Book Review: E-learning and the Science of Instruction by Richard Mayer and Ruth Clark

elearning and science of instructionE-learning and the Science of Instruction by Ruth C Clark and Richard E Mayer is a book written to educate instructional designers about best practices for designing effective e-learning courses. This is the fourth edition of the book and it was published in 2016. The audience of the book are those who design, develop, evaluate and consume e-learning and according to the authors, ‘you can use the guidelines in this book to ensure that your courses meet human psychological learning requirements and reflects the most recent research on e-learning methods.

The core purpose of this book is to provide evidence-based guidelines for both self-study or asynchronous and virtual classroom or synchronous e-learning.
This is a large book with 417 pages of reading content. The book has 18 chapters and each chapter is organised in a logical way that contains: Continue reading


Book Review – Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris

Tribe of mentorsI bought the Tribe of Mentors for myself as a gift, just to read something totally different from what I was currently reading and I didn’t regret it. I had never actually read any of Tim’s books before and I really enjoyed this one. The book is a chronicle of responses from a couple of questions Tim had asked a number of people successful in diverse fields ranging from business, entertainment, mysic and sport such as Craig Newmark of Craig’s List,  Steven Pinker, a psychology professor at Harvard, Whitney Cummings Co-Creator of CBS comedy, Two Broke Girls, Rick Rubin, a producer who’s worked with the likes of  Johnny Cash, Jay-z, Sheryl Crow and Shakira, and Ryan Shea, Co-Creator of BlockShack, a new decentralized internet where users control their data. While the response for each person is brief, they are really insightful. To say I have learnt a lot from this book is an understatement.  Continue reading

Prepare yourself to say NO

There is no doubt that one of the most difficult things for us to do is say NO to people. For instance we want to say NO to being part of that project our manager has volunteered us for, but we sheepishly say yes. Or we don’t want to follow our spouse to that party because we would rather rest at home, but we still say yes. What about saying No to yet another request for another toy from your daughter. You know she’s only going to use it for three days before something else catches her attention. What do you say to that? Yes. The “want to say NO but end up saying yes” goes on and on and on for us. We all have areas in our lives where we would rather say NO but still say yes. 

One of the best things we can do in such cases is prepare ourselves to say NO. William Ury has a great framework for how to do this. He wrote about it in his book called, The Power of a Positive NO. You can read my review of the book here. The steps in Ury’s framework are:

  1. Uncover your YES.
  2. Empower your NO.
  3. Respect your way to YES.

In coming posts I will briefly introduce each step.

Ten quotes to get you respecting

William Ury has been teaching me about respecting others and that’s even if people disrespect me. These ten quotes from his book, The Power Of a Positive No, really resonated with me and have really made me think about the importance of respecting others. Let me share them with you.

  1. Before we can truly give respect to the other, we need to give respect to ourselves because it allows our respect for the other to be genuine.
  2. Some people didn’t like the ceremonious style, writes Churchill. But after all, when you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to he polite.
  3. Respect does not mean liking the other personally – because you may not. It does not mean doing what the other wants – because you are about to do the opposite. What respect does mean is simply to give value to the other as a human being just as you would like others to give value to you.
  4. To be respected means to be seen and to be heard – every human being deserves that chance.
  5. Basic respect begins with concrete behaviours, such as listening and acknowledging, which may (or may not) lead to genuine feelings of respect. The important thing for the moment is to act with respect, whatever your feelings may be.
  6. When I’m dealing with an armed criminal, my first rule of thumb is to be polite (from a police officer).
  7. An obvious reason to give respect to the other is because it works.
  8. Respect, in short is the key that opens the door to the other’s mind and heart.
  9. When we respect the other, we give ourselves the opportunity to look again at someone whom fear and anger may have kept us from seeing fully.
  10. Respect, in the sense I am using it here, is not something that needs to be earned by virtue of good behaviour; every human being deserves it simply by virtue of being human.

    Make friends to destroy enemies

    Books certainly teach us great lessons and here is one lesson I really like from Getting To Yes With Yourself by William Ury.

    On one occasion in the White House when Lincoln was speaking sympathetically of the plight of the South, a Yankee patriot took him to task. “Mr. President,” she decried, “how dare you speak kindly of our enemies when you ought to he thinking of destroying them?” Lincoln paused and addressed the angry patriot: “Madam,” he asked, “do I not destroy my enemies when I turn them into my friends”

    On this William commented that:

    Taking a lesson from Lincoln, we might look around and ask ourselves if there are any “enemies” in our lives whom we can “destroy” by turning them into our friends.

    I believe the lesson speaks for itself.