Apr 082011

Learning Transfer: 10 Critical Components that Guarantee Learning will Stick (Transfer) 

Learning Transfer: By Tom McDonald, McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC

If you incorporate each of these items into your learning delivery, you will ensure that your learning will stick . I define stick to mean participants who have the adaptive reasoning skills required to effectively apply the knowledge to new situations.

1. One- to-One Personal Digital Tutor

  • Customizes each individuals eLearning experience to what each learner knows and doesn’t know
  • Multiple existing digital tutors, or create your own
  • Generates a custom course plan, on the fly, for each individual learner
  • Reinforces that information that the learner doesn’t know, via study sessions, until mastery (fluency) is achieved
    • Innovate to Educate: System [Re]Design for Personalized Learning
      • Key Findings:
        • On August 4-6, 2010 in Boston (MA), 150 invited education leaders convened at the SIIA-ASCD-CCSSO Symposium on [Re]Design for Personalized Learning. They gathered under the common belief that today’s education system is inadequate to meet the needs of tomorrow, and focused on identifying changes essential to transform learning for each student. Following are the Symposium participants’ key findings about how to redesign our current education model to a student-centered, customized learning model that will better engage, motivate, and prepare our students to be career and college ready.
        • The Symposium confirmed the following assumptions among participants and others advocating and implementing a personalized learning model:

• Today’s industrial-age, assembly-line educational model—based on fixed time, place, curriculum and pace—is insufficient in today’s society and knowledge-based economy. Our education system must be fundamentally re-engineered from a mass production, teaching model to a student-centered, customized learning model to address both the diversity of students’ backgrounds and needs as well as our higher expectations for all students.

• Educational equity is not simply about equal access and inputs, but ensuring that a student’s educational path, curriculum, instruction, and schedule be personalized to meet her unique needs, inside and outside of school. Educational equity meets each child where she is and helps her achieve her potential through a wide range of resources and strategies appropriate for her learning style, abilities, and interests, as well as social, emotional, and physical situation.

• Personalized learning requires not only a shift in the design of schooling, but also a leveraging of modern technologies. Personalization cannot take place at scale without technology. Personalized learning is enabled by smart e-learning systems, which help dynamically track and manage the learning needs of all students, and provide a platform to access myriad engaging learning content, resources and learning opportunities needed to meet each students needs everywhere at anytime, but which are not all available within the four walls of the traditional classroom.

2. Adaptive Testing Agent (pre-test)

  • Defines what each learner knows and doesn’t know (via multiple- choice questions)
    • Participants, with limited time available should only learn what they don’t know
    • Include, or exclude, depending upon your circumstances

3. Courses have course plans. Courses are broken into lessons.  Each Lesson has 4 core elements 

4. (1) Record What You Know (RWYK)

  • Get’s learners brain into learning mode

5. (2) Primary learning Activities

  •  Web-based, Primary Instruction; movie, simulation, reading assignment, rich with graphics
  • Creates deep individual understanding, the first step to mastery, where mastery produces people who have the adaptive reasoning skills required to effectively apply knowledge to new situations

6. (3) Study Sessions

Stimulates Memory reactivation & locks information into long term memory

  •  Open ended or fill-in-the-blank questions
    • Multiple choice questions are avoided:
      • They don’t create enough brain activity
      • A good multiple choice question includes numerous plausible answers which interfere with learning the correct answer
    • Each question includes a hint and an explanation
    • Outside Tutor help is available through a simple click
  • Self grading
    • No negative reinforcement of wrong answers
    • The learner is empowered  to have control over their learning which makes for better learning and learner engagement
  • Rating of study questions, by degree of difficulty
    • It was Easy, and I got it
    • It was difficult, but I got it
    • I did not get it
      • Results in customized spacing of learners questions, in  study sessions
        • The ideal pacing goal is the longest distance between questions and study sessions
  • Documents an individual’s, learning performance improvement
  • Level 1 and Level 2 Questions
    • Level 1 Questions: Reinforce the facts
    • Level 2 Questions: Are Simulation, Scenario and application based, that use the knowledge

7. (4) Record What You Have Learned (RWYL)

  • Summarizes learning, in the learners own words
  • Compares, start, record what you know, to end, record what you have learned, for learners learning progress comparison

8. In-My-Own-Voice, Web Based, Recording Technology

  •  Recording medium utilized to master presentations
  • Easily uncover best practices via team participation
  • Master best practices
  • Integrated communication tools for interactive coaching  and mentoring
  •  Strong Sales Performance Improvement application

9. Affordable, Web based, Simulation Technology

  • Master best practices
  • Blended learning application, pre and post live training, to reinforce critical materials
  • Points accumulation to make learning fun and to encourage repetition to mastery
  • Strong Sales Performance Improvement application

10. Post Test

  • Assess the learning results (via multiple-choice questions)
    • Set your own pass-rates


To Discuss how these Solutions will add value for you, your organization and/or your clients, Affinity/Resale Opportunities, and/or Collaborative Efforts, Please Contact:

Tom McDonald, tsm@centurytel.net; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752

learning transfer, McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC