Mini Book Review: Design For How People Learn

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Design For How People Learn by Julie Dirksen

At first glance, Design For How People Learn seems to be about e-learning. Don't let that fool you. More than 80% of the book is about learning - and teaching - in general. I'd say the first 6 chapters are pretty much required reading for anyone who is even marginally involved in teaching. For example, if you're giving a presentation, you are also teaching in a way, and you will most certainly benefit from the collected advice in this book.

The later chapters are more focused on typical learning environments, e.g. seminars, workshops and, yes, e-learning environments. But the e-learning aspect is really only a minor part of the book while most of the content is applicable in other learning/teaching situations as well. And even as a learner, i.e. someone on the other side of the supposed target audience, you can get some insights out of this book, which will help you understand why some seminars work better than others and how to tell them apart early on.

The book itself is also a nice example for how you can illustrate complex ideas with the help of simple stick figure drawings.

My only complaint would be the relatively high number of typos, especially in obvious places (e.g. in the summary of chapter 8: Visceral experiences may have more impact that abstract ones, or the uppercase S in What'S the Goal?, which is the title of chapter 3). None of the typos are critical or overly confusing, but they make you wonder about the amount of editing that (didn't) go into the book.

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