re a bit all over the map. You can listen to the session recording here.
Bloomsburg University has a corporate track and an education track for ID. Different focus in each track.
Corporate – often has requirement of rigorous tracking and requirements
Academia – professor comes knowing what to do. More project based, more team based.
In academia you often know a lot about your audience – ‘they are sophomores at our University’. Corporate often needs more of that analysis.
People skills are important in both. Faculty members (academia) are vested in the teaching.
Faculty members don’t often have education in how to teach. And they often just know one way of teaching – in front of a classroom. Big paradigm shift for them.
For example -- MIT has put all of content online – which is great. But still don’t have the added touch of the faculty member.
On corporate side – the SME doesn’t end up being part of the deliverable. They have content expertise, but usually don’t help deliver the content.
Instructional Differences in corporate vs. academic?
The purpose is often different. Corporate situation (learning vs. training) vs. academic:
Good faculty members in academic are trying to make learners think differently about subject. Get people to engage in critical thinking.
In corporate setting – very specific, finite need. “Get sales reps to sell more)
In educational side – creating aha moments, metacognition moments.
In corporate – addressing specific problems, specific measureable outcomes. (Ethics training, leadership are different). But performance is more of the focus.
Similarities in corporate vs. academic:
- Both need goals, objectives
- instructional strategies
- instructional sequence
Corporate -- ‘5 things you need to know about this policy”
Assessment – how are they different in corporate vs. academic?
Ideally in corporate world – does training influence behavior that impacts outcomes? If you’re going to teach me new product functions, you’d ideally be able to tie that to increased sales of that product. Tie learning objectives to operational/strategic objectives of org.
In academic side, outcomes aren’t usually that clear. Knowledge acquisition. Problem solving. Different things you’re assessing.
In corporate environment – following the ADDIE model is a good way to ensure quality. A quality process creates a quality product. ADDIE is a process.
Instructional strategies make learning happen – mnemonics, examples/non-examples, four step method (model, observe, etc.)
When you design instruction on either side – using a process makes sense – but thinking beyond to strategies. A really good instructor, naturally applies instructional strategies. IDs need to add those instructional strategies.
On academic side can usually pull what the good professor is using; on the corporate side, we need to add those strategies (might be able to pull those from a good trainer). On corporate side the ID needs to come up with those strategies because they’re not given to you.
How does a corporate organization assess whether their products are actually achieving what the intent is…that they met the need?
Need to find out if the instruction is changing behavior. How do we assess that? Go back to academia/social sciences --- and build a quasi-scientific study. You need to do a before and after measure. What is behavior before and what is behavior after? Often times we do change of knowledge (pre- and post- test). But we all have knowledge we should act on. Need to really measure change in behavior. (This often gets cut though – too expensive, too much time…)
To assess effectiveness of learning:
Tie outcome of training to performance – e.g., if goal is to reduce time of call – can measure that.
In corporate, need to think of training as part of a process and not a one time event. In academia, you have a whole semester. Use distributed practice.
It’s easy to do in corporate for the easy stuff – e.g., sales where they already measure everything. How do you measure leadership behavior? or safety/compliance.
Corporate has much more focus on self-paced elearning.
Academia can experiment a lot more with different technologies to see if successful. Corporate can’t do that quite as much…As kelly smith said “Higher ed is the test rat for corporate.”
What do you think? What do you think are the differences in ID between corporate and academic?
For more on Karl:
- Karl will be participating in the upcoming virtual worlds conference: http://www.vwbpe.org
- Learn more about Karl’s book Learning in 3D.
- Karl’s Blog: Kapp Notes
The audio recording for this session will be available at Instruction Design Commons.
About Instructional Design Live:
A weekly online talk show, Instructional Design Live is based around Instructional Design related topics and is opportunity for Instructional Designers and professionals engaged in similar work to discuss effective online teaching and learning practices.
Monday, March 01, 2010
A few weeks ago I recorded a 30 minute interview with Professor Karl Kapp.
We talked about virtual worlds, his new book on 3D Learning Environments, and how instructional designers may need to shift their thinking in the coming years.
While you’re there, you might also enjoy listening to Steve Lowenthal’s conversation with Anne Laures, retired Director of Learning Services at Walgreens on her experience with eLearning.