June 8th, 2010
First, this is an opinion piece – I have not seen systematic research on the value of corporate universities. But a recent client experience reinforced something I said in the first edition of Building Expertise: Corporate Universities are often a STEP BACKWARD.
Of course there are many different implementations of Corporate Universities. But just the name signals an emphasis on education rather than organizational performance improvement. Education has it’s place – but often the residue of an educational rather than work performance emphasis is transfer failure. Rather than signal an educational metaphor, how about a title that suggests improved workplace performance such as Capability Development or???? What do you think about corporate universities?
May 9th, 2010
New research from Richard Mayer and Cheryl Johnson compared two versions of a “Circuit Game” designed to teach how circuits work. A basic game version was comapred to three other versions: with self-explanation response requirements, with explanatory feedback, and with both. Learning during the game and after the game was improved by self explanations or feedback. The goal of the research is to define game conditions that lead to learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research V 42, 241-265.
March 19th, 2010
In my new book, Evidence-based Training Methods (ASTD Press), I conclude my review of research on learning styles with the hope that if readers do nothing else, they abandon time and resources devoted to learning styles in favor of other instructional methods which have much more evidence to support them. In other words, it’s time to drop the learning styles myth. What do you think about learning styles? What makes the learning style idea so compelling?
I’ll devote some future posts to the evidence (or lack thereof) on learning styles that I’ve seen since I wrote my book.
March 19th, 2010
Huk and Ludwigs (2008) reported best learning of economic principles from lessons that added both goals (a coffee shop scenario) and reflection exercises to a lesson on supply and demand that included a knowledge section and a business simulation compared to a baseline lesson that omitted the goal orientation and the reflection exercise. Interestingly, lessons with ONLY the goal or ONLY the reflection exercises did not improve learning. But the combination of both resulted in a 39% increase in post test performance compared to the basic lesson. The authors suggest that learning is optimized by a combination of scenario-goals that motivate learners AND cognitive learning support – implemented as reflection exercises in this research. Huk, T & Ludwigs, S. : Combining cognitive and affective support in order to promote learning. Learning and Instruction (in press in 2008).
March 19th, 2010
You may have taken one of my workshops on scenario-based learning. I want to keep you updated on the latest research on this topic. In my last scenario-based e-learning ASTD class, some participants mentioned that their learners LOVED scneario-based learning while others just wanted the content – and resented the extra resources they had to spend on the scenarios. Research has shown that overall, scenario-based learning is popular with medical students. But this popularity may not extend to your learners. What have you found in your organization?
My next post will summarize some research showing that learning was improved by addition of a scenario AND cognitive learning support.
February 3rd, 2010
Just back from Training 2010 where I heard Tony O’Driscoll speak and also bought the book! (Learning in 3D from Pfeiffer) Here’s my first thoughts. The book is definitely worth the investment – we all need to keep up on the affordances of new technology. An excellent story leads off Chapter 2 – I won’t be a spoiler – take a look. See Brian’s reply to my previous post for good ideas on how to use virtual worlds in training.
Some bones to pick. I think a technocentric approach to training can lead us down some unproductive paths – technology per se is never a solution. To their credit, the authors stress the need to use VW when it makes sense to promote organizational goals. Social collaboration is one of the sells – BUT we have very little evidence on collaboration and learning in 2D much less 3D. In Chapter 3 they contrast synchronous e-learning with a virtual 3D lesson. I think they set up a misleading dichotomy by contrasting a poorly implemented synchronous session with a (better designed?) VW session. I’d rather instead read about the strengths and drawbacks to VW. Most of us are beyond the “Which medium is best?” question. I also disagree regarding their recommendations for use of token economies to motivate learning in VW or any other medium. What say you?
January 22nd, 2010
Seeing Avatar brought to mind how rapidly 3D technology is evolving and how it might be used effectively in training. Take a look at the new book: Learning in 3D by Karl Kapp and Tony O’Driscol. I have not read the book but attended a great webinar by Karl on use of virtual worlds for training. As with all new technologies, we will use and abuse virtual worlds until we figure out where it really makes sense. A lot of research on visuals suggests that less is more and I suspect that many virtual world applications can add mental load for no good learning advantage.
Are you using virtual worlds? How’s it going?
January 22nd, 2010
My colleague Chopeta Lyons and I are just finishing up the second edition of Graphics for Learning. One of our goals was to update the research on visuals. The biggest single category of new research turned out to be evidence on animations. Here’s the bottom line:
1) To teach how things work – what I call process knowledge a series of still visuals is as good or better than animations
2) To demonstration how to perform tasks involving motion – animations are better than stills
3) Limited evidence on how to demonstrate social skills favors video or animation over text narratives. I’d love to see a comparison of still visuals versus video versus animation.
How do you use still versus dynamic visuals in your training products?
January 21st, 2010
Everything I know about blogs I learned from Julia and Julia. But for a long time I wanted to find a way to communicate research in a more timely and interactive manner than articles or books.
Here are my own blog guidelines: 1) keep it short 2) keep it focused on research of relevance to workplace learning professionals.
I hope this monologue will become a discussion so we can all learn from one another. What research questions are of interest to you?