Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Shoelace tying modalities (seriously)

Which is more effective?
  1. Describing to me how to tie a shoelace
  2. Writing down how to tie a shoelace
  3. Drawing a diagram of how to tie a shoelace
  4. Showing me how to tie a shoelace
  5. Getting me to practice tying a shoelace
It's a no-brainer, right? So why is it that we give so little thought to the preferred learning style and appropriate modality for learning at work? Knowledge assets should be created with the user in mind, not the creator or author. Word or Powerpoint seems to be the default format, when a more appropriate medium may be more powerful and transferrable. 
This was bought to mind last year when the superb Lulu Pinney ran a 'Knowledge Visualisation' workshop for KIN. We looked critically at examples of good and bad infographics. It became absolutely clear, through example, how appropriate content design impacts the transfer and adoption of knowledge. On my Knowledge Transfer skills course we look at the most appropriate and creative formats, channels and media, looked at through the user's perspective.
In case you were wondering, there are hundreds of diagrams and videos to help you learn how to tie a shoelace. Given the typically unfathomable example below, my suggestion is still to ask your mum to show you.

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