Subscription learning doesn't have to be about information. It can directly or indirectly prompt actions. In a recent field study, a one-sentence text produced results. Here's the abstract from the journal:

"Parental involvement is correlated with student performance, though the causal relationship is less well established. This experiment examined an intervention that delivered weekly one-sentence individualized messages from teachers to the parents of high school students in a credit recovery program. Messages decreased the percentage of students who failed to earn course credit from 15.8% to 9.3%—a 41% reduction. This reduction resulted primarily from preventing drop-outs, rather than from reducing failure or dismissal rates. The intervention shaped the content of parent–child conversations with messages emphasizing what students could improve, versus what students were doing well, producing the largest effects. We estimate the cost of this intervention per additional student credit earned to be less than one-tenth the typical cost per credit earned for the district. These findings underscore the value of educational policies that encourage and facilitate teacher-to-parent communication to empower parental involvement in their children's education."

Kraft, M. A., & Rogers, T. (2015). The underutilized potential of teacher-to-parent communication: Evidence from a field experiment. Economics of Education Review, 47, 49-63.

Today, about 10 in the morning, I launched my Kickstarter Campaign. It's now about 12 hours later and already the campaign is 30% to its goal. Un-freakin-believable! Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

For me, I'm awestruck. And grateful — deeply grateful to those who have pledged to contribute should the campaign reach it's goal.

Thank you!

I am Grateful to Many

This book would not be possible without:

  • academic researchers, journals, libraries, and database developers.
  • all the folks who have given me wisdom about book publishing and concrete help.
  • all the folks who have reached out over the last 17 years to thank me for my research-to-practice work.
  • my clients who help pay the bills and inspire me with their dedication and passion.
  • the learning-measurement experts who helped me improve the book immeasurably (get it!?).
  • the folks who read an early version of the book and offered a testimonial.
  • the astonishing generosity of the folks who read early versions of the book and gave me detailed substantive feedback.
  • the extreme and longstanding patience and forbearance of my wife and daughter, and the humor and support of my extended family.

Now I have more people to thank…

  • Those who interrupted their day to make a Kickstarter pledge in the early hours of this campaign. This is very important — the Kickstarter experts tell me. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Wow! I'm buzzing with warm fuzzies… Thank you!


Links of Interest


Just last month at the Debunker Club, we debunked the learning-styles approach to learning design based on our previous compilation of learning-styles debunking resources.

Now, there’s a new research review by Daniel Willingham, debunker extraordinaire, and colleagues.

Willingham, D. T., Hughes, E. M., & Dobolyi, D. G. (2015). The scientific status of learning styles theories. Teaching of Psychology, 42(3), 266-271.

Here’s what they tried to do in the article, in their own words:

“The purpose of this article is to (a) clarify what learning styles theories claim and distinguish them from theories of ability, (b) summarize empirical research pertaining to learning styles, and (c) provide suggestions for practice and implications supported by empirical research.”

The distinction between abilities and styles is important to the authors:

“The two are often confused, but the distinction is important. It is relatively uncontroversial that cognitive ability is multifaceted (e.g., verbal ability and facility with space have distinct cognitive bases), and it is uncontroversial that individuals vary in these abilities. For ‘‘styles’’ to add any value to an account of human cognition and learning, it must mean something other than what ability means. While styles refer to how one does things, abilities concern how well one does them.”

Predictions from learning-styles theory:

“Learning styles theories make two straightforward predictions. First, a learning style is proposed to be a consistent attribute of an individual, thus, a person’s learning style should be constant across situations. Consequently, someone considered an auditory learner would learn best through auditory processes regardless of the subject matter (e.g., science, literature, or mathematics) or setting (e.g., school, sports practice, or work). Second,  cognitive function should be more effective when it is consistent with a person’s preferred style; thus, the visual learner should remember better (or problem-solve better, or attend better) with visual materials than with other materials.”

Results: Are these learning-styles predictions validated by the research?:

“No. Several reviews that span decades have evaluated the literature on learning styles (e.g., Arter & Jenkins, 1979; Kampwirth & Bates, 1980; Kavale & Forness, 1987; Kavale, Hirshoren, & Forness, 1998; Pashler et al., 2009; Snider, 1992; Stahl, 1999; Tarver & Dawson, 1978), and each has drawn the conclusion that there is no viable evidence to support the theory. Even a recent review intended to be friendly to theories of learning styles (Kozhevnikov, Evans, & Kosslyn, 2014) failed to claim that this prediction of the theory has empirical support. The lack of supporting evidence is especially unsurprising in light of the unreliability of most instruments used to identify learners’ styles (for a review, see Coffield et al., 2004).”



Here's another article on Microlearning, this time from MemeBurn.





Google, of course, is trying to sell a product when it says that everyone is getting content in "micro moments," that is, in "moments of intent" when they have a "how-to-do" need. Yes, sounds a bit like Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson's Moments of Need, but the relation between the two is only searchable.

Two thoughts here:

  1. Again, we see more and more emphasis on short learning interventions.
  2. These types of microlearning interventions are only in play when the learner has a clear sense that they need help that new information can provide. There are many other learning needs that aren't covered in "moments of learning intent."

Here is the Google Post with all the new micro-moment buzzwords…