June 25, 2024

Death to Zombies!

Author: Clark
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Last week, I ranted about a myth that seems inextinguishable. And I ran across another one in a place I shouldn’t have. And I keep seeing others, spotting them roaming around loose. Like zombies, they seem to rise from the dead. We need death to zombies. Particularly learning myth zombies!

There are several that seem overly prolific. I’ve already ranted about learning styles, but it’s pernicious. And others keep cropping up. In addition to the ‘images 60K faster than text’, I saw the Millennials and Generations twice this week!  And…the list goes on.

And this is despite a continued effort to debunk these deathwalkers!  There’re mythbusters who continually call out the false claims. There’s the Debunker Club. Amongst the publications by Jane Bozarth for the research library of the eLearning Guild, there are several myths-related compendiums.

Myths book coverAnd, immodestly, I wrote a whole book about myths!  Trying to point out why it’s appealing, showing why they’re wrong, and providing alternative approaches that are sounder. And I was asked to do it, so there’s a clear need. I’m not asking you to buy it, unless it helps, but you need to be aware of the myths.

What to do? Well, first, please help. If you see a myth, call it out. You don’t have to do it publicly, you can always talk to the person quietly afterward. But don’t let it slide. (Some of those at the event will read this blog; long story but thanks, Paul. 😉

So, I’m calling you all to be zombie hunters. Please!  Death to zombies, for the sake of our industry, our professionalism, and our learners.

Update: In fact, after I’d queued up this post for publication, I went to an event where people were sharing. While most were very useful and thoughtful, three of the shares violated what’s known!  One was so-called ‘brain training’, in this case activating right-left brain simultaneously. That also violates the right/left brain myth! Another was on Strengths, which I haven’t addressed, but the one cited was the one that doesn’t have peer reviewed research (ie not the VIA strengths). Finally, one was on ‘color’ personality, which is based upon Meyers-Briggs, which is flawed both theoretically and psychometrically. Yikes, they’re everywhere!

Update 2: I was pointed to a post on LinkedIn about building a VR demo…on the MBTI!  Ouch. The MBTI is flawed theoretically (it’s based on Jungian archetypes, which he just made up) and psychometrically. It’s pretty horrific to think of VR being used to present information (like attending a PowerPoint presentation in 2nd Life, which happened); to do it on such a flawed concept is doubly scary.

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