learning myths & superstitions

In Millennials, Goldfish & other Training Misconceptions my colleague Clark Quinn has written a handy guide for every training shop or L&D department. Using his decades of experience combined with a scientist’s analytical mind, Clark first looks at learning ‘myths’ — beliefs we hold that aren’t true. Each myth is analyzed from seven perspectives:

  1. The Claim
  2. The Appeal
  3. The Potential Upside
  4. The Potential Downside
  5. How to Evaluate
  6. What the Evidence Says
  7. What to Do

This book is a useful job aid for anyone supporting learning in the workplace. Clark uses a different approach for ‘superstitions’ — AKA bad practices. He examines each of these from five perspectives:

  1. The Claim
  2. The Practice
  3. The Rationale
  4. Why it Doesn’t Work
  5. What to do Instead

Finally, Clark examines ‘misconceptions’ — where there may be extremes in interpretation. Each of these is looked at from four angles:

  1. The Claim
  2. The Counter
  3. Reconciliation
  4. What to Do

One misconception I am familiar with is ’70:20:10′ or the ‘Experience, Exposure, Education Framework’ promoted by the 70:20:10 Institute, which I have used in my work. The Claim is that this “… is a useful framework to help people design better performance solutions”. The Counter is that “… the numbers aren’t validated by empirical research”.  The suggested reconciliation  — “If we instead use the principles of 70:20:10 as a rough guideline, we can gain value from it …”. Finally, Clark suggests, “If you have trouble getting people in your organization to let you start working on a performance consulting approach or using extended models of organizational learning, 70:20:10 can help”. Pragmatic advice which I support.

The book covers a good range of topics —  Gamification, Gender, Learning Management Systems, Millennials, Social Learning, etc. I would highly recommend this book (job aid) for workplace learning professionals everywhere. It will not go out of style.

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