Monday, September 11, 2017

The Secrets of Graffiti Learning Pros - Tip #148

How do you sneak in success into your learning design?

When I conduct webinars or speak in workshops and conferences, I meet two types of learning pros: the Fixer-uppers, or those who help learners fix things, and the Sprayers, or those who “spray” learners “band-aid” solutions and content. Because they focus on different approaches, you might think they contradict at all times. At first glance, yes, it might seem that way, but these different approaches can both help.

The “fixer-uppers” are most likely the trainers or designers who are proximal to the problems, and right then and there provide answers. They may be the buddies, supervisors or people who have experienced the same issues that learners have.

The "sprayers" are more likely the pros that live away from the work situation so they take all knowledge they can take from SMEs, documentations, and secondhand knowledge and information. They build large content and repositories. This is their strength. They provide solutions, but learners just have to drill down and find them.

There’s a "spray person" and a "fixer-upper" in all of us. But there’s also a third type: the graffiti person.

Graffitis and Learning

Graffiti artists paint rapidly, create ideas and leave colorful markings on walls. They’re driven and they work fast. (People say if it’s not done in five minutes, then it’s not graffiti.) Because many people dislike them, such as the police and maintenance staff, graffiti artists work incognito. They don’t claim fame and they don't get paid. They sneak into places and leave only their work behind.

In the eLearning space, graffiti learning is most of the time “out of control." Graffiti learning pros are unhappy with the spray-can people and the fixer-uppers, and like graffiti artists, they sneak in solutions.

This is what the graffiti people say:

"I’m unhappy with my program. There's got to be a better way to engage learners."

"I tested this small thing and it made a huge difference."

"If I ask my boss, he will say no, so I sneak in the new approach to test it."

"Like a snail, I inch in new ideas. Then they see it and say, ‘Wow’."

The “sneaking in” approach might be seen as a small one, but for the graffiti people, it’s the only way to go. They know that through this, change happens.

Graffitis can be a modern art form or a complete nuisance, depending on your point of view. But “graffiti has a better chance of bringing in new meaning or changing mindsets and perspectives than anything indoors,” a well-known graffiti artist named Bansky has been quoted as saying. “Graffiti has been used to start revolutions, stop wars…” In the very least, graffitis make you think.

In one article, Bored Panda lists more than 20 graffitis that tackle the issue of climate change and hits the nail on the head: “This street art uses simple slogans and provocative images to spread important and inspiring ideas in ways that are easy to remember. Such art can inspire people to action or at least remind them about important issues that they may have forgotten.”

The Key to Learning Design Success

In a recent blog post, I shared several tips on implementing a corporate-wide story-based learning approach. I mentioned that training content should be embedded as part of the story. Sneak in training content with an engaging story and learners have a better chance of learning than using the traditional, boring approach.

It’s pretty much the same when applying new learning designs. When someone asks me how to apply Microlearning or Story-based Learning design elements in their courses, I say Sneak. Don't call them anything. Don't call them a design. Don't call attention to them. Just do it. Sneak them in."

This is how you sneak in success!


20+ Powerful Street Art Pieces That Tell The Uncomfortable Truth
Tip #83 - How to Implement a Corporate-Wide Story-Based Learning
Tip #20 - Weaving Stories and Factual Content for Seamless Lessons

Tip #59 - The Brain and The Stories We Tell: Top Reasons Why Stories Change Our Behavior

You Might Also Be Interested In:

Tip #120 - It’s Really That Simple - Steps in Story Learning Design - Try the Live Exercise
Tip #124 - Are Instructional Designers Incapable of Micro-Learning Design?
Tip #141 - Advanced Models of Story-Based eLearning Design
Tip #146 - You Too Can Be a Da Vinci of eLearning Design

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"

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