Learning 3.0

I am considering ways to make learning in libraries more meaningful.


The Serious e-Learning Manifesto published in March 2014 sparks both thought and action. It is the brainchild of Michael Allen, Julie Dirksen, Clark Quinn, and Will Thalheimer, national e-learning gurus. One truth discussed in the manifesto is that most e-learning fails to live up to its promise.

There are 22 principles in the Manifesto and the question is, where are we in relation to them?

Principles that I am most comfortable with are:

  1. Do Not Assume that Learning is the Solution. We do not assume that a learning intervention is always the best means to helping people perform better.
  2. Do Not Assume that e-Learning is the Answer. When learning is required, we do not assume that e-learning is the only (or the best) solution.
  3. Enlist Authentic Contexts. We will provide learners with sufficient experience in making decisions in authentic contexts.
  4. Provide Guidance and Feedback. We will provide learners with guidance and feedback to correct their misconceptions, reinforce their comprehension, and build effective performance skills.
  5. Provide Realistic Consequences. When providing performance feedback during learning, we will provide learners with a sense of the real-world consequences.
  6. Diagnose Root Causes. When given training requests, we will determine whether training is likely to produce benefits and whether other factors should be targeted for improvement. We will also endeavor to be proactive in assessing organizational performance factors–not waiting for requests from organizational stakeholders.
  7. Iterate in Design, Development, and Deployment. We won’t assume that our first pass is right, but we will evaluate and refine until we have achieved our design goals.
  8. Use Rich Examples and Counterexamples. We will present examples and counterexamples, together with the underlying thinking.
  9. Enable Learners to Learn from Mistakes. Failure is an option. We will, where appropriate, let learners make mistakes so they can learn from them. In addition, where appropriate, we will model mistake-making and mistake-fixing.
  10. Respect Learners. We will acknowledge and leverage the knowledge and skills learners bring to the learning environment through their past experience and individual contexts

Principles that I must further develop are:

  1. Target Improved Performance. We will help our learners achieve performance excellence; enabling them to have improved abilities, skills, confidence, and readiness to perform.
  2. Provide Realistic Practice. We will provide learners sufficient levels of realistic practice; for example, simulations, scenario-based decision making, case-based evaluations, and authentic exercises.
  3. Provide Realistic Consequences. When providing performance feedback during learning, we will provide learners with a sense of the real-world consequences.
  4. Adapt to Learner Needs. We can and should utilize e-learning’s capability to create learning environments that are flexible or adaptive to learner needs.
  5. Motivate Meaningful Involvement. We will provide learners with learning experiences that are relevant to their current goals and/or that motivate them to engage deeply in the process of learning.
  6. Aim for Long-term Impact. We will create learning experiences that have long-term impact–well beyond the end of instructional events–to times when the learning is needed for performance.
  7. Use Interactivity to Prompt Deep Engagement. We will use e-learning’s unique interactive capabilities to support reflection, application, rehearsal, elaboration, contextualization, debate, evaluation, synthesization, et cetera—not just in navigation, page turning, rollovers, and information search.
  8. Provide Support for Post-Training Follow-Through. We will support instruction with the appropriate mix of after-training follow-through, providing learning events that: reinforce key learning points, marshal supervisory and management support for learning application, and create mechanisms that enable further on-the-job learning.
  9. Use Performance Support. We will consider providing job aids, checklists, wizards, sidekicks, planners, and other performance support tools in addition to–and as a potential replacement for–standard e-learning interactions.
  10. Measure Effectiveness. Good learning cannot be assured without measurement, which includes the following:
    1. Measure Outcomes. Ideally, we will measure whether the learning has led to benefits for the individual and/or the organization.
    2. Measure Actual Performance Results. Ideally, an appropriate time after the learning (for example, two to six weeks later), we will measure whether the learner has applied the learning, the level of success, the success factors and obstacles encountered, and the level of supervisor support where warranted.
    3. Measure Learning Comprehension and Decision Making During Learning. At a minimum, during the learning, we will measure both learner comprehension and decision-making ability. Ideally, we would also measure these at least a week after the learning.
    4. Measure Meaningful Learner Perceptions. When we measure learners’ perceptions, we will measure their perceptions of the following: their ability to apply what they’ve learned, their level of motivation, and the support they will receive in implementing the learning.
  11. Support Performance Preparation. We will prepare learners during the elearning event to be motivated to apply what they’ve learned, inoculated against obstacles, and prepared to deal with specific situations.
  12. Support Learner Understanding with Conceptual Models. We believe that performance should be based upon conceptual models to guide decisions, and that such models should be presented, linked to steps in examples, practiced with, and used in feedback.

It feels that I am getting some realistic ideas that can springboard library learning in Utah.

Albert Einstein is one of my favorite people in the universe

Albert Einstein is one of my favorite people in the universe.


No, I didn’t meet him personally; no matter my current age I was way beyond his time. When I first had an awareness of him I was in high school, or maybe junior high, and he was gone.  I’d heard about him, studied him and his theories, dreamed of making that next great discovery. And taken in his thoughts about how the universe was ordered.

A long-time friend of mine knew him intimately in Princeton. So one time over dinner, I asked him, “What was Albert Einstein like?” He told me he was just like his pictures. He had long untamed hair, walked around town with shorts and sandals, and was socially aloof. When invited to dinner or social invitations but usually turned them down, preferring the quiet solitude of his own home. Yet he had causes that he cared deeply about and would get out on a limb to support things he felt were justified.  My friend felt that if Einstein were more socially engaged it would have helped his causes. My friend told me the story, which I’d read about before, of the time that Einstein was out walking near a soy field. The person he was walking with asked him what the plant was that was growing. Einstein replied, “I can’t know everything.” Einstein wasn’t particularly religious. He had an underlying belief in a creator of the universe but wasn’t too worried about religion as a matter of daily thought or practice. Yet he was so thick in his science that he did things and discovered things that were amazing. He was all about innovation. He was a genius.

Maybe it was lack of social consciousness that gave him the courage to try and make mistakes and try again. He just didn’t care about what others thought of him or what he wore or the looks of his hair. At least towards the end of his life.

Maybe it was his native brilliance.

Maybe it was his ability to look at failure as one piece of the process of discovery.

Some of my favorite Einstein quotes:[1]

  • “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Quoted in interview by G.S. Viereck , October 26,1929.
  • “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” —Albert Einstein to Carl Seelig – March 11, 1952.
  • “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” —Albert Einstein  to J. Dispentiere – March 24, 1954.
  • “It is not a lack of real affection that scares me away again and again from marriage. Is it a fear of the comfortable life, of nice furniture, of dishonor that I burden myself with, or even the fear of becoming a contented bourgeois.” —Albert Einstein to Elsa Löwenthal, after August 3, 1914.

And one more, though I have no idea where it came from nor where it’s headed:

  • “The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.”  -Albert Einstein.

In many ways, Einstein reminds me of my dad.

[1] http://einstein.biz/quotes.php

Questions upon questions

I am teaching an online course on Library Surveys for Success soon. Here are some questions to be considered when writing survey questions (echo alert).

After designing your survey take a second look and think about the following:

Survey design

  • Did you give clear instructions?
  • Are demographic questions asked that are useful to your project?
  • Is the survey brief? (Less than 10-15 minutes to complete)
  • Does the survey look professional and esthetically pleasing?
  • Does the survey describe how the results will directly affect them? (EX: Improving services)


  • Are the questions consistent with your survey goals?
  • Do the questions use simple and clear wording?
  • Are positive adjectives or phrases used?
  • Do the questions ask for only “need to know” and not “nice to know” information?
  • Does the question lead to a particular response? (Is it a leading question?)
  • Is potentially offensive language used? (For example, sexist or racist wording)
  • Do any questions contain technical terms or jargon?
  • Have you used double negatives?


  • What will be the value of a response? If 95% say, “Yes,” would this affect decision-making?
  • Might the question prompt a vague answer? Make sure you ask directly for the information.
  • Will respondents have the information they need to answer the question?
  • If a scale is used for responses, is it balanced (for example, 1 to 5, with 3 being neutral)?
  • If responses are provided, are they mutually exclusive?

Running your survey

  • Did you do a pre-test before sending the survey out?
  • Are you sure you’re reaching your target audience?
  • Did you provide an end date?
  • Do you plan to keep the survey live for a couple of days after the end date?

Training through Utah State Library: The programs, the results

Here is an update on training through the Utah State Library recently.

First of all, the Utah State Library’s Needs assessment for 2014-16 is underway. Be sure to be a part of this and tell us what you’d like to learn, or what you can contribute.

Our recent training topics:USL training

  • Strategic planning
  • Turning the Page 2.0 advocacy
  • Cataloging and Tech Services
  • Hottest social software
  • RDA Cataloging
  • Library Policy

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ProQuest Flow for Research Collaboration

ProQuest has a new online version of Refworks known as Refworks Flow or simply as Flow™.  While Refworks itself (like EndNote, Papers, and Zotero) supports citations and referencing,  Flow (like Papers 3, Mendeley, EndNote Web, ResearchGate, and Zotero Groups) supports reading, annotating, and collaborating.  As with some of these other services, Flow users can save web content; save and edit metadata; create collections to organize documents and citations; upload documents to the cloud; automatically connect to Dropbox; automatically detect and add citation metadata; and read, highlight, and annotate PDFs.

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