“Learning is an Experience. Everything else is just Information” …Albert Einstein
Nearly about 16 years ago during my final year at the College of Education, Ilesha Osun State, Nigeria. I took a course titled Educational Management, and my Lecturer then was Mr. Ijila. He taught so many concepts in that course during that second semester, I don’t think I can remember any of the concepts as He taught them, but among these concepts, two concepts have stayed/stuck with me till now and they appear so fresh whenever I remember the two concepts or whenever they are being discussed in for a. What’s amazing about the two concepts is that whenever the concepts are being discussed elsewhere, I could not talk myself out from the image and vivid picture I got from that my lecturer about them.
Most of the time, I understand the concepts by remembering the picture I got from my lecturer that very moment. Also, when people try to explain the concepts to me and struggle to clarify the two concepts, I often in my mind, say ” You people miss it”, and whenever I stand up to explain it with that same explanation, all the time, people understand it better, and they often say, oh! now we understand. I know some of you are waiting patiently for me to mention the two concepts! Am I right? I guess, Yes. The two concepts that Mr. Ijila explained that day were: Effectiveness and Efficiency. Up till now, I have never heard or seen a better explanation that is capable of removing that understanding from my brain. The explanation sticks and appears fresh when I talk about it to people. Do you want to know how My Ijila explained the concepts to me? I am sure you want to, even me I am eager to share the “how”, but first, I want to you check yourself, does my story resonate with yours? Do you have stories like that you could and will be willing to share with us?
Now back to my story, that very day, Mr. Ijila used the illustration of two groups of soldiers with a commander each. These two groups of soldiers were commissioned to go fight a war. Two groups of soldiers were to fight the same battle at different time, and were given equal resources. My lecture tagged Group A: Effectiveness and Group B: Efficiency. Group A (Effectiveness) 100 soldiers were led to the battle by the commander and Group A won the battle, but Group A lost 90 soldiers during the battle, though they won the battle. Group A (Effectiveness) came back to give a report. Shortly after that Group B (Efficiency) came back with the report. It was reported that Group B equally won the battle but lost 10 soldiers. At that point, my lecturer looked at us and said, when you get results without minding the number of resources lost, you are effective, but when you get the same results without losing much of resources, it’s called efficiency. Did you say, ah? So, invariably, it means effectiveness is getting results irrespective of the number of resources lost in the process, but whereas efficiency means to get the same results without wasting many resources. He called it “Management”
How does that sound to you? I don’t know how many of my colleagues will still be able to remember that illustration, but for me, it sticks. What Am I driving at? There is an element in that illustration that appealed to me and made the concepts stick. There is something in that illustration that initiated an understanding exclusively for me perhaps because of my learning style, my background, upbringing, etc. But one thing is certain, I was able to understand the concept with that illustration. Now, after nearly 16 years, I can still remember. How is it possible for learning specialists to create learning experiences that stick like that, and that learners do not need to learn over and over again, but learn once and remember it always.
Do you have stories that you will like to share with everyone? Share them in the link tagged “Share Your Story” and with your permission, we will share it with other learning experiences designers and developers to help us create a learning experience that appeals to humans. Albert Einstein says Learning is an Experience. Everything else is just Information”
The whole world needs more learning experiences that are human-focused and capable of motivating, engaging, impactful, useful, and reconstructing.
As you share your stories, there are other three additional questions you will attend to.
Let’s Create Learning Experiences That Stick. Learn Once, and Remember Always!