Will Thalheimer

President, Work-Learning Research, Inc.
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About Will Thalheimer

Will Thalheimer, PhD, is a consultant and research translator, providing organizations with learning audits, research benchmarking, workshops, and strategic guidance. Will shares his wisdom through keynotes, research reports, job aids, workshops, and blog posts. Compiler of the Decisive Dozen, one of the authors of the Serious eLearning Manifesto (eLearningManifesto.org), founder of The Debunker Club (Debunker.Club), and author of the highly-acclaimed book Performance-Focused Smile Sheets (SmileSheets.com), Will blogs at WillAtWorkLearning.com, tweets as @WillWorkLearn, and consults through Work-Learning Research, Inc. (Work-Learning.com). Will regularly publishes extensive research-to-practice reports—and gives them away for free.

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Recent Comments

Dec 15, 2017

Shelly, thanks for sharing this. I'd heard some of this before, but you compiled a nice range of studies! Very helpful!

Sep 22, 2017

Thanks Alan for the on-the-ground reporting. Appreciated!

I work in the workplace learning field in the United States and I've been doing research-to-practice work for almost 20 years, attending and speaking at conferences, and paying attention to how much uptake there is for science-of-learning notions.

I'd say the results are mixed. Some folks are very interested and follow the research-to-practice professionals who regularly translate science for practitioners. Others dabble. Some are untouched by scientific notions.

There are also the opinion leaders in the workplace learning field to discuss. There are a small but not unsizeable group that follows the research and advocates for research-based practices. But many or maybe most of our opinion leaders are agnostic to research, some have a take-it-or-leave-it approach, some would rather trust their gut or tradition or ensure that whatever they advocate helps bring in revenue. A large number of vendors and consultants engage in confirmatory research outreach, looking specifically for scientific evidence for doing whatever they're already doing. I'd be rich if I had let myself by hired by vendors to do this kind of confirmatory research.

Then there are the trade organizations. Some are very good in advocating for research-based approaches (ISPI http://www.ispi.org/). Others are lukewarm. Some are almost hostile, burying research reports that show that the industry is generally doing things wrong.

I'm heartened to know that you've seen an interest from practitioners in the science of learning.

I suppose now our job is to help these folks become opinion leaders in their communities.

Mar 14, 2017
If you're interested, you can join The Debunker Club, a group of learning professionals who pledge to debunk myths in the learning field (http://Debunker.Club).

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