July 10, 2004

LC Interviews Dr. Michael Allen

LC Interviews Dr. Michael Allen

All the boring stuff generally overlooks my three primary criteria (the 3Ms):

Meaningful. What’s more boring than content you don’t understand? Not much, except content you’ve already mastered. If you’re set on the content you’re going to present, regardless of who you’re training and the differences among your learners, then you’re set on boring at least some of them—quite possibly all of them. Learning experiences need to be tailored with focus on the learner: Does the learner see the value in learning this? Are learners fearful, impatient, confused? What are their goals and how do they relate to the goals you have for them?

Memorable. What value is learning material you won’t remember even a day or two past the posttest? Good posttest scores aren’t the reason for learning. It’s the ability, confidence, and readiness to perform valued tasks. We need to create learning experiences that stick with our learners so that they are able to perform at the right times.

Motivational. You can’t learn for your learners. They have to do the learning themselves. That means they have to be paying attention, thinking, and doing those things that create knowledge and skills within them. It’s as important to inspire (read energize) learners as it is to present content to them, because, with insufficient motivation, all that content is going to evaporate, leaving scant residue.


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