Brainzzzzzzz

So I’m putting together some slides for a meme-ignite-style session at DevLearn, and was reminded of some great resources on why we should view learning that “brain-based” or based on “neuroscience” with a healthy skepticism.

First is Will Thalheimer’s well-researched post on this very topic:

Will Thalheimer's Post on Brain-based Learning

And the second is Danial Willingham’s excellent video on this topic:

Enjoy!

 

Participatory Learning

So, I was reminded of Nina Simon, and her book — The Participatory Museum — this morning. She’s gone on to deal with bigger issues of community inclusion and relevance, but her first book is about how do you make museums less of a viewing experience and more of a participatory experience. This may sound like making museums more interactive, but interactive exhibits can still be mostly an experience about consuming content. She’s really talking about how do you involve the community in creating the museum.

I feel like we are just beginning to scratch the surface of this in L&D. Our audiences are full of knowledge — how could we collect and structure that to make useful learning experiences?

Screen Cap from Nina Simon's Blog at https://museumtwo.blogspot.com

Her blog is full of goodness on this — here are a few posts to get you started:

The Memory Jar Exhibit: https://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2014/06/adventures-in-evaluating-participatory.html

How do you inspire visitors to take action after they leave? https://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2017/07/how-do-you-inspire-visitors-to-take.html

Her book on The Participatory Museum (available to read online under a creative commons license): http://www.participatorymuseum.org/

 

 

 

 

Complex Skill Development

Hey folks, I’ve long thought that the instructional design toolbox is more focused on knowledge and procedural learning, and has less specifics to offer for complex skill development. I’m working on parsing some guidelines based on types of skills and problem context. This is a talk that I’ve done at a few of the elearning conferences on the topic.


 

Upcoming Events

Hey folks,

So it’s a little dusty around here, but I do actually have some plans for doing a little blogging in future. In the mean time, feel free to join the conversation in the Design for How People Learn Facebook group.  Loads of smart people talking about interesting things there:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/designforhowpeoplelearn

Design For How People Learn Image

Also thought I would mention some upcoming events. I’m doing workshops (mostly on behavior change) in quite a few places this year, so thought I’d mention it. Always interested in connecting with local L&D folks too.

Upcoming Events:

HR Excellence Center – China
Speaking on Behavior Change
May 29, 2188 | Shanghai
May 31, 2018 | Beijing
http://www.hrecchina.org/

AITD – Australian Institute of Training and Development
Annual Conference & Preconference Workshop
Design for Behaviour Change (one-day workshop)
June 6-8, 2018 | Sydney
http://www.terrapinn.com/…/About-Pre-Conference-Workshops.s…

2018 Guild Academy Workshops
Design for Behavior Change (one-day workshop)
June 25, 2018 | San Jose, CA
https://www.elearningguild.com/content/5420/workshops/

VOV Learning Network Summerclass
Design for Behavior Change (one-day workshop)
July 10, 2018 | Duffel Belgium
https://vov.be/…/vov-summerclass-instructional-design-for-b…

ID Academy (Torrance Learning)
Design for Behavior Change (one-day workshop)
August 6-8, 2018 | Boston MA
http://www.torrancelearning.com/id-academy/

 

Brain as Prediction Machine

So I’m really interested right now in how the brain operates as a prediction machine. Basically, one of our core brain functions seems to be guessing what is going to happen next.

I think this has some really fascinating implications for behavior change.  Humans are (in many ways) bad at risk prediction.  More people seem to be afraid of flying than driving, despite data that shows the riskiest part of any flight is the drive to the airport. We are often more afraid of things that are scary than things that are likely — sedentary behavior is far more likely than bungee jumping to injure us, but we probably wouldn’t rate sitting on the couch as more risky than jumping off a bridge attaching to a giant rubber band.

Classic behaviors that are difficult to change include things like diet, exercise, smoking, texting while driving.  In workplace contexts, I might look at safety procedures or sanitary food handling.  All of these activities involve some assessment of the risk involved and some prediction of outcomes, either consciously or unconsciously.

Here are some interesting things I’ve been looking at regarding this:

How your brain hallucinates your conscious reality by Anil Seth:

How our brains use embodied simulation to construct meaning:

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/05/02/180036711/imagine-a-flying-pig-how-words-take-shape-in-the-brain (from Benjamin Bergen’s book Louder Than Words)

 

How even the structure of our vision is structured around predicting the immediate future from Mark Changizi:

This is another explanation of how vision is a constructed function (the rest of his talk covers similar ground to the Anil Seth talk):

Here’s a closer look at the image he is describing:

Here’s a good talk on Risk Literacy from Gerd Gigerenzer:

Emily Pronin et al found that people make different choices for their future selves, and that the decisions they make for their future selves are more like the decisions they might make for other people — we essentially have a “do as I say, not as I do” relationship with our future selves:

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167207310023

Similarly, seeing pictures of your aged self can impact your retirement planning:

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/the-stranger-within-connecting-with-our-future-selves

Image of the scientist and his artificially aged self

While some of this is not immediately translatable into practical applications for learning and development, it does seem that construction of reality and future prediction is an important part of meaning-making and decision-making, which in turn impacts choices and behaviors.

 

New DFHPL Facebook Group – Following the Conversation

So nerdy shop talk is basically my favorite thing, and the internet is a spectacular place to geek about whatever your passion is.  Where those conversations happen seems to shift as the internet evolves.  I used to have most of my nerd conversations on Twitter, but things seem to have shifted to Facebook or LinkedIn more.  I do like the possibilities of longer conversations that are provided by threaded discussions, and I’m opting for Facebook over LinkedIn for the time being.

If you are so inclined, come hang out:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/designforhowpeoplelearn/

Link to the facebook group for Design For How People Learn

 

New Book: Play to Learn!

I got a present in my mailbox today — it was the paper copy of Sharon Boller and Karl Kapp’s new book, Play to Learn! I’d already agreed to be a stop on their Blog Book Tour, but it’s lovely to have the hard copy in hand.

They based the book on the workshop that Karl and Sharon teach about the topic, which is why (I suspect) the book is loaded with so many interesting activities and worksheets for designing learning games.

They pull off a really nice balance between:

  • referencing the research evidence behind games for learning
  • giving some really great examples of the mechanics of learning games
  • having activities and guidance on how to create your own game

Along with Karl’s other books on gamification, this is a really good practical entry on the topic of learning games. And they have you analyze Plants Vs. Zombies (a personal favorite).

Recommended 🙂

Quick Links

-Sharon and Karl are doing a webinar: Learn more about Play to Learn – Register for Sharon and Karl’s webinar on Tuesday 3/28/17 at 1 pm. In it, they will expand on some of the key learning game design steps covered in Play to Learn. 

You can get the book from ATD Press (there’s a promo code SPRINGBOOKS17 for 10% off) or you can get the book from Amazon

Follow along with the book tour

Date(s) Event / Blog Stop Location
March 3rd Play to Learn available from ATD and Amazon ATD / Amazon
March 3rd Bottom-Line Performance Blog Stop Lessons on Learning
March 3rd Karl Kapp Blog Stop Kapp Notes
March 3rd ATD Learning Technologies Blog Stop ATD Learning Technologies Blog
March 6th Knowledge Guru Blog Stop Knowledge Guru
March 7th eLearning Industry Blog Stop eLearning Industry
March 8th Connie Malamed Blog Stop The eLearning Coach
March 9th David Kelly Blog Stop Misadventures in Learning
March 10th Lou Russell Blog Stop Russell Martin & Associates Blog
March 13th ATD Science of Learning Blog Stop ATD Science of Learning Blog
March 14th Julie Dirksen Blog Stop Usable Learning
March 15th Zsolt Olah Blog Stop Rabbitoreg
March 16th Cammy Bean Blog Stop Cammy Bean’s Learning Visions
March 17th Melissa Milloway Blog Stop Mel’s Learning Lab
March 21st Learning Solutions Conference Orlando, FL
March 23rd-24th ATD Core4 Session Long Beach, CA
March 28th Webinar with Sharon and Karl Bottom-Line Performance
March 30th-31st Texas Distance Learning Association 2017 Conference Galveston, TX
May 3rd Lectora User Conference Cincinnati, OH
May 22nd-23rd ATD International Conference Atlanta, GA
June 20th-22nd FocusOn Learning Conference San Diego, CA

Talking about Feedback and Habits

Have participated in a few podcasts lately:

There are a few more coming up soon, including an interview with Learning Solutions Magazine to accompany winning the Elearning Guild Guildmaster award (a nice surprise at the recent DevLearn Conference):

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text

Behavior Research Links

So, I was just talking to someone interesting in doing user research for behavior change, and I put together a set of links for her.  I thought it was a useful list, so also posting it here:

This is a nice collection of resources about UX User Research, including a list of people to follow:  http://www.uxbooth.com/articles/complete-beginners-guide-to-design-research/

A Habit-based Approach to Racial Bias

We all carry around implicit bias. It’s embedded in the culture, and it’s hideously obvious that it can lead to horrible tragic results.
 
This is study that has really been influencing my thinking about a habit-based approach to behavior change. The results actually show reduction in people’s implicit racial bias. It’s remarkable and rare to change something so deeply ingrained.
I’ve been using this study as an example of a habit-based approach to behavior change, but it seems timely to talk about these actual strategies — not as an example, but as an actual opportunity to improve our own bias. 
Here’s the actual study:

Long-term reduction in implicit race bias: A prejudice habit-breaking intervention
Patricia G. Devine, Patrick S. Forscher, Anthony J. Austin, and William T. L. Cox
J Exp Soc Psychol. 2012 Nov; 48(6): 1267–1278.

Here’s what they found:
Students took the Black-White Implicit Association Test (IAT) to test their level of implicit racial bias.  This test is adminstered via Harvard University. I recommend you try it yourself here: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html
Then participants engaged in five habit-based strategies to counteract their own implicit racial bias. This is important because participants watched for their own bias to show up and engaged in deliberately counteracting the incidents with one or more specific habit strategies. This gets at behavior rather than just intent.
Here are the specific strategies from the study:
  • Stereotype replacement
    This strategy involves replacing stereotypical responses for non-stereotypical responses. Using this strategy to address personal stereotyping involves recognizing that a response is based on stereotypes, labeling the response as stereotypical, and reflecting on why the response occurred. Next one considers how the biased response could be avoided in the future and replaces it with an unbiased response (Monteith, 1993). A parallel process can be applied to societal (e.g., media) stereotyping.
  • Counter-stereotypic imaging
    This strategy involves imagining in detail counter-stereotypic others (Blair et al., 2001). These others can be abstract (e.g., smart Black people), famous (e.g., Barack Obama), or non-famous (e.g., a personal friend). The strategy makes positive exemplars salient and accessible when challenging a stereotype’s validity.
  • Individuation
    This strategy relies on preventing stereotypic inferences by obtaining specific information about group members (Brewer, 1988; Fiske & Neuberg, 1990). Using this strategy helps people evaluate members of the target group based on personal, rather than group-based, attributes.
  • Perspective taking
    This strategy involves taking the perspective in the first person of a member of a stereotyped group. Perspective taking increases psychological closeness to the stigmatized group, which ameliorates automatic group-based evaluations (Galinsky & Moskowitz, 2000).
  • Increasing opportunities for contact
    This strategy involves seeking opportunities to encounter and engage in positive interactions with out-group members. Increased contact can ameliorate implicit bias through a wide variety of mechanisms, including altering the cognitive representations of the group or by directly improving evaluations of the group (Pettigrew, 1998; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006).
The results were successful in reducing implicit racial bias (as measured by the IAT) for the intervention group:
IAT_study
As I mentioned above, this is an exceptional result.  Traditional diversity classes often produce good intentions but little behavior change, and rarely address the deep level of unconscious bias.
Hope this is helpful. – Julie