Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Read Up!

I thought I knew a lot about my field—I’d been there a decade, after all, and was a voracious reader of trade journals and business books (back then it was EQ and the tail end of the TQM movement) and a member of a very active community of practice (CoP) for trainers. But grad school, in what I recall as often exhilarating moments, also introduced me to a whole world of academic writing I didn’t know existed. There were studies that shed light on my unease with popular things like personality type-assessments. There was a whole body of literature that explained my sense of breathing better air when at a CoP gathering. There were research-based explanations from Richard Mayer that helped me articulate—finally—why we didn’t want to narrate every word in every online learning program. There were entire books on evaluating training programs and initiatives—like those beloved and institutionalized by my then-employer without any real rationale—and not just single classes. While I’m not interested in arguing about whether people need to get degrees to work effectively, I would argue that a practitioner can benefit from learning more about the academic work in their chosen field.

To start?

I spend a lot of time in online conversations, most often on Twitter, and I love that this puts me in the path of other, often newer, practitioners. I’m still surprised when they are surprised to hear that there is, for instance, a pile of empirical studies on the topic of “learning styles” or extensive academic, research-based discussion of the role and value (or not) of a community “lurker.” So in the spirit of “Nuts and Bolts,” here are some ideas for exploration:

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in Learning Solutions Magazine.
You can read the rest here

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