Turning Away From the Skid – Versus – Turning Into the Skid

Some things are just so intuitive. But wrong.

From an online article by Bill Brandon here:

Digimodernism (digital modernism) is a term that describes “a new paradigmof authority and knowledge formed under the pressure of new technologies and contemporary social forces.” If you have colleagues who struggle to accept the notion of rapid eLearning authoring by subject matter experts, or who have a hard time seeing how social media, informal learning, and peer-to-peer learning can have a part in their instructional designs, you know people who are experiencing some of the turmoil that marks the rise of digimodernism.

I myself do struggle with the notion of “rapid eLearning authoring by subject matter experts” – not because I am resisting or fightling technology. But because of the research about experts and knowledge.

Today – if you were lucky – someone taught you well enough that you were able to immediately recall it (no time to consult an EPSS) – TURN INTO THE SKID – not: turn away from the skid – when skidding. Back when horses pulled wagons you didn’t turn into the skid – you probably turned the horse way from the skid – say if the road-side was collapsing and about to send your horse-drawn-wagon down into the gully. But not today in the age of the horse-less carriage.

You may have learned this informally – about how to respond to a skid in today’s world – but that wouldn’t have been efficient – let along effective quick enough. You probably put the car into the ditch – maybe even more than once – before someone asked you about or told you about or made an off-handed remark about (Informally – or is this Formally?) that “non-intuitive thing” about Turning Into the Skid.

Like leaning out “over the mountain” on the downhill ski – it’s just another one of the many non-intuitive realities of life on the planet with the laws of physics at work.

I’ve posted on this before…skidding that is…

What to Do Instructionally When It’s High Risk and Reward and Not Intuitive? Train! And Train! And Train Some More!

And about experts…

Foo Foo About: Analysis with Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) interviews can miss up to 70% of what an novice needs to perform – as most of their knowledge is “non-conscious” – and traditional interviews (and observations) cannot uncover what is needed in terms of instructional content. 

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“…nearly all of our instructional design and cyber learning theories and models fail to account for the influence of non-conscious cognitive processes and therefore are inadequate to deal with complex learning and performance.”

Clark, R. E. (2010). Cognitive and neuroscience research on learning and instruction: Recent insights about the impact of non-conscious knowledge on problem solving, higher order thinking skills and interactive cyber-learning environments. Presentation made at the the International Conference on Education Research (ICER), Seoul, South Korea – clark_2010_nonconscious_learning_motivation_icer_9sep2010

Here is Dick Clark (Richard E.) on video discussing this – about an “Expert” being what I am calling Unconsciously Competent – at USC’s center for Cognitive Technologies:

  • 44 seconds worth of a 15+ minute video – here.
  • The 15: 23 minute video – here.
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So while it is possible to do – and sometimes perhaps is OK to do – it – having SMEs create content – should be done when the Risks and Rewards of that content being partial are NOT so critical. For whatever the SME forgets to include in that Formal Learning (because they couldn’t recall it, it being non-conscious after all) can be picked up by the Learner/Performer via some Informal Learning – if the Pilot-Test didn’t uncover that missing stuff and fix it prior to the content being made available for general release.
If it would be critically detrimental to the Enterprise for partial content (or wrong content) then you’re going to need a bigger strategic and tactical-set than “let the SMEs do it!” And a recovery plan.
Should SMEs create content – yes or no?
As always, it depends.
If the Content is of the “low hanging-fruit” variety – and the Risks and/or Rewards (the R in ROI) are not such a big deal – then go ahead – and THAT begs the question of why are you doing Content of such little consequence in the first place. Aren’t there “bigger fish to fry” – better Returns elsewhere – better uses of the shareholder equity being “plowed back into the business” rather than distributed as dividends to the owners/shareholders? Hmm.
If it’s so inconsequential – why wasn’t it left to Un-Structured OJT (Informal Learning) in the first place? Just because you can create content – doesn’t mean that you should? What are the total “life cycle costs” beyond the “first costs” that were invested in? Is the Enterprise willing to keep the content current – or is this a one-off – and maintenance will not be done and is not a concern?
Be a good steward of shareholder equity. Invest that equity as if it were limited/scarce – and if it were your very own.
Just because you could – doesn’t mean that you should.
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