Complex skills in the workplace and what it means to design for them

3-Star learning experiences

Mirjam Neelen & Paul A. Kirschner

On February 1, Mirjam and Patti Shank presented at the Learning Technologies Conference in the UK on how we, as learning professionals, should help people and organisations adapt to the ever-changing world (here’s the link to their talk). They focused on global changes and on the impact of those changes on the work world. For example, organisations are dealing with quickly changing business needs and priorities, new and constantly evolving worker skills, and the need for workers to be able to execute complex skills. It’s the last that seems to cause confusion. Complex skills seem to be hard for many to ‘grasp’. This is clear when we look at general practice in corporate learning design, where complex skills are often decomposed (broken up) into separate constituent skills and both learned and practiced as if they don’t have to be applied on the…

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