What’s Your Formula?
Your Periodic Table of Learning Elements
Engaging, effective training programs are a mixture of science and art, requiring the right balance of adult learning theory, available technology, intuitive tools, proven practices, creativity, and risk. How does a trainer find the right combination and proportion of these elements? How does a trainer know what’s possible?
To answer these questions, Brian Washburn offers a simple yet elegant periodic table of learning elements modeled on the original periodic table of chemical properties. Washburn’s elements—which are organized into solids, liquids, gases, radioactive, and interactive categories similar to their chemical cousins—are metaphors for the tools and strategies of the field of learning design; when they’re combined, and under certain conditions, they have the potential to create amazing learning experiences for participants. They are that impactful.
From critical gas-like elements like the air we breathe, present in every training room (think instructional design or visual design), to radioactive elements, powerful and dangerous yet commonly used (think PowerPoint), Washburn guides you through the pitfalls and choices you confront in creating engaging learning experiences. A well-designed training program can be world-changing, he argues, and if you believe in your craft as a learning professional, you can do this too. Whether you’re an experienced learning designer or new to the field, this book inspires with new ideas and ways to organize the design of your learning programs. With stories from Washburn’s professional experience, the book includes a hands-on glossary of definitions and descriptions for more than 50 of his elements.