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I-L-X: A TO Z

Interactive Learning eXperiences: the backstage capabilities in 26 words


John Beck - Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hypothesis-driven: good strategists develop hypotheses, then test them to see if those chosen strategies can be successful; do you?

After meeting with the Prime Minister, my consulting team gathered in the hotel pool (with drinks) to discuss how we should create a strategy for a nation. This was not the first time we had done this. Everyone on the team suggested a strategy that they believed would work: these ranged from an emphasis on a particular agricultural product, to textiles, to tourism, to a regional transportation hub, to creating a “world national park.” For the next months, we wo .. More...

John Beck - Saturday, October 14, 2017

Individual: I confess that I have given passing grades to hundreds of students who did not deserve it

As I was already in a career in business while I was starting my teaching career, I knew that management had very little to do with passing tests on theoretical knowledge. It has everything to do with working with other people to make decisions (using theoretical knowledge, if that helped) and implement effectively. Long before there was even a term for it, I started using a flipped classroom. Students did all of preparation of a case study in advance, then in class, groups  .. More...

John Beck - Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Judicial: education is feedback; student decisions must be constantly critiqued, not just “scored”

University instructors don’t give feedback. Sure, a grade is given, but real criticism—the kind designed to change behavior during a teacher’s tenure with a student—has an incidence asymptotically approaching zero in most universities. When I started teaching thirty years, I was told by a slightly more experienced professor that the ways to get good teacher evaluations from students (which are always conducted before students receive their final gra .. More...

John Beck - Saturday, October 07, 2017

Kinetic: to engage students keep plot, place, and people are constantly on the move – our brains learn and retain more in unfamiliar setting

When most of us think of video-games, we think of powerful lifelike graphics and expensive sound engineering. But Interactive Learning eXperiences do not require these. To learn, you really don’t need them – in fact to get education to those who need it most, these elements of video gaming have to be left out – they require expensive machines and serious bandwidth. And the audio and visual complexity can be a drain on mental processes—taking attention from the learnin .. More...

John Beck - Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Logical: many top graduates do not know how to make a coherent, consistent argument and defend it – but even in the Attention Economy, it must be taught

Over thirty years of teaching, I have seen a gradual decline in graduates’ abilities to develop clear compelling, consistent arguments. I have seen hints of this in in-class discussions where students seem confused if I suggest that one part of their argument does not fit with another, but even more powerfully when they are asked to write anything. Americans receive a lot of our training in critical thinking in secondary-education English courses where we learn about th .. More...

John Beck - Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Managerial: new graduates are awful at dealing with real people in real organizations because universities are not equipped to teach those skills

I know I should not admit this, but I have wanted to slap a lot of my students up-side-the-head during my teaching career. There have been many catalysts for this desire, but a common one is a student opining thusly: “Well, if you want to get X done, you just have to walk into the CXO’s office and say ….” Most of my students who have laid out such a course of action were in their 20s; they were not going to be walking into any CXO’s office anytime soo .. More...

John Beck - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Nurturing: real education is constant feedback from mentors who want the student to succeed

Think about the teachers who had the biggest influence on you. I’d bet almost anything that those teachers really cared about you – and somehow, they communicated that to you. Interactive Learning eXperiences will never be able to capture that exact human warmth, but with a core emphasis on writing and storyline (two elements completely missing from most online education), we hope to get close. Have you ever finished a novel or a great TV serie .. More...

John Beck - Friday, September 15, 2017

Organic: solving business problems the way you would in “real life”

Two of my biggest pet peeves about our higher educational system today are 1) the lack of reality; and relatedly, 2) the coddling of students. Both of these are partly behind my decision to never be a professor again (http://www.nslg.net/blog/why-i-m-no-longer-a-professor). With these two characteristics, universities do a huge disservice to their students and society. I do not see either of these changing any time soon, unless new technologies like I-L-X challenge the status quo enough to c .. More...

John Beck - Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Puzzling: solve problems, get dopamine, and learn

When we achieve something (almost anything), it feels really good. Ever wonder why? It is because our brains release a dose of dopamine (described questionably by one colleague as: “feel good juice”). Turns out, our brains LOVE a good challenge and then being able to sort it out … dopamine flows and synapses form. This fact has not been lost on many higher education teachers. Primary and secondary educators, on the other hand, began employing puzzles long .. More...

John Beck - Friday, September 08, 2017

Quirky: our brains love surprises; use them in education

Try this experiment: remember a time as a child you learned something new – where there was an “ah ha” moment for you. The unexpected learnings are the moments you probably have retained into adulthood. There are many things I learned from my father. The way I do home repair or paint must be based on what I learned from him; but I’m not really sure because I do not clearly remember learning them. But there were a small subset of moments with my father that surp .. More...