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I-L-X: A TO Z

Interactive Learning eXperiences: the backstage capabilities in 26 words


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...

John Beck - Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Rigorous: behaviors must be consistent with concepts and data

I believe that our educational systems’ failures to demand consistency from students could explain a variety of the problems we face in the world today – call it a lack of "critical thinking" if you will, but extend the term beyond thought to action. Over the years, in my classroom teaching, I tried to emphasize rigor in my students’ thinking and behavior. Figuring out how to put this kind of meticulousness into Interactive Learning eXperiences was a major  .. More...

John Beck - Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Synapse-building: for decision-making and action … not rote memorization

Our educational institutions are terrible at making knowledge useful; and if we cannot use knowledge, where is the value? But we graduate millions of young people a year who have memorized knowledge (long enough to take a test, anyway) with no ability to use it; surprisingly few synapses have been formed. Interactive Learning eXperiences (I-L-X) are specifically designed to help build connections in the brain that are not just for “information regurgitation” (test taking), bu .. More...

John Beck - Monday, August 28, 2017

Time-constrained: time is a limited resource forcing choices in what we do and how we think

I have long argued that what matters, really, is not the time constraints in life, but our attention constraints. When I joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), I was dismayed to find that I had to fill out a time sheet every week. I was in the “think tank” – it really did not matter what I was doing with my time, what mattered was what new ideas I was coming up with. But there was a certain outmoded logic to the strategy arm of an accounting firm wanting me to accou .. More...

John Beck - Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ubiquitous: the very best teacher is a mentor who assesses and advises constantly.

Employers have many issues with the education system that produces their new employees. But one common theme is that the system is completely divorced from reality. Secondary and tertiary school assessment systems—in an effort to be “fair”—have become unwieldy and, in many cases, useless. After high school or university graduation, most of us will never sit for another exam or write another “paper” in our lives, but we will be evaluated constan .. More...

John Beck - Monday, August 21, 2017

Vicarious: if you really want to learn, you have to see the world through someone else’s eyes

During twenty years of my career, I have conducted over a hundred “war games” for organizations. While I really did get bored with these eventually, that point did not come until I was arguably the world’s expert in using this military “technology” for non-military purposes. I am not sure I could have developed Interactive Learning eXperiences if I had not become so proficient in war games. Generally, the participants for my games were .. More...