Donald Kirkpatrick Answers Questions. Click to view.

Nice NY Times article on class size and technology-enabled learning at MIT, where they are getting rid of the large lecture hall, opting instead for “pioneering teaching methods drawn from research showing that most students learn fundamental concepts more successfully, and are better able to apply them, through interactive, collaborative, student-centered learning.”

The article talks about using clickers in the classroom as well, a subject near and dear to my heart. See my website and my free research-to-practice report on how to use questions with audience-response technology.

Rohit Bhargava (@rohitbhargava) has created stages of Twitter, a Kübler-Rossian kind of list.

Here are his stages:

And a few days ago, he added another stage:

6. Collaboration: “Actual, meaningful relationships and collaborations have occurred out of my usage of Twitter”

You can see his post and the amazing number of people who commented at this webpage.

Here is my addition to the list, an even dozen in honor of Kübler-Ross:

7. Bliss: “Blissful feeling of competence and connectivity, driven by obvious advantages perceived.”

8. Recruiting: “Exhibiting a missionary zeal to find coverts and increase number of followers.”

9. Divorce: “Less blissful feeling due to bounded competence, particularly unrelated to geographically-contiguous family members.”

10. Frustration: “How come other people keep getting ahead, when I know so many things and so many people?”

11. Worry: “I wonder if I’m spending too much time Twittering? No. No. I think not. Let me ask my followers.”

12. Death: “My only regret is that I didn’t Twitter more. #BYE.”

On January 30th, there will be an online conference, costing only $65, hosted in Second Life (so you can learn about Second Life as well), and it sounds intriguing with some solid speakers/hosts.

Check it out. It's called Stepping Into Virtual Worlds.

I’m absolutely astonished that our national leaders are contemplating an extension of the TV-signal switch-date from analog to digital.

See the AP article on how Obama has asked Congress to extend the deadline. Or this NY Times article explaining the thinking.

First, let me say that I live in an analog-only TV house that doesn’t have a convertor box. We’ve been thinking of buying a new TV, but we’re also thinking maybe the price of TV’s will come down after the switch, especially as the economy deteriorates (in which case we might rather have the money for food). Actually, our neighbor just offered us his convertor box, so we’ll probably use that.

HOWEVER, what’s astonishing is that people are acting like TV is an essential commodity, more like water and food (okay maybe not like sex), than like the optional accessory it really should be.

Here’s my counter-proposal. A national month of TV blackout for everyone (analog, digital, networked, etc.). Complete with opportunities for learning, sharing, exercising, perhaps a national dialogue on key issues, and hey, what about reading.

Can we get back to reality?


The eLearning Guild is reprising the 10 most FAVORITE sessions from DevLearn, their recent conference.

And OMG I’m a favorite. Better yet there is a whole group of fantastic folks including Ruth Clark and Clark Quinn.

I’m going to be leading the Opening Session at 11:30 Eastern Time on Giving Learners Feedback, and the Research thereof.

It’s Next Week January 15 & 16, 2009. Check it out.

This is huge.

I found my first surprisingly intelligent use of Twitter: It scans tweets, analyzes word stream, and reviews movies!!

And the really cool thing is that people aren’t intentionally rating a movie. They’re just flinging their opinions to the masses. This, it seems to me, is a fundamentally different data stream than an intentional rating function. Some academic ought to study this.

The language-processing capability has loads of applications. A marketing department could analyze product/company reputation; political analysts could analyze preferences; each of us individually could analyze our own reputations; state departments could look at their national reputations or the feeling people have toward particular issues.

Hmmm. What could us learning-and-performance people do with this?

Keep this one top of mind so you can look for opportunities.

This Friday January 9th, I will talk about Instructional Objectives, and some research, thereof.

Instructional Objectives:

  • Do they produce learning results?
  • Are they all the same?
  • Do we have to use them?
  • Do prequestions work just as well?
  • How specifically do they have to be worded?
  • Can I use the word “Understand”? Answer: In some of them, but not others.
  • Hey Will, do you have a new taxonomy for us?

Click to Sign Up:

Friday January 9th — Noon — US East Coast Time


Here is what your colleagues are saying about the Brown-Bag Webinoshes:

Great content, great visuals. Authenticity of presenter and passion for the subject matter was apparent. I am taking away one thing to do right away as well as inspiration to move in this direction… all of those things combined are my definition of 30 minutes well spent. (Love the short timeframe, I feel like I got a whole lot of good stuff in a little bit of time!) – Senior Instructional Designer

I’m grateful to Will for his munificence regarding his time, research, and expenses he so selflessly gives out to everyone who wishes to join in. – Instructional Systems Designer

Enjoyed the dry humor sprinkled in. Great devil horns. – President

I’ve been a big fan of your work for several years. Your papers on simulation-like questions, the spacing effect, learning feedback, etc., have greatly influenced and improved my instructional design. Thank you. – Director of E-Learning

Will, YOU are thee man, the Big Kahuna of the pack, the Big Dog all the small dogs aspire to become more like……..! – Principal

Enjoyed it! Time well spent. – Program Manager

I greatly appreciate that you are willing to give of your time to “push” this information to us. Also appreciative of the fact that you are willing to freely share the information (both in the session and as follow-up documents). – eLearning Manager

I like the short, topic specific nature, also the additional one’s like myth of the week and news. It is easy to become so absorbed in the daily details of projects that you forget to apply new things you’re learning –this is a good way to be reminded and to learn new nuggets. – Training Specialist Supervisor

Thanks for the ideas. I have new inspiration. Also, I think the format of the brown bag session is an effective way to share your research. – Consultant

Thank you for sharing your valuable research. – Training Consultant

Will is an extremely knowledgeable person and his ideas have far-reaching benefits to the training field. Offering his job aids free and letting participants share them freely shows how much he values the importance of training and helping ensure that learning is relevant and applicable to the job/skill. He’s outstanding! – Senior Instructional Designer

I like Will’s sense of humor and how it helps to take some of the sometimes-intimidating research down to an accessible level of understanding. – Learning Executive

FREE Webinosh on Instructional Objectives

This Friday January 9th, 2009, I will talk about Instructional Objectives, and some research, thereof.

Instructional Objectives:

  • Do they produce learning results?
  • Are they all the same?
  • Do we have to use them?
  • Do prequestions work just as well?
  • How specifically do they have to be worded?
  • Can I use the word “Understand”? Answer: In some of them, but not others.
  • Hey Will, do you have a new taxonomy for us?

Click to Sign Up: