Tag Archives: reflection

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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Eric Mazur, Abridged “Confessions of a Converted Lecturer”

If you haven’t watched the above video you’re in for a treat. An earth shaking one at that. Eric Mazur came to the conclusion that his lecturing didn’t increase the understanding of his students and thus removed lecturing and in-front-of-class-problem-solving. He transformed his classes using Peer Instruction which utilizes the class mates to help each other understand the subject. Continue reading

Work-based performance model

A couple of months ago I published the post Work-based learning (based on work by Niklas Angmyr and Charles Jennings‘ “Re-thinking workplace learning“) and the time has now come to update the model presented and take it to the next level. In short the change can be attributed to:

Beneficial knowledge is nice to have but
beneficial behavior is what gets you results


Let’s start at the top left. The classic L&D sector is the blue box of competence building activities. Here I’d suggest one would place activities described in the post Multi-Layer Learning, i.e. not only formal ones like classroom training but also informal stuff like communities, role-modeling and databases. And yes, by saying that the top blue box is the classic L&D sector I also say that L&D often doesn’t do anything else of what’s shown in the model above. This model is more applicable for a department working as a Knowledge and Performance Partner than that of a Learning and Development department.

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