Friday, February 02, 2007

Will's big quiz

Will Thalheimer (PhD no less) is the author of one of the blogs I like to go to hear actual serious debate of many of the "truths" that inform the L&D world.

When I began life as a trainer I was struck by the wealth of knowledge that seemed to be out there that, if only people knew about it, could revolutionise the way learners took in new knowledge. There was lots of writing here there and everywhere that came up with the same ideas so that learning to be a trainer seemed to be a rote process of taking on board the received wisdom and spouting it appropriately.

But what struck me about a lot of the magazine articles in particular is that much of the content was stated as a given - there never seemed to be any in depth discussion of the basis. But in my naivety and eagerness I ignored these concerns and got on with what I was doing.

But as I got more into it and discovered things like the debunking of learning styles (Wikipedia put me on to that - bless its NPOV) I found my way to people lilke Will, who actually go out there and try to find the basis for many of the claims L&D people seem to make.

So that's why Will's quiz is worth doing - it forms part of the research that he does, and he says that he publishes the results later, as well as being enlightening in itself. On the basis of the quiz I even went as far as to buy a couple of papaers of his. They're good and I may even stump up for one of the big expensive ones on the strength of it.

What's the quiz about? It's 15 questions pitched at elearning professionals that pose scenarios for you to consider (I suspect that they are "simulation type" questions that form the basis of one of Will's papers). You don't get to see your results, but you do get feedback to compare to what you said and it's this feedback that makes the process more than usually worthwhile.

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