College Lectures: Not the Best for Learning, Says New Study

sleeping-studentPlease tell me that we are not surprised at the results of this study. I believe most educators and learning and development professionals know that a good hands on experience or interactive module will achieve a better transfer than a lecture any day. Don’t get me wrong lectures have a place in learning but its just not where the real learning takes place. In my option lecture is the place for bringing all the experience and activities together, sort of connecting the dots. To me a lecture is sometimes like drinking out of a fire hose.

I always enjoyed the lab days in school. I still remember some of the experiments we did in science class. Who doesn’t remember lighting things on fire or dissecting frogs. Just saying! The value is in the experience and actually trying things for your self. This is where you start to see the value of concepts like the flipped classroom. There is nothing new about activity based learning isn’t that what an apprenticeship is? Learning while doing is where it is at. Below is the article that inspired this blog.

College Lectures: Not the Best for Learning, Says New Study | IdeaFeed | Big Think.

Self Directed Learning on The Fly

The Kalama River with my Dad, Bother and my friend Steve

The Kalama River with my Dad, Bother and my friend Steve

I have been a Fly Fisherman for several years now. I hesitate to say I am self taught but you could say my learning was self directed. I used a combination of informal, social, short format content and good research or reference. Now I know this method is not something all that special or even new. I do believe that there are a lot more resources available to us today that make this method much easier. I would like to offer my approach and technique as an example of how someone can learn any new skill. These techniques will work for professional development within an organization as well as for personal interest skills development. The keys for success are first identifying the skills you want to learn, set some goals and structure to keep you on track and to assure you are moving forward.

I recently discovered that I had a Hernia and needed to have surgery. Ouch! I pause for a short pity party. šŸ˜‰ The main point here is that I knew I would have some down time. This is something I am normally not too good at. I knew I needed to plan something to do so I would not go stir crazy or even worse drive my family crazy. I was looking at several days of very minimal activity then light activity as I could handle but no working out for about a month. Basically I would be putzing around the house days for weeks. That said, I am not a big TV person. I do like movies but I usually can’t even make it through most movies without having to go to the kitchen or something. I am just not great at passive entertainment, I need to be doing something. I decided that this would be a good time to start learning to tie my own flies.

Where to start? Where else? For me most things start with a Google search. Research is the most important step in self directed learning. You know the old saying you don’t know what you don’t know. You need to build a foundation of understanding so you can put together plan. Fist I would need to know what equipment is needed. I found several Fly Tying kits. By looking at the kits I knew what the basic tools I would need. Further research on YouTube would give me some reviews on the tools and how to use them. There where lots of places to buy online but I decided that finding someone at local Fly Fishing shop to help me make the right purchases would be more valuable than saving a few dollars.

I jumped in the Jeep and headed down to my favorite local fly show Pacific Fly Fishers. I asked owner Michael Bennett help me pick out the basic tools I needed to get started. I then asked him to help me choose two of the most common flies that would work well for the areas I like to fish and the materials I would need to tie them.

My Workstation with Fly Tying setup

My Workstation with Fly Tying setup

My next step was to get my brain around some of the basic techniques so I went on a YouTube marathon. There are many videos on how to use the tools and the various techniques to uses them. I then picked some common flies I have used and watched those videos. I must have watched dozens of them before I tried any myself. I also had been given a book several years back call Beginner’s Guide to Fly-tying and I also spent a great deal of time piling through it.

Ok I was ready to take the plunge. I decided it was time to tye my first fly. I choose the Black Wooly Bugger. It is a fly I have fished many a times so I was excited to have an endless supply. The YouTube video below walked be through the steps to tying the fly and because I had spent so much time researching and studying other videos it was a breeze. I have since then tied several of the same flies and each time I tie it the fly looks better.

In summery I think this is the new model for learning. Even formal education can borrow form this approach. Especially when you consider the flipped classroom. The amount of information and instructional content that is available to us these days I unbelievable. There are so many things I have turned to YouTube videos to learn how to do. From fixing something around the house, installing a part on my Jeep or learning a new software. Now just don’t take my word for it. If you are like most people there is something that you have always wanted to know how to do. Go ahead, do it! Take advantage of the resources available to you and learn that new skill.

Steps:

  • Research
  • Talk to people who have the skill
  • Understand and get the tools needed
  • Review demonstrations
  • Follow step by step videos/instructions
  • Repeat or practice, practice, practice
  • Get feedback and test

Knowledge is not a passive thing

4k4mUSo true. This quote, to me is pointing out the fact the knowledge is not a passive thing. It is born out of action as all growth and achievements are. To learn we must observe, practice and get feedback.Ā  In Martial Arts and in other sports we often refer to a thing called muscle memory. This is when we have practiced a movement enough that the muscle knows what to do instinctively without the brain having to walk us through. Without mind! Bruce Lee once said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” We should always be students approaching life with an open mind and willing to put effort into something we have been exposed to so we make it our own.

~Jeff

9 Habits of Highly Effective Speakers

016_dressI saw this article today from Inc. it has some great insights on speaking. As someone who does a lot of public speaking, I am always trying to learn and improve my skills. I am always looking for tips and tricks. I think one really important aspect is that the topic you are going to present on or speak about needs to be something you have a lot of knowledge of. You must study, research and understand the content. This will bring you the confidence you need to stand in front of an audience and talk about the subject. This is the foundation. Now this will not necessarily make you a good speaker or presenter but it is where you should start. Once you have the content down then you are ready to start honing you presentation and speaking skills. Below are some good resources to get you started.

Here is the article that inspired this post it is worth checking out. 9 Habits of Highly Effective Speakers | Inc.com.

Below is a good slide presentation from 7 Lessons From the World’s Most Captivating Presenters

Here is another good one from Inc 10 Phrases Great Speakers Never Say

Another way to improve is to watch/listen to others and learn from them. You should troll Youtube and Ted for more inspirational talks. Also here is a good list of The Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century

A Student Explains What’s Wrong With Our School System And Why We Mistrust Teachers. Nails It.

nclb-cartoonI am sure most of us would agree that the education system could use some major re-work. Many of the teachers I have talked to have expressed their frustrations to me about the focus on testing and some of the curriculum they are asked to teach. Good teachers spend a lot of time trying to comply with what they have to do and attempting to rise above this adding what they should be teaching as they can. The system is really making it tough on them not to mention the students. Most of them know what is needed and yet they have little to say in what we are doing. We need to stop basing our education systems on funding and start basing it on learning and inspiring you people to become there very best.

 

This post was inspired by the following article:

A Student Explains What’s Wrong With Our School System And Why We Mistrust Teachers. Nails It..

Considering Online Course Delivery: A Graduate Learning Technology Student Perspective

Some great thoughts here on Online Course Delivery. This is looking at online courses beyond the corporate Learning Management System model.

Jennifer Horner Miller, PhD.

Why have we moved so many courses online?

Mobile platforms provide flexibility to a growing global market of adults seeking to improve skill sets needed within a 21st century workforce. Cellular applications used to access online learning content, along with the deliver of MOOCS, offer students convenient approaches to learning online. Globalization combined with an emerging demand from a previously absent third world population within the post secondary market will continue to push for increased access to online learning. Improvements in communication technologies along with increased access in rural environments allow for new markets and platforms to fulfill an ever increasing demand to online education.

Online learning platforms include the following choices to training and higher ed institutions.

CanvasĀ is a free, very sleek and is attractive to users. Ā It is a very user friendly, providing simplicity. Ā Social media can be integrated within the system, which is very appealingā€¦

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Teaching the ASTD Certificate Course New York

Here is a night time shot of the Statue of Liberty from the building the class was in. I was surprised at the result.

Here is a night time shot of the Statue of Liberty from the building the class was in. I was surprised at the result.

This December I had the privilege of teaching the ASTD Certificate Course in New York city. I really enjoyed this for many reasons. First off I really enjoy sharing me expertise and experience with others. It is very rewarding sharing what you are good at with others so that they can learn new skills and grow. It’s not a one sided deal I learn a lot each time I get in front of a group of people too. The class is a two day class and covers audio and video production. If you are interested in taking the class check out the ASTD website for additional information.

The ROI of college: Is going to an expensive school worth it?

Good question. Is Education changing? Let’s look at this as an opportunity to create an education system or better yet an approach to education. I believe education is more of a human rights issue. It should not be looked at as a privilege for those who can afford it. I am not saying that education should be FREE. Just saying costs are out of control and we are forcing our children to start out live with huge debt. This is where I see the value of smaller community collages, tech schools and of course self directed learning.

~mojo