That Pesky Goldfish Attention Span Myth

I think everyone who works in the research-to-practice area has a persistent myth that annoys them the most. Mine is unquestionably the goldfish attention span one.

Here’s my pass at a video to address that (note: contains a shameless marketing plug):

If you’d like to learn more about how to engage learners, check out our course at


Patti Shank’s detailed investigation:

Ken McCall’s Linkedin writeup (he actually ordered the book to investigate the claim, which is a gold star in my estimation):

The Ceros folks did the deepest dive into the origins, even checking the internet archive (hashtag nerdrespect!)

Props to Entrepreneur and the BBC for not propagating the myth:

Toolbar Podcast #9: Usability. Don’t Be a Moron.

The Toolbar is a podcast by Brian Dusablon and Judy Unrein that involves talking about the tools that e-learning practitioners use (and also beer). It’s just the kind of satisfying shoptalk that usually only happens at professional conferences or the like.

I got to be a guest on this week’s episode, talking about things like usability, feedback loops, quick and dirty user testing, and what’s fundamentally broken about e-learning development.

Go have a listen: The Toolbar Episode #9: Usability. Don’t Be a Moron (and even if you don’t have time for the whole episode, go check out the great list of links Brian compiled in the show notes).