Strategies for complex skill development (Julie Dirksen)

Strategies for complex skill development (Julie Dirksen)


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Presentation by Julie Dirksen: Strategies for Complex Skill Development


Training has a satisfactory set of options if your goal is information delivery or procedural training, but what about creating meaningful training for complex skill development or for the not-so-procedural problems that show up more and more in the workplace? What about creating learning for those situations where your SME can’t tell you what good performance looks like except to say, “Well, you know it when you see it”? 

Frameworks from complexity science and the science of expertise development can help you diagnose these kinds of complex learning problems, and can help point to eLearning design strategies that can actually address and support complex skill development. You will learn how variables like frequency of use, tacitness or explicitness, and level of automaticity affect skill development. This session will address assessment strategies for complex learning as well.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to diagnose a complex skill problem
  • How to use complexity models such as the Cynefin framework for learning
  • How to use alternative assessment and feedback strategies for complex learning environments
  • How to use learner self-assessment as a tool for complex learning

Julie Dirksen headshot

Julie Dirksen is the author of the book Design For How People Learn and a learning strategy consultant with experience creating interactive e-Learning experiences for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to technology startups to grant-funded research initiatives. She loves brains, and games, and evidence-based practice. Her MS degree is in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University and she’s been an adjunct faculty member at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an Elearning Guild Guildmaster. She’s happiest whenever she gets to learn something new. You can find her at

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