The Decisive Dozen
From Will back in 2012
I set out over 15 years ago to come up with a short list of the most important learning factors based on scientific research and practical real-world wisdom. I felt at the time, and I believe even more strongly now, that the learning field–particularly the workplace learning-and-performance field–is too strongly tempted to jump from one learning fad to another, while ignoring the learning factors that are most important.
My original goal was to create a list that had no more than seven learning factors. I did extensive reviews of a wide swath of the research on learning, memory, and instruction; often doing comparative effect-size analyses to determine what factors were most important. As the years went by and blurred into the second decade of work, I more and more looked at the research from a practical perspective, hoping to find the factors that were not just the most potent, but also the most leveragable by real-world instructional designers, trainers, teachers, e-learning developers, etc.In the end, I failed to find only seven factors, but found 12 that seem extraordinarily potent and leveragable.
Obviously, to pick the most important learning factors is a difficult endeavor–and one subject to a significant degree of human judgment, of which some of mine is surely faulty. Still, all along the way, I have not lost my strong belief that coming up with a short list of learning factors based on the world’s best scientific research from peer-reviewed refereed journals would be extremely helpful in keeping us focused on the factors that matter the most. At a minimum, I feel the list I have created will help most of us create remarkably more effective learning interventions.
For the rest of Will’s post – please go here.
Research Background Abridged
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