Day 1 Reflections – DevLearn 2015

Ideas for designing next learning experience:

Years ago I had a simple idea: happy learners are those who get what they need to feel accomplished in their tasks.  Depending on your field or business, successful learners are accomplishments and milestones or happy and loyal customers.

So many training efforts focus on wowing learners during the training. 24 hours later, you can ask those same learners what  they learned and they will have forgotten most of it. According to Kohn apparently 70% of all training is forgotten after a day. What does this mean for your strategy for creating happy learners/customers?

You need to focus on what is done after the training.

According to Art Kohn’s presentation, this can be accomplished by meeting the needs of the 3 part recommendation of activity that focuses on what happens after the training  (see the image below). One example Kohn highlights as part of their business solution is providing learning boosts to training participants which are brief questions, quizzes or polls around the content. Another example includes using social reinforcement in the form of competitive games with learners (badge earning, accomplishment lists).

If you don’t “use it (within 24 hours), you lose it.” Therefore, it’s in our best interests to get our learner/customers to commit to applying what they’ve learned and give them incentive to do so. This incentive or reward could possibly take different forms according to the audience’s needs/desires:

  • a gift or tchothcke if they share their story/testimonial of putting what they’ve learned into practice within 2 days
  • the opportunity to win a larger substantial prize if they can provide proof that they’ve applied the knowledge/skill post-training
  • simply the opportunity to receive recognition for their accomplishment
  • competing with their peers to earn achievement badges for what they’ve applied at work
  • a warning that inability to put the training in action afterwards may put their work, business, standing, safety, or customers at risk
  • even more examples…
A Kohn's Pyramid

Click the image for a larger view

Cammy Bean pointed out designers of learning experiences should avoid overusing the clickity clackity and bling, bling where it’s NOT necessary.  Bad Computer Based Training (CBT) is usually pretty flat and is mainly a content dump.  Instead it should address the following questions the right way.

How does it make you feel? –> Does it appeal to or touch upon the appropriate emotions to get your attention?

How does it look? –> Is it aesthetically pleasing and easy to read?

Do you know what to do with it? –> Can the learners just pick it up and learn without 5 pages of orientation and instruction? Is it intuitive?

I would add the following question because, as Cammy pointed out, so many people are still resorting to creating page turners (or even content dumps in the form of webinars, which seem to be the bandaid training in many corporate and business environments).

Are you just resorting to dumping content? –> Have you created a simple page turner? Or are you engaging your learners and providing opportunities for them to reinforce their learning?

I think going forward I’m going to use these questions very similarly to the questions I use in the empathy map I explained in a previous blog post. They can act as reflective and evaluative questions of my own training strategy and design to insure that my learners are the winners.

Dumptruck Bottle cap with

An interesting factoid I learned:

The average age of a user on Twitter is 35 and their income is $75K.

A while ago I also read somewhere that Twitter users are the introverts of the net while Facebookers are the extroverts. Honestly, that sounds about as real as a “Which Game of Thrones Character Are You?” quiz.  I don’t use facebook, but as a skeptical introvert, even I take what I’m saying with a grain of salt. Here is an interesting post from Fast Company that argues that introverts make the best networkers on Twitter.

And about using badges…

I like the idea, but as I discussed in my Twitter conversation with @pascalliberte on badges, as a somewhat competitive learner. I like the idea of tracking my progress in learning with milestones and badges. I also might make an effort to be the first to finish tasks. However, I can empathize with those who might feel like badges are as patronizing as using stars and stickers to motivate adults to learn. The use of badges and leaderboards must be done appropriately for the learner audience.

Images from the Morguefile:
http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/95045
http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/864730

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