Weekend Reflections

My Left Knee Has Been Telling Me That Learning Is Not Easy and Sometimes Quite Painful

Until this morning. I felt so much better that I skipped the pain meds that I have become dependant on (at least that was my fear).

And THAT is a Big Deal. A BFD as we used to say, back in the day.

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No Pain – No Gain

Some things are easy and others are hard. The hard things are most often the most important, the most critical.

When I conduct Performance Analysis – ahead of Instructional Architecture – I am always looking for what Performance can be guided via a Job Aid or what is nowadays called Performance Support. Where you don’t have to memorize the Tasks to produce the Output. And what Performance might need to be memorized – and “On Call – On Demand.”

That’s so I can help my Design Team decide if that’s appropriate – or not. I don’t always trust my own initial judgement – knowing that there are always nuances that an Observer won’t see. Or that an Interviewer won’t tease out from the Interviewee.

I learned that from the late Gail Tornga – whom I worked with at Wickes Lumber in Saginaw Michigan back in 1979-1981. She was my Physical Therapist in terms of me learning/re-learning how to observe and interview the SMEs we asked for as we did the Front End Analysis – as fans of Joe Harless would call it.

Gail taught me the basics and the nuances of Instructional Analysis – of Performance and of the Enabling Knowledge/Skills. And of the Gaps and Causes.

As I go through Physical Therapy for my new left knee twice a week I’ve been thinking of Gail when my Therapist guides me in doing the exercises correctly, with nuance, beyond the basics.

Sometimes the guidance – via verbal instructions from Gail before “I took the wheel” and the feedback after I had conducted “my turn” at interviewing an SME – was hard to take. I thought I had done it well. She most always saw room for improvement. And she shared that with me.

It was painful at first – until I rationalized that she had been doing this for about 10 years – and I was just starting. And that she was a model and coach that I should take advantage of.

Last Thursday my Physical Therapist put me through the basic exercises and added some new ones. I know that the pain it brings will be worth it in the long run. I do want to master using this new knee. Especially as my plans include getting a new right knee in the near future.

Mastering some things are easy, and other things are hard.

In your designs for instruction – make sure you are ramping up to those hard things with enough Practice & Feedback – with Spaced Learning as appropriate.

My Spaced Learning post Formal Physical Therapy occurs when I do my homework – the exercises back at home. Where the slight pain is the only feedback I get. Other than the improvements my knee is telling me about as I walk about.

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