Tag Archives: instructional design

Cool People Doing Great Things with 4MAT: Daisy Asiimwe Byarugaba of Compassion International

Daisy Asiimwe Byarugaba, EAA Learning and Support Specialist, Program Communications at Compassion International, partnered with Dennis Mugimba (whom we met last month) in applying 4MAT during our recent 4MAT Instructional Design Fundamentals online course.

What are you working on? How are you using 4MAT in this work?
I worked on a team assignment with Dennis Mugimba (one of my colleagues) in using 4MAT to design a training on HPI and performance management. The 4MAT training was timely because we were able to use this approach in instructional design that married a number of concepts that we would ordinarily have handled separately. I have also been working with our global learning team to design sessions for a tours management summit which is beginning today in Colorado Springs.

What have you discovered lately that has positively impacted the results you are creating through the learning experiences you design?
Oh my goodness, so many things!  Given that I had only been a learning professional for a year at the time I begun the training, one of the most important things for me was is the importance of being systematic in designing a learning experience that is impactful. Although I knew intuitively the importance of having the learner in mind and have always designed my sharings (again intuitively) on the 4 quadrants, I had never fully realized that one can actually address all four aspects in a training.

The other was that one must always follow the cycle while delivering learning, but not when designing the sessions (that was quite the eye opener). I also learned the importance of not delivering learning for its own sake (information transfer) but for visible and measurable transformation – hence the critical importance of evaluation of learning.

What’s your favorite quote? Why?
My all time favorite quote is “If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate.” ~Elbert Hubbard.

I love this quote because it reminds me that people are people wherever we go – it doesn’t matter what the race, size, creed or stature is. We often admire or hate people from a stand point of ignorance/not having a full picture of who they really are and it is only when we see people as people … that we are able to fully appreciate and work with/impact them appropriately. It also reminds me that in the school of life, anyone can be my teacher, not just the people I like and admire.


Cool People Doing Great Things with 4MAT: Dennis Kagimba Mugimba of Compassion International

Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry focused on supporting the needs of children throughout the world. The Compassion International learning team began using 4MAT online courses to certify their global instructor team in 2009. Dennis Kagimba Mugimba, Child Survival Program Specialist based in Uganda, recently completed certification in the 4MAT Instructional Design Fundamentals online course.

What are you working on? How are you using 4MAT in this work?

This 4MAT training came in handy at a time when our work-team was in the preparations for rolling out the Human Performance Improvement (HPI) model to the Field staff we support in the five East African countries of Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. We had drawn up some training plans for this rollout training prior to the 4MAT training. However, following the 4MAT training, we felt compelled by the knowledge we had acquired to completely overhaul our earlier plans and return to the drawing board. Everyone on our work-team as well as Management is quite pleased with the new look of Instructional Design that we have come up with – so, well done 4MAT for equipping us.

What have you discovered lately that has positively impacted the results you are creating through the learning experiences you design?

The greatest discovery during this training was the realization that even though we all learn differently because we are wired uniquely, with proper training and skill, the trainer can facilitate learning in a way that addresses the various learning styles/preferences of the learners. By the end of the training, I felt more empowered and equipped to be a better facilitator of learning. From the home-front, through this training, I also became more intentional in trying to understand how my children learn. I have realized Elizabeth likes to be given instructions, Grace-Joy prefers to be shown how to do something before she can go it alone, whereas Christina has no patience for instructions; she simply jumps into the fray!

What’s your favorite quote? Why?

Without a shadow of a doubt, Bernice McCarthy’s quote “The tension between these two ways of perceiving, feeling and thinking, is the central dynamic in learning. So the real issue in learning is how to balance being subject to our feelings with relating to our feelings as object.” is my favorite quote during the class.

The next session of 4MAT Instructional Design Fundamentals begins on October 5, 2012.

4MAT Hemispheric Mode Indicator: What if I only had a (left) brain?

The 4MAT Hemispheric Mode Indicator measures our preference for right-mode of left-mode thinking. With an awareness of your natural preference for one mode of thinking over another, trainers, instructional designers and learners can more readily recognize how to stretch into their under-utilized learning mode. Most of the participants in our 4MAT instructional design courses and train the trainer courses share with us that the right-mode learning strategies are most likely to be missed.

We know now that the right brain plays an essential role in learning.  As recently as the early 1980’s, neuroscientists believed the right side of the brain was mostly unnecessary. Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Roger Sperry, shared in his 1981 Nobel lecture, the right hemisphere was “not only mute and agraphic but also dyslexic, word-deaf and apraxic, and lacking generally in higher cognitive function.” Sperry made it sound like our right brains might be non-essential.

What if you only had a left brain? If we look at patients who have suffered damage to the right brain, we will find a list of symptoms and inabilities that give insight into what would happen if you found yourself missing the right part of your brain. Here’s what that might look like:

  • You wouldn’t understand a joke.
  • You would have no idea what Forrest Gump meant when he shared the metaphor “life is like a box of chocolates.”
  • You would not be able to make sense of a map or any other visual tool.
  • A 2-year could draw a more realistic house, cat or dog than you.
  • You would have no concept of what Bob Dylan meant when he sang about “a rolling stone”:

              How does it feel

                           To be without a home

                           Like a complete unknown

                          Like a rolling stone?

All of the problems associated with right brain damage are related to the ability to relate one thing to another. The right brain enables us to make connections and synthesize which are essential acts in learning and innovation.

Without well-crafted right-mode learning strategies, learners have difficulty integrating learning into their lives. The 4MAT instructional model intentionally creates balance by moving the learner through a complete learning cycle while integrating both right and left-mode strategies.  We have to constantly ask ourselves, “How balanced are the learning experiences I am creating?”

What do you think gets in the way of effective use of right-mode instructional strategies?

3 Ways to Make Training Memorable

Our 4MAT team headed to the Serious Business conference in New Orleans to facilitate a best practice learning session and to take in the great line-up of presenters. Sally Hogshead, author of Fascinate, shared a great story about her experience riding Walt Disney World’s Mission to Mars® attraction.

Hogshead shared that when you approach the entrance to the ride, you are given one of two options which we will call “intense” and “neutral.” The intense version promises danger, extreme risk and possible heart failure. The signs posted which predict possible death from the ride, the smell of fear and the attendant’s final warning before getting into the ride all escalate the anticipation of the ride. The neutral ride, on the other hand, promises a fun, safe ride for the weak at heart. Hogshead chose the intense version and lived to tell about it.

The minute she survived the intense version of the ride, Hogshead began to wonder what was the difference between the intense and neutral versions of the ride. She was compelled to go back and see for herself. Are you wondering what the difference was? No difference, whatsoever. Yep, those Disney folks are so clever.

I’ve been researching this concept of what makes an event memorable and believe there are three elements that contribute to the “memorability” of an event:  anticipation, the peak of the experience (good or bad) and the tail end of the experience.

Anticipation: Think about how you anticipate and plan for vacations, weddings, that special night out … the more you anticipate, the more positive energy you bring to the experience.

Peak moment: When the peak of an experience is positive, the experience tends to be labeled as positive. When the peak moment is negative, it colors the rest of the experience. Think about that food poisoning from the sushi in Mexico. Food poisoning=Bad Trip.

The Tail End: When the peak positive moment comes at the end of an experience, you walk out on a high. Think of the encore at a rock concert — exploding fireworks, thousands of frenzied fans screaming and the lead singer smashing his guitar. Most excellent.

Marketing expert, Seth Godin, shares:

“Research shows us that what people remember is far more important than what they experience … The easiest way to amplify customer satisfaction, then, is to under-promise, then increase the positive peak and make sure it happens near the end of the experience you provide. Easy to say, but rarely done.”

What can we learn from this? Three ways to make training memorable:

1. Increase anticipation of the event. Think about how you can focus positive attention on the event before the event begins. Themes, invitations, reflective reading, provocative quotes are some of the many ways to get people thinking before they arrive.

2. Increase the “positive peak.” Powerful learning experiences include powerful learning moments. How can you amplify this? Are there any detractors from the experience that you can minimize or eliminate?

3. Create a memorable ending. If you had to graph the trajectory of a learning experience, where does it peak? Is the best, most powerful moment happening near the end of a learning event? Or, does the experience start strong and trend downward from there?

Can you think of an experience that created anticipation and/or included a positive peak moment near the end?

Expectations Activity

Two Harvard University researchers, Rosenthal and Jacobsen gave an intelligence test to all of the students at an elementary school at the beginning of the year. They then randomly chose 20% of the students and assigned them to a select group of teachers. The teachers were told that the students they were assigned for the year showed “unusual potential for intellectual growth” and they could expect to see the children “bloom” over the year. At the end of the school year, the researchers came back and re-tested the children. Those children labeled as “intelligent” showed significantly greater increase in testing over the other children in the school. The change in the teachers’ expectations of the children led to a concrete change in the children’s test results.

Expectations are a powerful force in life. Think about any instance when you have been unhappy and I bet you can link the unhappiness to an expectation that was not met. The truth is, what we believe to be and what we believe will be has a great impact on what actually is.  Tap into the learners’ expectations, meet them and you have a dynamic learning experience. The only way to do this is to create dialogue, be flexible and trust your ability to go where the learning conversation needs to go.

How to do this?

1-Do a reality check on your expectations. Are you expecting a certain reaction to the content? Are you expecting a certain level of interest or disinterest from the learner? Are you expecting that “this group” won’t do “this activity”?  Be careful that your expectations are shaped by reality–observations of what learners need, concrete data and real listening give us a good picture of expectations and a map to meeting them.

2-Start with an expectations exercise. At the beginning of a course,  ask the learners to reflect on and answer the question, “It is the end of this session and you leave thinking to yourself, “This was a good investment of my time.” What expectations would be met for you to feel this was a meaningful investment of time?”

After individually answering, have table groups combine their thoughts into themes. Mindmap all the responses shared from the table groups. You can now connect the agenda to the expectations, adjust as needed and handle any gaps up front.

In a first-time manager course we developed for a client, we simply created a page in the course workbook that describes the Oak School experiment.  For the 4mat-savvy, this was our Attend (1L) activity. We then asked the participants to answer two questions individually and in group:

What is the relationship between expectations and performance?

How does this relationship impact your role in leading your team to higher performance?

Invite dialogue around expectations. Lead the learner to a shared expectation of the course outcomes. You will create more happiness in the world.