Research to Actions Interview with Clark Quinn, Ph.D. 

In this interview, we sit down with Clark Quinn, Ph.D., executive director, Quinnovation. We’ll discuss his 2018 book, “Millennials, Goldfish, and other Training Misconceptions: Debunking Learning Myths & Superstitions.” 

Throughout the interview, we explore the need for the book and dive into Clark’s Research. Here is a quick outline of what Clark shared: 

  • What is the problem?
    • Myths exist: People believe them, despite the evidence.
    • Misconceptions exist: Some people love, others hate them, and we need to find the when/who.
  • What are some examples?
    • Myths (learning styles, Millennials/generations, attention span of goldfish, etc.)
    • Misconceptions (microlearning, etc.)
  • Why is this a problem?
    • Time and money are wasted focusing on ungrounded or inaccurate methods of instruction.
    • In some cases, we can actually do damage with these false approaches.
  • What should people do?
    • Know the process of debunking (cut to the WIIFM, track back to the source, evaluate the core study, sniff test)
    • Debunk with believers (acknowledge, point out problem, make concrete, give an alternative)

Finally, we urge you to learn more by visiting the Debunkers Club site! The Debunker Club is a community of more than 700 people from around the world, dedicated to debunking learning myths and misconceptions — and advocating for proven evidence-based learning methods. We welcome you and other learning professionals — whether in workplace learning or education — who are dedicated to sharing valid evidence-based best practices. 

If you learned something with this episode, please share the lessons and share the link with your colleagues. The Almanac is now fully open access, meaning everyone in your organization or professional social network can benefit.

Please feel free to reach out if you have suggestions on folks you’d like to see us interview. Or, maybe there are published articles you would like to see deconstructed or simplified. You can contact me through LinkedIn or Twitter at @briansmcgowan.

Keep in mind that with every educational program we build, there are a thousand opportunities to ask a research question. And, with every research article that is published, there are dozens of lessons to learn. You don’t have to be a research scientist to build great training experiences, but you do need to embrace what the literature says and move past the status quo.

Thanks for joining us and until next time, never stop learning.

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