role of exclusion in learning

9 04 2005

in his new blog connectivism, george siemans puts forward his hypothesis on the role of exclusion in learning.  simply put, he believes that when learning we have some sort of mechanism which excludes information that we have no need for or interested in.  we can, of course, choose to learn information we’d normally exclude, but doing so takes a great deal of effort.  i agree with george completely regarding the role of exclusion. (see my comment on his post.)

one idea that I have after being inspired by george’s thoughts is that the difficulty in learning to change our way of learning is often one of the major reasons why workplace learning professionals need to exist. 

hit the button below to read the rest.

if the knowledge or skill a company needs an employee to learn fits
nicely with the employee’s preferred learning style or intelligence,
the employee probably doesn’t need much assistance learning the new
material or procedures.  if however, the required content or necessary
learning process is not within an employee’s natural style, they might
not even attempt to learn it on their own.  thus it’s our opportunity
to step in and help the employee learn. 

to make it easier, we can tie the learning to what the employee
already knows – their work.  we need to make it relevant to them by
connecting it to the objectives they will be asked to meet using the
new information.   it means we need to be focused on what motivates
employees to care about learning that will benefit the company.
engaging employees so they don’t choose to "zone out" during
development activities becomes the key to our success or failure. 

it would also seem to me that there is a similar exclusion filter that is comes into play after the learning intervention that effects transfer of knowledge.  if the fit between what the employee has just learned and what she is asked to perform, then its likely that the new knowledge will be included in her repertoire of knowledge, skills and abilities she brings to her work.  however, if an employee doesn’t comprehend there is a connection, he’ll exclude his newly learned knowledge from his options.  most likely defaulting to old ways of completing the task.

pretty deep thoughts for a saturday.  what do you think?  does this make any sense?  hit the comment button below to share your thoughts.  as always, if you have any ideas on topics for eelearning, email dave.



2 responses

14 06 2005
Rhiannon Archer


This definately makes sense. I am a student studying e-learning and human resources and what you are saying is pretty much true to how we have found we learn. This semester we have been completing our topic mostly online through online modules. If we know we need to learn something to past or we will be marked on it we complete it. If we know we won’t be marked on it and feel its uneccessary we zone out or don’t do it. Also what you are talking about with the knowledge is very similar to Rogoff’s theory that people construct knowledge from what they have learned in the “lived world” i.e. workplace. This means that people learn based on their previous experience of what is useful to them in the workplace. If you wanted to know more about this sort of thing there’s a book called “Learning in the Workplace” by Stephen Billet which is very useful.

14 06 2005
rhi's weblog

Dave Lee

So my last trackback didn’t work so i’ll try again. This is a blog by Dave Lee, he calls himself the dinasour of e-learning as he’s been in it for nine years. One entry of his that i found particulalry interesting was his talk about…

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