Ger’s Learning Notes #49: Research

23 November, 2022| Ger Driesen| 4 min read

There is a fundamental way of learning that we often seem to overlook; it’s called research. I remember the first research I did as a student for our national weather service, the KNMI. We conducted serious evaluation research around one of the important internal courses they did those days.

Not only did I learn a lot about learning evaluation, but I also discovered a lot about how all the dynamics within an organisation could influence learning results. It made me rethink my ambitions of becoming a learning designer and helped me adjust my learning journey in a rather fundamental way. I think that piece of research was a very important one for the rest of my career. There is so much practical research out there that could help us if we just put in the effort to study the results. And we can do more ourselves.

I’m happy that over the last months, I’ve been engaged in the setup and organisation of a practical research project. This was done along with our client Bohn Stafleu van Loghum (BSL) and supported by HAN University of Applied Sciences. You can find the results in this episode of the Learning Notes, along with some other fine and practical research reports. I hope they will help you to improve your work and inspire you to look at opportunities and possibilities to do some research yourself.

What I learned over the past months is that working together with partners in research is helpful, fun and very rewarding. I can highly recommend that. But first, take a look at the rich resources of this episode.

Adaptive learning reduces study time by more than 30% - by BSL, HAN University & aNewSpring

What’s it about?

We conducted a research project in which we compared adaptive e-learning with ‘regular’ e-learning on effectiveness, time to competence, self-efficacy and learner satisfaction. Here are the results.

Why read it?

  • It’s not so easy to set up this kind of “classical experiment” A/B studies to compare two learning approaches, but we succeeded!

  • Read about the exciting result of the 33% reduction in study time and how it affects the other elements included in this study.

  • Learn what the “high opportunity” boundary conditions are, to benefit from adaptive learning.

Where to find it?

Blended learning trends from training providers - by Inmisceo

What’s it about?

Student Consultancy from the University of Oxford researched the adoption of blended learning by 169 training providers in the UK.

Why read it?

  • There is a lot of research on blended learning but not with a specific focus on training providers.

  • The report gives a nice and interesting overview of the challenges related to “going blended”.

  • Also, read about solutions and the benefits that you can gain when you do it right.

Where to find it?

Through the lens of research: Amplifying human focus in virtual and hybrid learning - by Jo Cook & Jane Daly

What’s it about?

The recent COVID pandemic pushed virtual and hybrid learning but how about their quality and effectiveness? This research gives some important answers.

Why read it?

  • When virtual learning expert Jo Cook and research expert Jane Daly combine forces, you know you will get really good stuff.

  • What is necessary to evolve from panic (pandemic) to performance (now?), and how are you performing right now?

  • TL;DR: Have a look at the very useful and insightful infographic.

Where to find it?



Old habits are hard to break - by Mirjam Neelen and Paul A. Kirschner

What’s it about?

An interesting review of research on habits by Logan Fiorella plus implications for learning.

Why read it?

  • Learning something new is one thing; making it a habit is a different thing. Read what is needed to do so.

  • Learn about the concept of effortful inhibition as an important key to success.

  • The New Year is just around the corner, so read this before you make up your mind about your New Year’s resolutions.

Where to find it?

Learning trend catcher Loves to connect

Ger Driesen

Would like a direct brain-internet connection. Loves connecting people, ideas and inspiration in the global learning community.

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