Sunday, 3 January 2010

[6] The Pyramid of Learning

This post is part of a 'digital essay' for the course Digital Cultures, a semester in the University of Edinburgh's MsC. in eLearning. To go back to the start of the essay, click here.

The Pyramid of Learning is a 'learning model' which has been repeated for decades, despite recent work making a convincing case for the model and the assertions made on its' strength being bunkum.

Will Thalaimer has written on the Pyramid and it's sustained existence. The Pyramid of Learning is a fusion of two ideas - a series of numbers from D. G. Treichler, an employee of Mobil Oil Company in 1967, writing in the magazine Film and Audio-Visual Communications. Fused to that was Dale's "Cone of Experience," developed in 1946 by Edgar Dale.

'You can see that Dale used no numbers with his cone. Somewhere along the way, someone unnaturally fused Dale's Cone and Treichler's dubious percentages.'

And yet, year after year, Instructional Designers and Learning Technologists use the model in their presentations.

Whatever the reason, the worlds of conspiracy theory and online learning share more than a few similarities - disaggregated, fragmented, uncanny in their dis-construction and shifting authenticity, with spare parts of other people's ideas mashed into a new narrative.

Go to Part 7.

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