Tag Archives: training

a man playing the violin

The Basis of Design Standards

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In the 1960s, Shin’ichi Suzuki developed a method for teaching music. It turns out that Suzuki may have faked his credentials. It was only because of his credentials that his methods were adopted in the US. So it is a key point. But how key? This question is very relevant to us in HF/E because we are often called on to design a variety of products, services, customer experiences, and on and on…

an open office plan

Manipulative Performance Feedback

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The research that Victoria Pynchon refers to via the New York Times Magazine abstract here has many implications for HF/E in so many areas that I could focus several of our discussions on it. For today, I want to focus on a specific tradeoff that it suggests. We have all given performance feedback of some kind. Perhaps to our employees to help them improve. Perhaps to our students to help them learn more. Perhaps to our children to teach them better behavior or to teach them ethical values.

Want to get your work team out of the doldrums, off their Facebook pages and away from office cooler lolly gagging, backbiting, and malingering? Try lying to them…

two boys playing video games

Games for Training Perceptual and Cognitive Functions

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An intriguing study out of Nanyang Technological University has implications for us in HF/E. They were interested in whether training people with video games could improve a variety of perceptual and cognitive skills. It turns out, as with most things in HF/E, the answer is that “it depends.”

Previous evidence points to a causal link between playing action video games and enhanced cognition and perception. However, benefits of playing other video games are under-investigated. We examined whether playing non-action games also improves cognition…

a baseball in the grass

Neuro Scout

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Quoting the inimitable Yogi Berra “Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical,” Larry Greenemeier over at Scientific American brought to my attention a new technology being developed at the Columbia University Laboratory for Intelligent Imaging and Neural Computing called the NeuroScout.

Batters facing professional or collegiate pitching must make extremely quick perceptual decisions—a pitch takes only about 600 milliseconds to cross home plate after the pitcher releases it…

a father and child using the computer together

Intergenerational Games: A New Form of Edugames

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I really loved reading this article on Annie Murphy Paul’s Brilliant Report. Since I consider myself an ardent follower of the education research and the gaming domain, I am kind of embarrassed that I am not more familiar with the research on intergenerational games.

“Electric Racer,” intended to improve the literacy skills of children aged six to nine, is one of a new crop of intergenerational educational games, designed to be played by grownups and kids together…

a woman playing a violin

Expertise: Talent, Practice, and the Nature/Nurture Debate Redux

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There was an absolutely fabulous interview on the You Are Not So Smart podcast this week. David McRaney interviews David Epstein about training and the development of expertise. It is one of the most cogent discussions of the topic I have ever heard, and this is an area I study rigorously.

I could probably write about this topic for hours, but let me stick to just one main point that David makes very strongly in the interview. What leads to expertise? Why is the 10,000 hour rule such a huge fiction?


Analogies, Mental Models and Learning

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It is common wisdom in HF/E that analogies can be a powerful tool in learning. The reason is pretty straightforward, new information doesn’t always fit with what we already know. An analogy works when the following apply:

  • The analog is something simple and/or that the learner knows well.
  • The parts of the analog that are also true of the new information are clearly defined in the learning process and are strong part of the learner’s existing schema of the analog.
  • The parts of the analog that are not true of the new information are clearly defined in the learning process and preferably are not a strong part of the learner’s existing schema of the analog…
a pile of books

Knowledge versus Skills in Training

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There was an article in the latest issue of Industrial Safety and Hygiene News that brings up an important distinction for all of our HF/E domains, particularly when it comes to training. The distinction is between what he refers to as skills versus knowledge, although I often use experience versus expertise. Whatever you call them, they have some fundamental differences.

Skill means a person can actually perform rather than knowing how to perform…

a person holding a tile with a question mark on it

Gigerenzer-Kahneman Debate on Decision Making

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I have heard/seen/read several articles and interviews about the so-called debate between Gerd Gigerenzer and Daniel Kahneman (for example here) about what to do to help people make better decisions. I was so interested that I went out and read Gerd’s new book and re-read Kahneman’s.

A rival psychologist has published a book debunking the behavioural economics of Daniel Kahneman and the men behind Nudge, who, along with the authors of Freakonomics, were once the PM’s pet thinkers. So how do you choose between them?

twin boy and girl

The Nature Nurture Debate in Gender: Round 52

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The uneven development of boys and girls in school is a constant source of debate. Are there innate wiring differences that lead them down different paths? Does culture trigger parents and teachers to treat children of different genders in specific ways that cause the differences? It usually turns out to be a constant interaction cycle of nature-nurture-nature-nurture-etc. A recent study adds a step to the nurture side.

For some years now, teachers and parents have noted something about boys and girls…