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Posts Tagged ‘Instructional Design’

A quick magic trick is actually an interesting way to make a key point during a training session or presentation.  There are lots of magic tricks that take little or know practice but look fairly spectacular.  I did this once during sales training.  I wanted to make the point that all the tricks and techniques of sales only work if the other person doesn’t know the trick.  And with today’s buyers most already know all the tricks.

So I want to the magic store and the guy behind the counter was very helpful.  He showed me several tricks that might work.  What I picked was a trick where you passed a 19″ needle through a balloon without breaking it.  I liked the trick because you could see it from distance.  I then showed the class how the trick worked and asked, “would you like to see it again?”  I did it second time and then asked, “who would like to see it again?”  Fewer hands went up.  After the third time noone wanted to see it again.

I think drew the connection between how they now felt about the trick with sales tricks and then ask them how they would feel the next time someone wanted to show them the trick. 

Most major cities have at least one magic shop.

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All too often instructional design is focused on the “what” question.  What do you need to know and do?  We often ask top perfomers these questions.  About 90% of what we get is what we expect and another 10% is new stuff.  This is all important.  Helps build competency models and learning objectives.

 However, the question I like to ask which reveals a lot about what needs to be done is the question “how.”  In other words, I know what you learned, but “how” did you really learn it.  This reveals the gap between what you were taught and what you learned.  Two very different things.

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I’ve been looking around for a really good definition of accelerated learning.  What I find is that it is used to apply to any kind of training or learning experience that’s a little different.  It covers everything from speed reading to learning styles to elearning to action learning to story telling and more.  Often any evidence of speed up learning is anecdotal at best. 

If find that one of the fastest ways to speed up learning is to eliminate everything you won’t remember.  It’s a little like the famous Elmore Leonard quote.  He said that the way to write a good novel is to elinimate the parts the people skim over or skip.

From the movies there was always this hope that there would be some scientific way to download knowledge quickly.  Sleep learning didn’t seem to work too well. 

Anyway, I’d like to see a good universal definition come out of everyone’s personal definition.  I just checked the Wikopedia and there’s nothing there.

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Here’s a little something that I’ve been thinking about on learning styles.  I find that when I do a sales call or present a concept it often helps to create an analogy or find some visual way of presenting the content.  When I do it right, there’s an Ah! Ha! I get what you mean.

In golf, I know that there are some players who have learned by  watching great players swing.  They see the motion and tempo and can replicate what they see.  Others can’t in fact, they think they are doing the same thing but aren’t.  There are also feel players.  These players improve once they can feel what it’s like to do it right.  In fact, they learn more from their successes than failures.

So I think as you lay out a training curriculum it’s good to see if you are addressing these different learning styles and not getting into the rut of always doing it the same.

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