My Top 5 Problems/Opportunities* with the Learning Profession’s Practices

Warning: Opinions Coming

LMSTAT 2011 logo yel

My Top 5 Problems/Opportunities* with Learning Profession’s Practices

*Any problem presents an opportunity – it’s simply the logical “flip side” of the same coin.

My pet peeves about what I see too often for comfort – in client’s operations and colleagues’ publications – follow.


What are yours?

1. Lack of focus on authentic task performance requirements – too much focus on topics and delivery/access technology.

Too often the effort begins by listing the topics, and sketching out perhaps some very lame learning objectives – objectives that don’t scratch the surface of authentic performance – you know, the real job back outside the Learning Box – because there was no need for analysis when your cultural bias for action tells you to…

Just do it.

Performance Competence graphic

Instead we too often tout the shiny new technology instead of the targeted terminal performance.

Second Life anyone?

If the learning/ training isn’t “authentic enough” it won’t transfer – because it’s Learning/Training for someone else’s job. Or maybe no one’s.

And … only 5-15% of the population can learn out of context – and then apply it in a new context.

So if it’s not authentic enough – it’s a total waste for 85-95% of your audience.

Unless you’re …

Just lucky.

2. Lack of analysis of all of the gaps in the process performance enablers – it may not be a gap in knowledge/skills.

What if the cause for the current poor performance isn’t about anyone’s current knowledge/skills – and was due to 4 other factors being deficient too often at the same time?

EPPI Fishbone 14 Variables

What analysis does anyone do anymore other than dreaming up objectives or slide headers?

Is there even any focus on the Process Context – or Contexts – of the Performance Requirements of THE REAL WORLD?

What is needed – as enablers – including awareness/knowledge/skills – is dictated by The Process – or Processes.

Just know them!

3. Lack of consistent but flexible, valid ISD processes for accelerated efforts.

Too many approaches to content development – for learning/training purposes – are not effective and if efficient are efficient at the cost of effectiveness. ADDIE done poorly will be no worse than endless cycles of SAM approximation – that could have been resolved by more solid analysis on the front end to determine the ideal, target, future state (perhaps already being accomplished by some).


And how many of these ISD-like processes – the ADDIEs and the SATs and the SAMs – and my PACT – include invalid practices built on invalid (or never validated) concepts, models, methods or techniques?

How many address – deliberately – any of the following – as if they were gospel instead of guidance at best?

Buzz Thoughts...a2

Just stop it.

Invalid practices that is.

4. Too many instructional one off development efforts, and gaps and overlaps in the total collection of content.

When you finish your next content development effort – will it fit nicely with other, already existing sets of content?

Or is it inconsistent in models and language with what already exists? Does your content, arranged in some particular order/sequence/flow – provide enough seamless learning – including supported informal learning – that learners don’t feel overlaps and gaps?

And are overlaps By Design? Or are they inadvertent?


5. Lack of Advanced Organizers in the flow of content; lack of reinforcements including reminders, demos, practice exercises and tests of both knowledge and application.

What is used to set up the learning?

What ties it all together?

Push-Pull and The 5 Tier Content Inventory Framework

What normally occurring learning – Informal Learning – that can be anticipated – is incorporated into the design of the Learning Path and the Learning Events on that Path? Especially for those tasks done seldom and/or non-routinely?

What fights the inevitable Forgetting Curve? What continues one on the Learning Curve?

Ind Contrib

Or is there an over-reliance on Informal Learning too soon for people too novice to effectively guide their own learning?

astonaut 1

 What Are Your Top Issues in the L&D Space?

Issues being those Problems/Opportunities flip-sides of the same coin.

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4 comments on “My Top 5 Problems/Opportunities* with the Learning Profession’s Practices

  1. Pingback: Are We Getting Any Traction on These 5? | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  2. Pingback: From 2014: My Top 5 Problems/ Opportunities* with the Learning Profession’s Practices | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

  3. Pingback: T&D: Same Ol’ Same Ol’ | EPPIC - Pursuing Performance

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