Browse Tag by reviews
Learning design, Reviews

Who ya gonna call? Mythbusters (or Clark Quinn’s book Millennials, goldfish & other training misconceptions)

Ghost buster logo on car door

When we visit the doctor, we put our trust in their expertise and rely on them to keep at the top of their game. Imagine if, when you complained of suffering from migraines, your doctor recommended a series of bloodletting to relieve the pressure!  Bloodletting was practised by the medical profession using a device (sometimes, using leeches) as recently as 1923! Fortunately, doctors no longer recommend this course of treatment because (unsurprisingly), they realised it didn’t work.

As a learning and development professional, our delegates put their development and skills in our hands; they trust that we have the current skills to help them learn and develop new skills. As with the medical profession, we have a duty to keep up to date, critique, analyse and act on evidence.

The stuff of myths and legend

It’s healthy to question, to never take things at face-value, especially when people rely on our advice and support. I like to do a fair amount of research. Does that make me a Theorist? Hmm, I thought I was more of a Reflector …but I also like to get stuck in and try things out; surely that means I’m an Activist… but… I need some real examples how this might work. Now I’m confused…that would make me a Pragmatist. Help! I have a split personality!

If you value your professional credibility, you will already be keeping up with current debates, thinking and theories. You may have even debated these yourself. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find some evidence one way or the other? But where do you start?

In his book, ‘Millennials, goldfish & other training misconceptions’, Clark Quinn gives you that start you might be looking for.

Clark Quinn looks at three categories:

  1. Learning myths (e.g. tailoring to learning styles etc)
  2. Learning superstitions (e.g. smile-sheets equals evaluation)
  3. Learning misconceptions (e.g. 70-20-10)

It’s a lovely, easy read and is meant as a starting point; it is packed full of citations and references should you wish to delve deeper into the evidence behind the counter arguments. I love that (there’s that ‘Theorist’ in me again ).

The myths

For each myth, Clark Quinn gives a brief description and its appeal. Then he sets out the pros, cons and suggestions on evaluating its validity. Finally, we are given a summary of what the evidence actually says followed by advice on what we should do.

The superstitions

Similarly, we read a brief description of each. Clark Quinn then sets out the rationale, why it doesn’t work and what do to instead.

The misconceptions

We can easily misunderstand the purposes of certain practices. Here Clark Quinn gives us a counter argument against the brief description of a commonly held belief. He then helps us reconcile, before making suggestions on what we can do.

What I really love about this easy read is that he gives us a handy little summary section where the key points are set out in easy to read tables.

This is a must on your bookshelf. It’s a handy reference and is small enough to carry around with you without taking up too much space or add to the weight in your L&D kit-bag. Ideal for those moments when a debate is about start or you need a quick memory jogger.

This book has re-affirmed some of my own counter arguments for some learning theories and practices that just didn’t sit right with me; I’ve also had some myths and beliefs busted. I’m OK with that. What about you?

Technologies

Learning Technologies Twitter back channels

Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash

Following on from my previous post where I reflected on my own visit to the Learning Technologies exhibition in London Olympia last week, I felt the need to catch up on the Twitter backchannel to help me get a feel for what was said at the conference on Level 3. The conference was rich with my learning gurus and those who would soon be on that guru list.

If anyone wanted to be convinced about the value of Twitter, this is definitely one example. It was (almost) like being there again but this time I had the luxury of checking out the links within the tweets for further information. Hail the backchannel. And hail @learninganorak who did a sterling job of Tweeting updates throughout the two days (I honestly don’t know how you do it – you must have bionic fingers).

From there I was able to catch up on various blog posts reflecting on the event both from the conference and the vendor floors. Everyone has a different perspective but there was a common theme about the mis-match of focus between floors as I mentioned in my previous post. Then I thought – hey, how about collating all these blog posts in one place and sharing them.

It was such a brilliant idea that I was pipped to the post by Cathy Moore. It certainly saved me a job. So rather than me repeat the super job Cathy has already done why don’t you check it out for yourself. And just so I feel I have contributed to the list here are a few more. Happy catch-up.

e-Learning Centre’s review
Craig Taylor’s reflections
Nowcomms Learning Technologies exit poll (an interesting read)

Miscellaneous

Bogus website reviews


Star vector created by starline – www.freepik.comI was sitting watching Click, the BBC’s flagship technology programme, the other morning where they reported on bogus reviews on some websites It was saying that although customer reviews on websites can be valuable to us when deciding on using a business or service, there has been a spate of spam reviews potentially damaging firms’ reputations.  I have certainly found reviews very useful when booking hotels, buying a new Bluetooth headset or deciding which car to get next.  It is easy to focus too hard on a bad review and let that cloud our thinking even when there are a great many great reviews for the same business.

There was a good piece of advice at the end of the article on the TV programme which isn’t reflected in the web article here that advised to ignore all the excellent reviews and the extreme bad reviews and concentrate on the middle ground.  Something that I am careful to do.   It doesn’t take away the upset for the businesses or person targeted however.

The article brought back thoughts of what it is like when you put your all into delivering an engaging training course and everyone has enjoyed themselves and accomplished what they set out to do with no indication of anything being wrong and then when everything has been packed away and you receive feedback –one person appeared to have been on a totally different course.  It may be one in a thousand that may call your reputation into question and it is human nature to dwell on that one in a thousand rather than the other 999 satisfied learners.  We forget that external fears, problems at home, work politics etc can influence a person’s experience not forgetting how our own moods can affect us when reading reviews.

Not that we should totally ignore poor reviews – there may be something that needs to change – but we do need to put them in perspective or suffer sleepless nights and questioning of our own abilities. Remember the majority not the minority and to take criticism as an opportunity.

Does this ring a bell with you?  What are your experiences?