Sitting at your desk staring blankly at the computer screen wondering “What is this?” is a lament I hear often. I'm talking about people subjected to inhumane learning. At the moment I'm thinking of online learning. But what I call the Joe Zombie effect can happen in any modality: face-to-face (F2F), elearning, blended, social, or learning informally through close work with others.
Consider the new hire going through orientation. A recent interview subject described being parked in front of a computer for several hours. She completed several modules on policies, benefits, customer service, and other subjects.
At the end all she was sure she had was a world class headache. By the next day, most of what she'd been exposed to, like the flash of a camera, had dissipated.
I'm convinced learning requires an active participant. Meaningful activities where learners create something from what they are learning are best. My recent participation at EdCamps and CUE remind me of this each time I go.
I'm researching problems with the learning modalities listed above. I learned at the annual CUE conference that this is a good place to start.