What’s Old Is New Again
If you’ve ever been an instructor in an Enterprise Learning Context – or in an Educational Learning Context – then you know many if not most Learners don’t do their homework. They don’t do the Pre-Readings before the session.
So as an Instructor you have two basic choices – reward those who did the Pre-Readings and discuss it while losing everyone else.
Or punishing those who did their Pre-Readings and cover that material again – actually for the first time for those who didn’t do the pre-work.
Those who did the Pre-Readings – then learn to not do the Pre-Readings.
Well, some of them anyway.
And then Instructors learn to not require them to do the pre-work.
And even if that pre-work is cooked into the design – they will find a way to cover that stuff anyway – and shorten other content – at a cost to the integrity of the design.
I quit cooking pre-work into my designs in the early 1980s – and would tell my Project Steering Teams that – proactively – and share with them my rationale for not doing what seemed so obvious a thing to do. Get that Jump Start!
It’s Not Exactly a Win-Win For Anyone
Motivated Learners Can Learn Despite Any Barriers
And they – motivated learners – will learn anyway. They will just learn.
Learners – who are motivated – are resilient. You can hardly stop a motivated learner to learn what they have set their sights on.
It’s the others – the unmotivated – that we coddle and coach and try to bring along.
We beg, we implore, we rationalize the “why” of learning.
Same as it ever was.
Now we try to make it a game. With badges for achievement. Which isn’t entirely bad by itself – if we are truly rewarding critical knowledge and skill acquisition.
But if we are not focused on learning things of real importance – then we do no one any good.
Except rewarding those who wish to be entertained by games.
In that case – teach them Chess – or Backgammon.
Oh – wait. Not technological enough.
Hmm. Not shiny enough.
The Consequence System At Play
So we either reward what we really want – or we reward what we don’t want – those distractions done in the name of motivating the learners. Enticing them to inadvertently learn – versus deliberate learning.
What’s better – Inadvertent Learning – or – Deliberate Learning?
Will the Circle Be Unbroken?
But – we keep trying – and thinking that “new technology” will change it all. That technology – the shiny objects – will entertain – and/or edu-train – and that gamification will fool, er, motivate the non-motivated learners.
And then we’ll find ourselves back to square one. Needing to teach learners what they need to learn – for living on the planet.
And we need to be prepared when some are just unwilling to learn – or are just too immature to learn what they need – for life. For that next step in a learning continuum – mastering addition and then multiplication and then geometry, etc., etc., etc.
It happens – so let them go.
Don’t water down everything else in some desperate attempt to convince them that they need to learn this.
Or make it/everything a game so as to trick them into learning this.
Perhaps the real reason for getting people use to “lifelong learning” is that too many are not learning early enough – and we’ll see a slide of a decade or so – for those who Society has let slip a decade or so.
It’s the Culture we need to work on. It’s the sins of low expectations we need to work on. It’s a parent and family and neighborhood thing that needs to be worked on.
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