Tag Archives: learning

The Zero dollar Academy is where we learn to maximize the company’s performance

The most important part of developing skill is of course the formal training taking place in training centers around the world. The second most important part of the companies’ learning is what happens amongst the staff in all of their communication and helping each other. The third and least important thing is what the employees learn while working. You know, experience and such.

formal-people-otjWait a minute. I am of course joking here but sometimes I’m under the impression that this is how we do things at most companies. Let’s back up a bit and try to think about the reason for learning – individually and organizationally. Continue reading

"Math lecture at TKK" by Tungsten - photo taken by Tungsten. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Math_lecture_at_TKK.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Math_lecture_at_TKK.JPG

How we learn – A comparison of theories

For the last couple of years I’ve been researching how to improve my own department’s training offer to get more result and end-performance out of our participants. In this quest for learning on learning I’ve come across a multitude of ideas and theories that sometimes contradict each other but mostly actually agree with one another. I interpret this as serendipity, i.e. that they look alike since they’re close to reality, and have now done a comparison of four of the ones with the best end-results:

  • Holistic Learning – Making sure everything you want to learn is connected, with an emphasis on creating mental models
  • The Circle model – A way of increasing reading comprehension by writing, with an emphasis on learning from each other
  • Peer Instruction – Utilizing your peers in class to increase the assimilation of new knowledge, with an emphasis on making sense of instead of transferring information as a focus in class and on lectures
  • Story Centered Curriculum – Building courses as realistic stories with all assignments and tasks building upon the previous ones, with an emphasis in letting the students do the reading and fact finding with teachers set only as facilitators.

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Never start at Level 1

Start with 1?This isn’t going to be a tirade of criticism like the last post but more of a reflection of how I think most people uses the Four Levels of Kirkpatrick, namely wrong. I’ve heard the following quite a few times:

“Yeah, we do course evaluation but we’ve only come as far as Level 1 and 2.”

So what’s wrong with this? Of course it’s very much easier to just measure what people think of the course (Level 1) and what they’ve learned (Level 2) than mess with change of behavior (Level 3) and result (Level 4). And of course people tend to do what’s easy instead of doing what they should do. Continue reading

Why this focus on learning and training mr Kirkpatrick?

I really do like the ideas in The New World Kirkpatrick Model but there are some things that are contradictory or just seem wrong. Most of us have seen the old 4 levels of yore; Level 1: Reaction, Level 2: Learning, Level 3: Behavior and Level 4: Results. What strikes me as odd is that they are not really grounded in today’s world of performance change, even though they’re called “The New World Kirkpatrick Model”.

Why? Most of Kirkpatrick’s critics look at that Level 2 heading and goes “Ah, it’s all just about training. Ignore and move on…”. I know that the method was developed with training measurement as its focus but it shouldn’t be that anymore and least of all when it’s called “New World”.

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Update of the input-output alignment model

In the post Aligning inputs and outputs of a change campaign I mentioned that I used the Kirkpatrick Four Levels as an inspiration but it wasn’t really clear in what way. I have therefore updated the model to show where the levels are and how to view them within a change process, campaign or project.

What we start with is the below picture that shows all inputs aligning and building upon each other to support that one specific output and end-result.


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Learning by PowerPoint?

Think about the last time you really learned something and specifically, how did you learn it? Was it via PowerPoint? No? Maybe you Googled it, read about it in a book/online or asked someone and got a good explanation? Maybe you even did the dance of trial/fail until you trial/succeeded?

If you don’t learn via PowerPoint – why do you think we often choose PowerPoint as our number one instrument to teach? Even though this question was rhetorical there actually is an answer:

Because we want to make everything clear, concise and easy to understand.

Example of a bad PowerPoint slide

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