• Jul 07
    2014
    In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell said you need 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an elite performer. A study that was published last week suggests that the most popular interpretation of the 10,000-hour rule - i.e., that much practice will make you an expert - is misguided. While your training course development efforts probably don't include providing for 10,000 hours of student practice, we are all interested in ...
  • Jun 30
    2014
    A few weeks ago, I wrote in this space about how Google's workforce is only 30% women. I was suggesting that technology training could prove to be a path to technology careers for women. This week I am writing to explain just how wrong-headed I might have been in that post. I was looking at the wrong end of the problem of gender in technology. I quoted a scholar/activist named ...
  • Jun 23
    2014
    In these posts, I generally try to write about research, ideas, and concepts that might be useful to you. I promise to continue doing that. But from time to time, I run across something that is more interesting than useful. That’s why I wanted to share with you some new research results from MIT. The report was posted on June 18 of this year. Cognitive scientists from MIT studied the ...
  • Jun 16
    2014
    In January, I posted here about the importance of learning reinforcement in training course development. Reinforcement helps to ensure the transfer of training back to the job. "As a trainer," I wrote, "anything you can do to keep the content active in the learner's mind until it is transferred to more permanent memory will reduce the information loss and improve learning." I based this in part on remarks by Peter ...
  • Jun 09
    2014
    It's a common practice among training professionals, when planning a day-long training session, to schedule highly interactive activities right after lunch. We know that, without steady stimulus, many learners are at risk of falling asleep after a meal. It's true that a meal heavy in fat and carbohydrates can trigger a neural response that causes drowsiness. It's something most of us have experienced at Thanksgiving. But if your learners are ...
  • Jun 02
    2014
    If you work in technology or technology training, you may be troubled by the sector's diversity problem. So, you have to hand it to Google. After years of hesitancy about discussing the diversity of its workforce, on May 28, a blog post written by Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President, People Operations, laid out the facts. Google’s ethnic and gender makeup is, according to Bock, “miles from where we want to ...
  • May 26
    2014
    Dana Blankenhorn is a blogger I've been following since before there were blogs. I don't always agree with him, but I generally find him thought-provoking. A couple weeks ago, he got me thinking much harder about online learning with a post about asynchronicity. “If you're meeting face-to-face,” Blankenhorn writes, “or you’re on the telephone with someone, or even if you’re actively text messaging back-and-forth, you are engaged in synchronous communication.” ...
  • May 19
    2014
    Traditionally, information technology training is precise. You need to show learners exactly what to do in order to get a desired result. But a recent article in Computerworld makes me think there's a trend on the horizon away from precision and toward vagueness. “The Rise of Vagueness as a Service” by Mike Elgan points out how vague systems are becoming in their interactions with us. In Apple’s Safari for iOS, ...