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NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

How e-learning overcomes the "Curse of Knowledge"


How e-learning overcomes the "Curse of Knowledge"

Geoff Hyatt

Have you heard of the Curse of Knowledge? It might sound like something you’d learn about at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but the reality is something much less arcane. Basically, it means that the more you know about something, the harder it is to imagine what it’s like to be someone who doesn’t know the same things you do. Combine this curse with the specialized language of a particular field, and you end up with experts who are simply unable to clearly communicate with beginners. It’s a common challenge, and great e-learning can help you overcome it.

The Curse of Knowledge becomes most evident in writing. Years ago, I took a course with a professor who taught fascinating classes about the psychological elements of religion. Eager to learn more, I bought his book. Soon I discovered that, even though his lectures could have held my attention all day, I could hardly read him for more than few minutes without my eyes glazing over. Reading that book was like staring into a jar of paste. It was a sticky mush of words with almost no discernible meaning. How could this quick-witted, approachable, conversational man be the author of Religious Cognition and Experiential Interpretation: Individual Schemas Within Shared Spiritual Cosmologies? (That’s not the real title. I made that up. I promise the actual one is even more mind numbing.)

Writing is a one-way communication, but good teaching is a two-way exchange. In class, my professor posed interesting questions, fueled active discussions, and responded to his students’ cues. Despite this, his writing was tedious and unapproachable because he hadn’t found a way to engage with learners on the page. His dense, academic prose didn’t do much to help, either.

At NogginLabs, we make sure that custom e-learning overcomes the Curse of Knowledge. Whether you’re in an academic, medical, or corporate environment, chances are you have your own specific nomenclature. It might be second nature to you, but that doesn’t mean it translates to your learners.

Our instructional designers and content producers work with subject-matter experts to make sure we create courses that not only provide information but also foster understandingWe’re not afraid to ask stupid questions. We approach your content with fresh minds that get to the heart of what learners need to know. Also, we convey vast amounts of material without resorting to boring, one-way knowledge dumps. A variety of screen-types, activities, and assessments keep learners engaged. Whether it’s a retail simulation or a gamified content exploration, your learners will stay focused—and interested.

Knowledge can be a curse, but great e-learning makes it a gift. By keeping the focus on the learner and presenting him or her with appealing ways to interact, any sort of training can transform from a mere requirement into an vibrant opportunity.