After today’s two webinars (18th March) I got round to thinking about why I enjoy attending these types of online events. I think I must be addicted to speed learning – a regular intake of shared expertise, experience and ideas to spark activity and energise me in a short burst of time. There was a
lot of virtual buzz today and I heard and saw several threads of conversation in
the chat which I want to go back to and pull back down to my real space so I
can explore in my own time.


Is it just me or are there other speed learning fans out there?

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No Katherine, you're certainly not the only one! I love little short bursts of learning - hour long webinars are ideal and we are now doing "Learning bites" at lunchtime once a month in our office to encourage people to learn about a variety of different topics, without it lasting too long. I now have a name for it and will extoll the virtues of speed learning!

Linda Walker
Hi Katherine, a nice reflection - although a more accurate term rather than speed learning might be episodic or spaced learning perhaps? It's not so much learning faster as structuring the experience in a way that is easy to engage with and act upon. Real learning also needs time for reflection, recall and opportunities to practice. Since 2006, I've been chanting the mantra, "Less learning, more often" - shorter more frequent bursts of learning - which seems to fit your experience and others (including myself) of a more effective learning model that leads to improved transfer and performance.

For more see this article.

I'd be interested in any comments/feedback on this.

Thanks for your comments Lars. And while I don't disagree one jot with the episodic learning that happens over time I'm going to stick to speed for the immediacy of the actual experience.The speed that comes with switching direction, attention and focus through different modes of interaction during a single hour. So tracking chat threads with my eyes, listening to different voices, reading visual prompts and being able to assimilate at the end to draw a conclusion. Like speed dating, experiences can go down as well as up.
Ah yes, I better understand you know. The intensity of the experience makes it memorable and engaging - but doesn't necessarily translate into longer term learning. In fact, in the interests of playing the devil's advocate, you might describe this intensity of the webinar very close to a focussed multitasking experience. Multitasking, as the researchers are now telling us, may not be the best route to optimal performance/learning.

I'm sure that'll prompt some debate!

That said, the intensity of interaction, along with strong facilitation and visual aids, can make a webinar a superior experience to its classroom/lecture hall equivalent - and that's without considering the time/cost savings.




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