What it takes to drive effective design for complex skills in the workplace (The practice)

3-Star learning experiences

Mirjam Neelen

On Monday, in ‘the theory’ part of this blog, I discussed what complex skills are and what it takes to design effectively for them.

To reiterate, the reason why the discussion around complex skills is important in my opinion, is because when we talk about ‘upskilling’ and/or ‘reskilling’ in organisations, both ‘business stakeholders’ and L&D people often overlook and/or misunderstand what a skill – in particular a complex skill – really is, what it takes for people (‘learners’) to develop them, and as a consequence, what it means to design learning interventions for them that are effective, efficient, and enjoyable. What I mean by that in this case, is that learners can and will transfer what they learned to their job and apply it in a competent and flexible way.

At the Learning Technologies Autumn Forum conference, we had a discussion as a group where we tried…

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Man Without Test Score Thinks Critically, Helps Stranded Motorist

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

My starter is going out on my car. When electrical parts are on the way out, the exact moment at which they will finally fail is a crap shoot. I have an appointment to have the part replaced, but not for a few days. I care for my mother on weekends, and since my car started on Saturday morning, I took the hour-plus drive to her home to help her, happy to know if my car failed to start when I tried to leave that she would have been cared for and ready to face another week.

I planned my weekend and early week so that I only needed my car to start once more– just once more– and that upon leaving my mother’s house on Saturday.

Well. After numerous tries, I could not get it to start. The starter would frequently engage, but just shy of getting the engine…

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What it takes to drive effective design for complex skills in the workplace (The theory)

3-Star learning experiences

Mirjam Neelen

Paul Kirschner and I have written about complex skills before (here (2018) and here (2020), a guest blog (2020) and a chapter in our book). The main reason why we go on and on about them, is because when we talk about ‘upskilling’ and/or ‘reskilling’ in organisations, both ‘business stakeholders’ and L&D people often overlook and/or misunderstand what a skill – in particular a complex skill – really is, what it takes for people (‘learners’, ‘workers’) to develop them. As a consequence, they forget or don’t think about what it means to design learning experiences or interventions for them that are effective, efficient, and enjoyable. What I mean by that here, is that learners can and will transfer what they learned to their job and apply it in a competent and flexible way.

On 13 October, I gave a presentation at the Learning Technologies Autumn Forum about…

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Old habits are hard to break

3-Star learning experiences

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

We all have all sorts of habits. Some of them are good and helpful while others are not so good or even bad.

In the context of studying, for example, moving your phone or tablet to a different room than the one in which you do your homework and then doing your homework without accessing your social media, is clearly a better study habit than surfing the Web for a few hours every evening before starting your homework or surfing so long that you don’t do it at all.

Logan Fiorella (known to many for what he wrote with Richard Mayer on productive learning strategies – see our overview blog here) published a review article on the science behind habits and its implications for learning and mental wellbeing. In short, learning interventions often focus on informing and motivating learners (how) to use particular study…

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Jabbia Delays ESS Sub Contract, But He Still Really Wants It.

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

On September 18, 2022, I posted about how the St. Tammany Schools (STPPS) (LA) superintendent Frank Jabbia and members of the school board are pushing to contract with a third party, Education Solutions Services, LLC (ESS), to address STPPS’s sub shortage.

Instead of addressing the issue head-on by following sensible courses of action that STPPS HR could approach without paying a third party to (at best) do what it could have done without the added layer of expense (see suggestions at end of thos post), instead, it seems that Jabbia would rather throw money at a company that makes no promise in writing to solve a staffing shortage “or your money back.” (Prove me wrong by showing me such a contract.)

What could very well happen is that such a move would cause chaos, as all subs currently contracted with STPPS would be dropped and have to choose to…

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Focusing as a learning trap?

This is a rather confusing study. While it seems the whole educational world is trying to figure out how to help our children to learn how to focus better (executive functions, anyone?), this new eye-tracking study describes not being able to focus as a secret power of children, which helps them to avoid a ‘learning […]

Focusing as a learning trap? — From experience to meaning…

New report highlights fields of study with surging international student interest — ICEF Monitor

A new analysis from Studyportals uses a large volume of student search data to pinpoint significant student interest in certain fields of study. The report identifies the following 10 fields as “subject areas where student interest is growing, and where the global supply of programmes is lagging behind demand.” User experience designData science & big…

New report highlights fields of study with surging international student interest — ICEF Monitor – Market intelligence for international student recruitment

Really? Teachers’ turnover intentions, burnout and poor work are related

This Finnish longitudinal study examined the connection between the risk of burnout, poor experienced teacher-working environment en what the researchers call persistent turnover intentions. This link may not come as a surprise, but the good news is: positive experiences such as enough autonomy in the workplace seem to protect against cynicism and exhaustion. From the […]

Really? Teachers’ turnover intentions, burnout and poor work are related — From experience to meaning…

Autistic readers and pre-modern literature: do they really “want abilities”? — Catherine & Katharine

One topic I address in my new book and also in an upcoming ResearchED talk is reading comprehension in autism. A big part of the challenge, as I discuss in this old Out in Left Field post, are instances of non-literal language. Autistic readers and pre-modern literature: do they really “want abilities”? For autistic readers, […]

Autistic readers and pre-modern literature: do they really “want abilities”? — Catherine & Katharine