I was able to attend two session at the last day of LSCON. The first (concurrent) session was from Iskandaria Masduki about scenario based assessments. Good session with an interesting mix of theory and practical examples. The great advantage of scenario based learning is that you can learn knowledge and skills ‘in context’. One of the practical things I took from this session is that she writes the scenario’s out divided in 5 elements:
- The tasks that you need to be able to perform
- The procedures you need to know
- The tools that you have to use
- The knowledge you need to have
- The performance you have to deliver
A very helpful scheme to use when you set up a scenario based learning experience. She starts out with a global storyline and character description, than she defines a sequence of events that contain a number of action points. She divides the scenario into smaller parts each containing a few action points. She only scores on action points and on good choice.
The other thing I took away from this session is that she works with just two options at each scenario. This makes it a lot easier to create a scenario and it apparently doesn’t affect the outcome of the learning experience.
These limits in choices brings me to the key-note of the day. The art of choosing by Sheena Iyengar. She is a professor at the Columbia University and does research on choices.
She found that when you have more choices, people are less likely to make a choice. They just can’t decide. She calls this the ‘Choice overload’. The effect is reduced commitment, poorer quality of decisions and less satisfaction with the choice. Interesting stuff to keep in mind when you are creating learning opportunities.
The only way that you can handle a lot of options if you are able to instantly categorize them and delete all non relevant options. But you have to be a true expert to pull that of.
She also gave some practical tips on how to improve choosing. The first was the 3 by 3 rule. You offer people 3 choices, based on their first selecting three next options and again 3 based on their choice.
She also gave 4 techniques:
- Cut options. She gave two examples. Sales of a company rose after they reduced the number of brands they had. And when a leader presents his company with two choices instead of more the leadership perception will be substantially higher.
- Concretize. Make sure you offer people choices they can relate to, that are clear to them.
- Categorize. Organizing the choices in meaningful categories will improve the quality and ability of making a choice.
- Condition. When you organize your choices from a high number to a low number, people will have a higher satisfaction with their choice.
After the session I had a meeting with my colleague Steve. We starting discussing the choices we make as a company and how we could improve on them. It is very special when you walk away from a presentation and are immediately able to apply that information.
There is a lot more to tell about LSCON. I made a whole bunch of notes based on the backchannel and mapdeck. I plan to report on that later. For now (just after a 16 hour trip back home) I will go to work in my garden and think about nothing.