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Reading to Remember: Paper or Electrons?

After a few years of decline, sales of paper books are inching back up again. While people like e-books for their convenience and portability, there are a number of studies that show better comprehension and retention from paper books. We should make room for paper books? E-books are great for travelers. They don’t weigh anything… Continue Reading

What Did I Learn from You?

My friend Beth walks through life learning from notable events. For example, if she has a less-than-satisfactory encounter with someone, she’ll pause later and say, “What I can learn from this is…” My friend Dean used to sit in meetings and pay attention to what she was observing and learning from her colleagues. One time,… Continue Reading

Let’s Avoid Being the Facilitator from Hell

There we were, in a room full of smart, talented people. We’d been asked to give input for the strategic direction for an organization that we’d all been part of for many years. It was an invitation-only event, and people had traveled from all over the U.S. and beyond to provide assistance. Don’t Tie Up… Continue Reading

The Backfire Effect & Those Crazy Email Forwards

The day after I posted about the backfire effect, I received a forward from a good friend. You know the kind of message—full of heated passages about this or that awful thing that some person or group is supposedly doing. There’s a Blue Sky in There Somewhere I’m writing out what happened to show how… Continue Reading

The Backfire Effect: Holding on to Myths for Dear Life

When we point out to someone that a favorite myth isn’t a real thing, in many cases people will hold onto that belief even more than before. This is often true, even in the face of scientific evidence or facts that we might think are hard to refute. But wait, my whole idea is wilting!… Continue Reading

Sexiness, Walking, and Setting a Learning Thing Straight

As I write this, it’s April Fool’s Day (and also National Walking Day). So I’m going to share a three things that you might find interesting, but that don’t necessarily go together. Really? I didn’t know that. Possibly a Surprise. Guess what? There’s a personality trait that both men and women find sexy. This surprised… Continue Reading

Online Instruction? Please Don’t Ask This Kind of Question

Back in the olden days, when programmed instruction (precursor to online learning) was a thing, we learned not to write questions called “copy frames.” Do Not Point too Obviously to the Obvious Right Answer What that means is, don’t give a little bit of information and then ask a question that only requires glancing at… Continue Reading

Introducing The Debunker’s Club

One of my ISPI friends asked a group of us if we’d be willing to help get the word out about The Debunker’s Club. It’s a new website and group of folks who are banding together to help clean up some of the myths, mistakes, and misinformation that are common in the learning field. Early… Continue Reading

This Idea Must Die: Fodder for Evidence-Based Practice

Podcasting is a fairly young idea. Anybody with a microphone and access to the Internet can put up a podcast. Given that, some are terrible, and some are really great. One of my favorites is Freakonomics: The Hidden Side of Everything. You might think it would be boring, because “Freakonomics” sounds like “economics,” but no.… Continue Reading

Dear Instructor: It’s Up to You

So, if it’s up to the learner, the manager, and the designer, what’s left for the instructor in making sure that learning happens? Instruction by Essential Ingredients Here are some areas where instructors can make a huge difference: Motivation. Why are we learning this and why should we care? Instructors can make the rationale for… Continue Reading