Brain dead learning

People who complain about having too much information miss the flip side: If you're looking for an example of something, you don't have to wait very long.

David Grebow and I were chatting this afternoon about Sam Adkins' post on the Learning Circuits blog, the one that starts out saying training doesn't work, eLearning doesn't work, and KM doesn't work.

I was comtemplating the 80% of training that misses the mark. At that moment, an example pops up on my screen. This one's so bad I recalled GEN Frank Anderson's advice at TechLearn, "If you're riding a dead horse, dismount."

As if by magic, a dead horse appeared:

What's wrong with this? Multiple choice is not a great way to teach history. The Shakespeare 'toon takes at least five times as long to ask a question as you'd spend to read it. The cuteness wears off in a minute or two. You need to download a 7.5 MB Flash ap just for the demo; imagine the length of a course! Only a complete fool would find this compelling; they'd learn more watching television.

Posted by Jay Cross at December 3, 2003 08:14 PM | TrackBack

I fully and completely agree on MC tests being a bad way to teach - be it history or a number of other subjects.

Indeed, the way most MC tests are made, I think they too often debase the learner: the choices on offer are either

a. completely out of range, or
b. too close

In case a) you'll find questions where the right answer is too obvious (the alternatives are clearly made-up) while in case b) the alternatives are in most cases useless, since the learner will have to recall whether it was e.g. 0,22 or 0,27 X.

The only reason MC tests are so popular, I guess, are that they are easy to automate.

Get off!

Posted by: Jesper Hundebøl at December 9, 2003 02:33 AM

Multiple-guess testing is also easier on the scorer. Fast. Requires no interpretation.

Posted by: jay at December 14, 2003 01:05 AM

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