Learning is the pathway to doing. If an instructor teaches something and nothing changes, no learning took place.
Learning is learnable. You can get better at it. We set up the Meta-Learning Lab to help people learn better, faster, deeper.
"Knowledge is constructed, not transferred. It's built out of known chunks. It's always linked to the situation, thus 'situated.' Skills and knowledge do not exist outside of context. Everything is connected, in mental, physical, or social space." Peter Senge, Schools That Learn
This book is the best summary of what it's all about.
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, John D. Bransford, Ann L. Brown, and Rodney R. Cocking, editors. "This volume synthesizes the scientific basis of learning. The scientific achievements include a fuller understanding of: (1) memory and the structure of knowledge; (2) problem solving and reasoning; (3) the early foundations of learning; (4) regulatory processes that govern learning, including metacognition; and (5) how symbolic thinking emerges from the culture and community of the learner."
Robo-teacher has left the building
eLearning was born during the dot-com frenzy. Like many start-up ideas, the first descriptions of eLearning were oversimplified, extreme, and wildly optimistic. Otherwise rational people defined eLearning as putting all learning on computers, as if it had to be all or nothing.
Imagine the savings in plane fare, instructor salaries, and keeping people on the job instead of at the class! Employees could learn anywhere they could plug into the net, whenever you wanted. Learners would save time by studying only what they needed. They would learn at an optimal pace, neither held back nor bypassed by the rest of the class. Cool.
The only problem was that this sort of eLearning rarely worked. Learning is social. Even in the classroom, lots of learning takes informally, between students. Workers learn more at the water cooler or coffee room than during classes.
Learning requires much more than exposure to content. Most people drop out of 100% computer-led instructional events. These same people learn well when computer-mediated lessons are combined with virtual classes, study groups, team exercises, mentors & help desks, off-line events, and on-line coaches.
As the hype cools down, we find that learning hasn't changed; it still requires a variety of activities. Computers can make aspects of learning more convenient but they don't eliminate the need for human intervention. The presumption that eLearning would automate every aspect of learning today seems irresponsible. That dog won't hunt.
The old way of looking at learning:
Constructivism and other theories
Today we realize that learning isn't pouring content into heads. Rather, the real deal is an interaction between what's incoming and what's already there. Learning is rewiring the brain by sculpting new pigeonholes and adding connections.
Theories of Learning, from Funderstanding, explains constructivism, behaviorism, and so forth simply.
Greg Kearsley's Explorations in Learning & Instruction: The Theory Into Practice Database is an awesome resource.
Marc Prensky's Digital Game-Based Learning has a great list of theories of how people learn:
Learner-Centered Psychological Principles: A Framework for School Redesign and Reform, American Psychological Association, Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) 11/97.
Cognitive learning is demonstrated by knowledge recall and the intellectual skills: comprehending information, organizing ideas, analyzing and synthesizing data, applying knowledge, choosing among alternatives in problem-solving, and evaluating ideas or actions.
Affective learning is demonstrated by behaviors indicating attitudes of awareness, interest, attention, concern, and responsibility, ability to listen and respond in interactions with others, and ability to demonstrate those attitudinal characteristics or values which are appropriate to the test situation and the field of study.
Psychomotor learning is demonstrated by physical skills; coordination, dexterity, manipulation, grace, strength, speed; actions which demonstrate the fine motor skills such as use of precision instruments or tools, or actions which evidence gross motor skills such as the use of the body in dance or athletic performance.
I think of these as training the head, the heart, and the hand.
Implementing The Seven Principles of Good Practice
Internet Time Group has found that people learn best when they...
Learning requires engagement
Methods of engagement include:
Methods of Delivery
Internet Time's Method Matrix
Distance learning is no less effective than traditional means, the "No Significant Difference Phenomenon".
Changing the Interface of Education with Revolutionary Learning Technologies by Nishikant Sonwalkar
Making Training In The Enterprise Pay Off, Datamation
Why schools suck
A narrow view of how the American public school system got so screwed up. (The Germans did it.)
Schools may be the starkest example in modern society of
an entire institution modeled after the assembly line. This has dramatically
increased educational capability in our time, but it has also created
many of the most intractable problems with which students, teachers, and
parents struggle to this day. If we want to change schools, it is unlikely
to happen until we understand more deeply the core assumptions on which
the industrial-age school is based.
The Neurobiology of Memory & Learning from Hughes
The answer is "C". Both Nietsche and I are guilty of using exegesis to make our cases. BACK
Real learning is not what most of us grew up thinking it was. --Charles Handy
I never allowed schooling to interfere with my education. --Mark Twain
Marc Prensky matches content to learning activity to game styles.
"Distance education should be called 'not-so-distant education.'"
Bill Clinton, Online Learning, October 1, 2001
"One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains
its original dimensions."
Leftovers & Oldies on this topic