Ideation and Stories

A while ago, I began working on an “ideation model” and I blogged about it. The key challenge in this model is to connect what we experience day by day to a model where we can learn from it. The model I selected was about how to help students approach strategic learning — something that was sorely lacking in my student experience. I have learned a lot from developing my platform for that ideation model. One thing I have learned is the critical importance of modularity.

Modeularity? Right — experience comes unto us as chronology. We wake up, we have breakfast and so on. We tend to record this in chronological fashion as well. But as we do these things, it is a challenge to take and assess the learning value out of context. Our intuition kicks in and we tend to draw broad conclusions quickly. Imposing a modular reporting structure helps address this problem. And the modules then can more easily fit into the learning model — if it is modular as well. Each module should be short and subtitled rather than long and rambling.

This has an implication for how to share learning from these platforms. Folks will “connect” to a given story line only if the flow is restricted. Why? Because they experience their own lives in their own chronological fashion. Too big an interruption becomes too difficult to absorb into that flow. Like eating the whole elephant in one bite.

I think that this is why my first experiments in sharing were less than successful. I was sharing too much, too quickly. The flow has to be modulated to adapt to the recipient. Paraphrasing Hemingway, writing is what you leave out.

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