Mirjam Neelen & Paul A. Kirschner

It’s probably no news to anyone that we’re big on evidence-informed learning design (our whole blog is dedicated to it, mind you, and we published a book on the topic as well). One crucial part of evidence-informed practice is judging the veracity of information and/or research on how people learn or how one best can teach or train others, or which media/methods work and which don’t.

Asking ourselves whether certain information is truly truthful or only seems to be is not just nice to do, it’s a must. We need to be able to solidly/definitively differentiate between truth and it’s wicked stepsister ‘truthiness’[1] (see our blog here), a term coined by Stephen Colbert. Only if we’re able to determine which information we should dismiss and which we should trust, can we make well-informed decisions on how to design effective, efficient, and enjoyable learning experiences.


In this blog, we use Stephen Gorard’s sieve (2014) (see table 1) to try to determine if a study we ran across is trustworthy or not. The casus is a recent publication by PwC, in collaboration with Oculus for Business (a producer of Vitrtual Reality (VR) googles) and Talespin (a company that makes VR content), of a study titled ‘The Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Soft Skills Training in the Enterprise’.

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To read their blog post please go – here.

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