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Why E-Learning Alone Fails to Transfer - And What to Do About It

By Douglas Seifert, PhD on Jul 30, 2019 11:06:05 AM


Are your e-learning tools - Articulate, Captivate, iSpring, Elucidat, etc. - giving you the results you want? Are your training programs transferring desired behavior changes to the workplace?  If not, it’s likely not the fault of the tool. Your instructional designers may just be expecting more from a tool than it was designed for… like asking a car to fly.

This article will explore why e-learning tools alone do not deliver effective knowledge transfer. Our goal is to show how immersive virtual practice and coaching in realistic environments can facilitate successful transfer to the workplace. We’ll also demonstrate how to solve a common L&D challenge using a 3D immersive learning platform.

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4 Ways to Transform Training Programs with Expert Mental Models

By Douglas Seifert, PhD on Nov 17, 2017 11:18:34 AM

How do we know what we know? It’s because we construct mental models that interrelate information in a sensible way, that we can test and refine with our experience. Learning requires that we assemble a new mental model, or integrate it into one we already have. These models can be completely wrong, flawed, suboptimal; or emulate the mental models of experts. Yikes! It seems we should care about mental models!

The mental models a learner constructs can directly impact the rate at which they achieve optimal performance, if at all. Let’s dive in...

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Cognitive Flexibility: How to Save Humanity (and Training) Through Pattern Recognition

By Douglas Seifert, PhD on Sep 20, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Humans are still the best pattern-recognition machines on the planet! (At least for now.) Yes, we have suffered losses to man-made machine, in Jeopardy, chess, and recently the game Go. But we recognize complex patterns in everyday life and transform them into actionable steps, in ways that machines cannot.

What’s our secret? Cognitive Flexibility. This trait allows us to diagnose, design, and problem-solve in highly unstructured situations where “rules” do not yet exist.

So, if we humans are so good at this cognitive flexibility thing, how can we use it to develop more effective learning programs?

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How to Include "Expert" Decision Making into Training with Cognitive Apprenticeship

By Douglas Seifert, PhD on Sep 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Think for a moment about someone you know that is an expert at something. They could be great at their job, defusing conflicts, or managing their health. Now think about how they do it, and how you would build a program to help others achieve better performance in that area. Pretty challenging, right? Why is it so hard?

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Get Real! How Experiential Realism Transforms Training through Effective Knowledge Transfer

By Douglas Seifert, PhD on Sep 8, 2017 9:10:21 AM

Does realism really matter in training? The short answer is... yes.

Realism is essential when the goal is to create virtual learning environments to transfer knowledge from the classroom or an e-learning program to real-world behaviors.  Two cognitive science concepts provide the underpinnings for why experiential realism improves knowledge transfer.   

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4 Cognitive Science Approaches to Optimize Knowledge Transfer in Training

By Douglas Seifert, PhD on Sep 1, 2017 3:48:35 PM

Why do so many e-learning programs focus on acquiring knowledge and then afterwards, expect learners to master the knowledge transfer to practical situations on their own? That’s like offering a course on flying a plane and then expecting learners to climb into a plane and take off.

What’s missing? Well, it’s an enormously important part of the learning process: skill acquisition. This is the skill to apply learned knowledge in fluid, real-world situations, and make more optimal decisions. This skill-building process – the flight simulator – is the critical part!

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