Get rid of the Telling – Start Involving!

Tell me and I’ll forget

Show me and I may remember

Involve me and I’ll understand

Do you recognize this old Chinese proverb? I think this could symbolize three different levels of training and learning. The first line here is a classic boring lecture, powerpoint or click-through e-learning. This is all strictly Telling the learner what’s right and what’s wrong. The second line is a bit better since we get a context with real-life examples and similar. The third line is what we always should aim at. That the learner is Involved and thereby uses what is learned in the course/conversation/book etc.

I see Telling and Involving as two opposites when you look at a training. Either someone or something is leaving you out of affecting what’s being taught or they/it invite you in or maybe leaves you in charge of it. This is where the TIIS-Matrix comes in!

The TIIS-Matrix

The TIIS-Matrix

The IT-quadrant

The instructor is a teacher or lecturer that has the initiative. There is little or no possibility for the student to control, impact or even challenge the content of what’s being taught. A classic TI-instructor statement could be:

”This is how it is and I’ll tell you why”

The II-quadrant

The instructor functions more as a facilitator than a lecturer. While the content is still decided by the instructor the student is part of the explanations and can challenge what is being learned/taught. A classic II-instructor statement could be:

”Why do you think this is the case?”

The ST-quadrant

The student is the one that have the initiative. The student can control what’s being taught/learned by choosing what to study but there’s no way to challenge the content. A classic ST-instructor statement could be:

”This is how it is and you’ll have to figure out why for yourself”

The SI-quadrant

The student has both initiative and control over what’s being learned as well as the power to challenge it and its implication. The student must decide which implications to draw. A classic SI-instructor statement could be:

”Do you know how it is and why?”

The fun things start when you start thinking about where classic training activities like lectures, workshops, click-through e-learning, manuals etc. should be placed in the matrix…

But we’ll save that for the next post!

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