For the last three or four years, I have provided a quiz on the Work-Learning Research website so that you can test your knowledge of research-based instructional-design fundamentals. The 15-item quiz presents you with realistic instructional-design scenarios and asks you to make decisions about which design will produce the best learning. The quiz also provides detailed feedback on each question, so that by taking the quiz, you’re really getting a great learning opportunity for yourself.

When I compiled the results several years ago, the results were astonishing. I won’t tell you how they were astonishing—because I don’t want to bias your input—but they were astonishing. I will leave the quiz up for some time, but I’d like to make a big push in the first two weeks of February of 2007 so that I can publish the results on this blog. So, please take the quiz, and encourage everyone you know who is a learning professional (training, learning, instructional design, e-learning, performance improvement, education) to take the quiz now.

Take the Quiz by Clicking Here

Please take the Quiz by February 15th, 2007 so that I can do a large compilation by the end of the month.

Tell All Your Fellow Learning Professionals to take the Quiz. Send them this Link:

(Hmmm. It’s a little long, so you may have to click on it and then copy it from your address bar.)

And feel free to comment on the quiz below.

Who are the best instructional development shops, developers, etc.?

  1. Who’s the best custom e-learning development companies?
  2. Who’s the best off-the-shelf e-learning development companies?
  3. Who are the best developers?
  4. Who is being the most innovative?

Just curious…

And what criteria would you use to decide?

In 2002, I wrote an article entitled, E-Learning’s Unique—And Seemingly Unknown—Capability. In essence, I was talking about the spacing effect—about facilitating learning by enabling learners to reconnect with key learning points over time. I specifically stated the following:

“Among all the learning media, e-learning is the only one that has the potential to have meaningful and renewable contact with learners over time.”

I further argued that e-learning’s connectivity capability was actually valuable because it aligned with the human learning system, enabling e-learning to deliver spaced repetitions, delayed feedback, and shorter retention intervals.

According to research from the preeminent refereed journals, spacing learning material over time adds to the power of repetition, producing improvements of up to 40%. Delayed feedback improves learning by 10 to 25%. Reducing the retention interval improves learning by significant amounts. Rates vary depending on many factors but especially on how much the retention interval shrinks. For example, in Harry Bahrick and family’s (Bahrick, Bahrick, Bahrick, & Bahrick, 1993) classic experiment on remembering foreign-language vocabulary, reducing the retention interval would have decreased forgetting by an average of 17% per year, and up to 178% for a five-year reduction in the retention interval.

As the title of my earlier article suggested, in 2002 there were very few uses of the spacing effect in e-learning designs. The good news is that it appears that things are changing. I am currently in the process of writing an article on how things have changed.

I have seen the following types of spaced-learning implementations.

  • Email reminders delivering learning material after the primary learning events.
  • Mini-e-learning refreshers dispersed once a month.
  • Encouragement to managers to follow-up afterwards.
  • E-learning delivered in chunks as opposed to all the time.

But I want more examples.

Please send me your ideas in an email to this email address. SORRY, ALL DONE GATHERING EXAMPLES…

The best examples will be incorporated into an article and will be mentioned in the newsletter, etc.

By the way, the examples don’t have to be pure e-learning examples either. All sorts of training examples are welcome.