Jay Cross's Controversial View of Meta-Learning

A Controversial View of Meta-Learning. Imagine you are the Chief Learning Officer of a successful high-tech firm in SIlicon Valley. You hear about a new eLearning title, “Mavis Beacon Teaches Reading.” It takes four hours to complete. It’s self-instructional. It’s delivered via the web. A learner can take it in… [Internet Time Blog]

Nice rant from Jay Cross I just got a chance to follow up on (one of the reasons I’m biased toward RSS feeds that provide the whole post instead of a teaser, but that’s a rant for another time). Jay’s summary:

School classes and corporate training would be more effective were learners initially told “This is our best thinking. It might be wrong. How do you see it?” That’s a meta-learning tactic that would improve results without adding costs. You could preface all eLearning with a reminder that learners should look for ways to improve the content, drop thoughts in the electronic suggestion box, and that they organization is always on the lookout for ways to improve its service. Positioning a learning event as inquiry instead a recounting of someone else’s truth puts a touch of humanity back into eLearning that’s often sterile.

Getting the concept of meta-learning to take hold requires acceptance that nothing is set in stone. There are no givens. The world is uncertain. Everything is relative. People can learn to learn better by taking a long term view in which learning answers the inevitable query of “What’s in it for me?”

The only thing controversial here is that this attitude is so hard to find in practice.