Clark Quinn: eLearning Thought Chief Q&A

Debunking Myths And Delving Into Cognitive Science With Clark Quinn

Clark Quinn is the director of Quinnovation, an impartial studying expertise design technique consultancy, and co-organizer of The Studying Improvement Accelerator, an internet group that brings L&D professionals collectively. Via his endeavors, Dr. Quinn utilized evidence-based practices to assist corporations “work smarter.” He’s an internationally identified marketing consultant, speaker, and writer, who combines his deep understanding of cognition with broad expertise in expertise to enhance organizational execution, innovation, and efficiency. At present, he speaks with us about using studying tech, debunking the “studying kinds” fantasy, and making a strong studying tradition framework.

What do you suppose is likely one of the most damaging myths or misconceptions about using studying expertise that stops organizations from reaching their L&D objectives?

I believe studying kinds might be probably the most damaging fantasy, although it isn’t particular to studying expertise. We will not reliably diagnose kinds (the psychometrics of the assorted devices do not cross the minimal customary), and there is additionally no conclusive proof that attempting to regulate studying on the idea of kinds results in improved outcomes (extra on the contrary). Thankfully, we now have the choice of designing for the training, not the learner.

If I needed to choose a specific expertise fantasy, I suppose I might put “digital means we study in another way” on trial. The notion that our brains have modified for the reason that introduction of digital expertise actually is not cogent; our physiology would not change that quick. The methods we will create experiences could have been made simpler, however our brains have not modified and we nonetheless want observe and suggestions to study.

Alternatively, I might assault the “tech solves all issues” fantasy, the place we predict a specific expertise is a panacea—video, microlearning, AI, VR—all of the issues are being touted as the reply. As a substitute, we have to perceive the distinctive affordances of various expertise and use as acceptable.

What’s one among your standout eLearning shopper success tales?

My favourite success was the answer we created for the Australian Kids’s Welfare Group. It met an actual want: children “in care” (e.g. who develop up with out typical parental fashions) surviving after they age out. It was a real critical sport, with an underlying mannequin and chance. It had a training engine with graduated hints. Additional, we ported it to the net the place it might need been the primary critical sport playable in a browser with out Flash. It additionally led to 2 publications:

Quinn, C. N. (1996). Designing an tutorial sport: reflections on Quest for Independence. Training and Data Applied sciences, 1 (3&4). 251-269.

Quinn, C. N. & Ahyong, G. (1998). Internet Quest: Porting Quest for Independence to the World Huge Internet. Training and Data Applied sciences, 3 (1). 51-78.

Amazingly, you can still play it!

In your opinion, what is likely one of the commonest errors that organizations make when attempting to boost office efficiency by L&D?

My cheeky reply is, “L&D is not doing close to what it may and will, and what it is doing, it’s doing badly. Aside from that, it is positive.” Briefly, we do two issues improper: our studying options aren’t effectively designed, and we do not transcend “the course” to efficiency assist, not to mention to facilitating innovation. I couple that with an admonition to a) begin measuring influence, not simply effectivity, and b) work internally on making a studying tradition to really personal it earlier than taking it to the remainder of the group.

You’ve got penned quite a few books about creating significant studying experiences and studying science. Are you able to inform our readers a bit extra about them and the place they’ll discover your works?

At core, they’re about how we will leverage our understanding of cognition to enhance our capacity to study and carry out. Video games have been a recurrent theme all through my profession, and that is impacted each my first and most up-to-date books. My books on myths and studying science mirror my standing as a cognitive geek. The books on mLearning and the L&D revolution mirror how we will use expertise and science to help individuals not simply by programs, however by the total suite of efficiency and improvement. You will discover out extra about all of them here. Thanks for asking!

Are you able to supply new studying expertise designers some phrases of knowledge to create results-driven programs by leveraging cognitive science?

Effectively, the primary phrase of recommendation is to study the cognitive (and studying) science behind profitable outcomes. Perceive the processes of notion, consideration, elaboration, and retrieval, and the properties of sensory, working, and long-term reminiscence. Then, perceive the implications: the need of significant observe and suggestions, and the function of psychological fashions and examples. Then, add within the emotional element: construct motivation and confidence, and maintain anxiousness below management by making it “secure” through the introduction and likewise the closing. Crucial factor I might emphasize, in fact, is the need of enough contextualized observe and acceptable suggestions.

Wrapping Up

We might wish to thank Clark Quinn for collaborating in our Thought Chief Q&A. Clark was additionally featured in our eLearning Trailblazers: Learning Experience Design Experts record for his dedication to sharing distinctive experience, design insights, and insider know-how with our eLearning group.


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Our names are Fareedah and Kamilah Amoo. We are seven and five year’s old sisters and live in Ontario, Canada, with our parents and little brother, Awad. We love writing stories, painting on canva, coding, reading books, and enjoying arts and crafts. Our goal is to motivate every child worldwide to read more books.

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