#DevLearn 2018: The death of the Learning styles, microlearning, and Millennials

Back home after DevLearn 2018 and the one thing that stands out is the annihilation of three big learning buzzwords:  Learning Styles, Microlearning and Millennials.

Learning styles

The e-learning guild published a couple of new reports, I attended a session on them. One of the reports is “The truth about teaching to learning styles and what to do instead” by Jane Bozarth. Here is the conclusion of the report:

leaening styles report conclusion
Screenshot from the conclusion page of the e-learning guild report “The truth about teaching to learning styles and what to do instead”
So it is not that learning styles do not exist, according to Jane they do not have any measurable impact on learning outcomes.

MicroLearning

I attended a session by J.D. Dillon who killed MicroLearning on the spot. The essence of his talk was that good learning is about applying “proven principles” and that microlearning is just “noise” and not proven at all.

The end of microlearning JD Dillon
Mindmap of the presentation by JD Dillon at DevLearn 2018

Millennials

Unfairly labelled.jpeg And finally, we had the last keynote of the conference: Jessica Kriegel. She killed the effect of generations like millennials on learning (and more). Her Ph.D. study (and book Unfairly labeled) proves that there is no such thing as a millennial for learning. There is a measurable difference in learning and other things when you look at age. But that hasn’t changed at all over the past 50 years. Conclusion: Millenials bring nothing new to the workplace, they are just young.  

Keep thinking!

There are two things that also stuck from these presentations:

  1. Jane Bozart did see a correlation between marketing spend on “learning styles” and the rise of the buzzword.
  2. Jessica Kriegel said, “We do read the articles about research, but nobody ever checks the research itself.”

Two interesting statements. And it is probably true that all three these buzzwords are the result of a marketing effort and it is also true that I consider it already an achievement if I read the article on a research. But indeed; I have never checked the research itself.  The only conclusion I can draw is: “Keep thinking, stop believing”.  

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